ConAppGuru's Apps for Lean Construction

by ROB McKINNEY, ConAppGuru

The concept of “Lean Construction” is gaining momentum in many construction companies. The Lean concept began in auto manufacturing in Japan. During the 1990’s a few pioneering construction professional began to explore how the original Lean principle could be applied to the construction industry.

Over the past year I have been on a journey to explore the use case for Lean Construction. One of the challenges that I have struggled with in implementing Lean Construction Processes has been sharing the information derived in the meeting with team members back at the man office. I have determined that the new world of apps may help solve this issue. The following are a few great apps that allow users to share project information with anyone at anytime…

1. LeanKit: “Visual Planning Execution for Lean Project Delivery”

This innovative platform allows users to create and share project workflow and through virtual whiteboards. The LeanKit website is the main hub for creating boards and cards. These boards and cards can be shared with team members through the web portal or IOS App and Android Apps. This allows project teams to share the information from their on site Lean Weekly Planning Boards to team members not on site. The cards are tied back to the central data base so users can also develop metrics for performance based on the outcome of card data. LeanKit for Construction integrated with Oracle Primavera (P6) provides real-time updates to keep systems and team members in sync.

2. Touchplan.io: “Software Designed for Modern Workflows”

Are traditional scheduling applications letting you down? Are custom spreadsheet solutions just not cutting it? Touchplan.io has taken your old ‘sticky notes’ and added some computer genius to create a simple yet powerful collaborative planning tool. Whether you call it smart planning, Lean Construction, or just better project execution, Touchplan helps you get it done. This web based platform syncs across any computer or mobile device. Touchplan makes it easy to keep your plan current so your team can address problem areas and bottlenecks before they happen. View daily task list, create weekly progress reports and calculate progress metrics automatically.

3. Vernox Pulse: “Simple Weekly Planning”

Vernox Pulse is a fully customizable work planning and tracking system.  Leverage Pulse to organize your work plan, keep up to date on what’s being accomplished and to drill in to areas that need improvement. This online platform allows users to to track leading indicators to gain real-time insight into the financial health of your project(s). Users can budget metrics that matter to you through customizable metrics that allow you to gain insight into the metrics that you need. This online platform allows you to store all data in one place. There is no longer a need of combing through Excel spreadsheets, all of your project(s) data in one location.

4. V-Planner: “Visual Planning Tool for Lean Project Delivery”

The vPlanner is an easy to use online visual planning software solution developed to facilitate collaborative design and construction management.  It streamlines the Last Planner System workflows and provides project teams with an integrated set of tools to manage pull planning activities, phase schedules, lookahead planning, weekly work plans creation, commitment management, and tracking of Percent Plan Complete (PPC). As a complete and integrated solution, vPlanner streamlines the often tedious cycle of pull-planning, commitment tracking and re-planning by providing a robust and integrated visual interface that maintains the visual aspects of the planning process using virtual “post-it” notes.

5. Kahua:

The Kahua team have recently released a new Lean App on the internal store for users. There is a major shift is occurring away from top down command and control scheduling to interactive short cycle activity schedules. Kahua has built our Lean Pull Planning App to greatly assist teams in leveraging their training to maximize Lean process during all projects. With Kahua’s Lean Pull Planning App, you can get connected to people on the ground, easily recreate the “Sticky Note” Process, and Manage and coordinate weekly progress. For any of the Kahua Apps, users simply download the free “host” app from apple or android and can access from a mobile device.

For more information about “Lean Construction” processes take a look at the Lean Construction Institute website.


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Rob McKinney is a construction risk engineer at Atlanta-based XL Catlin, and is the founder of the construction information forum, Construction App Guru. With over 14 years of industry experience, Rob is the chairman for the AGC Georgia Technology Committee, board member for the AGC of America IT Forum and has written for publications such as Constructech, The Construction Specifier, AEC Magazine, Engineering Industry News, and more).