Amid growing demands from owners for more efficient project delivery, builders continue to search for ways to enhance project execution and boost productivity, both to improve margins and create competitive advantages.
Construction firms recently gained a powerful tool to aid in such efforts: the Lean Scheduling capability of Oracle Prime Projects Cloud Service. The cloud solution is the construction industry’s only project success platform that integrates two historically disconnected project scheduling and execution methodologies: the Critical Path Method (CPM) and Lean Construction.
Early adopters are capitalizing on this blending of CPM/Lean processes and data. “People using it in the field love how it saves time when developing weekly work plans, as well as when they are performing their overall schedule updates,” says Mark Jenkins, a product management director for Oracle Construction and Engineering. “This means teams have more time for what’s most important—getting the job built.”
The integration of CPM and Lean scheduling closes an important gap for the construction industry, Jenkins explains. “In the past, construction companies struggled to align Lean values with CPM priorities, giving rise to tensions between scheduling camps,” he says. “Project teams had also been forced to spend time maintaining project data in two different systems, in two different places. Oracle’s solution eliminates this disconnect to improve project outcomes for all.”
“Oracle Prime Projects has enabled us to digitize our Lean task planning work in the field and fully integrate that activity and data with the management of our critical path schedule. By connecting these teams and activities, we’ve been able to unlock new levels of coordination, visibility, and productivity,” Mike Ball, project manager for general contractor Walsh Brothers, said in a recent announcement.
Integration enables full digitization of processes, closer collaboration across project participants, and centralization of project planning information. By transforming the paper processes of Lean Construction (including the famed sticky notes on the planning board) and digitizing all activity and task planning data in a shared workspace, Oracle Lean Scheduling eliminates the traditional silos and optimizes processes for all project teams. The single platform also gives construction firms a holistic view of the project. This visibility includes both the long-view analytics needed to accurately determine project milestones and completion dates, as well as prescriptive roadmaps for how to complete projects as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
Although the solution addresses complex data integration challenges, early adopters say it is easy to learn and use by Lean-focused teams. “People who are familiar with the Lean Construction Institute’s Last Planner System report they don’t need training to use the platform,” Jenkins notes.