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Pull planning in construction is a collaborative scheduling method that takes a reverse approach to sequencing. It involves gathering multiple team players, preferably last planners, to identify a key milestone and then create a sequence backwards from that milestone. The sequence identifies durations and relationships based on needs, resulting in a detailed pull plan that guides the project. 

Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved in pull planning:

  1. Trigger: Identify the need for a pull plan triggered by project milestones or phases.
  2. Planning: Clearly define the milestone, invite key participants, and ensure they’re prepared.
  3. Gathering: Bring all participants together and orient them before the pull planning session.
  4. Pre-Meeting: Allow participants time to finalize their preparation before the pull planning session begins.
  5. Pull Planning Process:
    • Define conditions of satisfaction.
    • Review milestones (both start and end).
    • Identify sticky note format, including duration, crew count, activity, and needs.
    • Assign colors to participants for easy identification.
    • Establish ground rules for the pull planning session.
    • Populate the sequence backwards based on needs, not just sequence number.
    • Parallelize activities to optimize the sequence.
  1. Follow-Up: Decide how to use the pull plan data—whether for weekly work plans, CPM schedule adjustments, or takt planning. Ensure the plan is shared with all relevant stakeholders and close the meeting with a summary of decisions made.

Key tips for successful pull planning include setting ground rules to maintain order and following the prescribed system to populate the sequence based on needs. With proper execution, pull planning can result in a more accurate sequence, increased buy-in from trades, and improved confidence in achieving project milestones.

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-The Takt Book: (Click here)

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