McCarthy Building and remote Lean construction scheduling in an unpredictable environment

November 2, 2020 | 4 minute read
Alyssa Gagen
Senior Marketing Manager
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There’s an increasing interest in how Lean construction can help builders effectively and efficiently deliver projects. However, as construction teams confront new safety and operational challenges amid COVID-19, employees are re-examining traditional Lean worksite planning to enable remote collaborative team sessions.

During a recent webcast, Remote Lean scheduling: Taking field planning out of the field, McCarthy offered a glimpse into how they have adapted their processes and procedures to keep their projects moving forward and their employees safe -  both on the jobsite and in the office. Oracle’s Mark Jenkins led the discussion, exploring how McCarthy is leading the way with better cross-team collaboration and coordination.

Safety is always #1

Safety is always the top priority at McCarthy. The company has incorporated several changes to ensure the safety of their employees and subcontractors. For example, McCarthy has created new policies and guidelines to ensure safety while also maintaining productivity, including minimizing the number of entrances and exits, and placing highly visible safety posters on the jobsite. 

New protocols for physical distancing

Construction is a close-proximity operation. Common jobsite tasks, including interior finishes and concrete pours, are highly interactive activities critical to each job.

“We had to tackle how to get everyone onsite and off-site in an organized, low-contact manner,” Justin McCallin, McCarthy senior project scheduler, said during the webcast, now available on demand. The McCarthy team created a schedule for employees entering and exiting the jobsite to alleviate congestion and foot traffic and to ensure physical distancing protocol was followed.

On the jobsite, all tools have been designated to an open space and cannot be shared by multiple crews, a distinct change from the past. “We’re now requiring the subcontractor to provide their own tools specific to each crew so there is no cross contamination,” McCallin says.

A special onsite permit needs to be signed by the project manager if there are situations where multiple people are required to be on a lift.

When it comes to concrete pours, a critical part of the building process that involves many field workers in a confined space, McCarthy is only allowing five or six people to work together while following social-distancing guidelines to minimize contact.

Re-defining standard pull planning sessions

These new regulations aren’t only impacting those in the field. McCarthy’s planning sessions are also addressing new guidelines.

The McCarthy team has invested a lot of time enforcing social distancing measures while still maintaining their own standard safety process. Executing short term interval planning and scheduling is generally done in a small conference room, but in today’s environment, this isn’t feasible.

Ken McBroom, McCarthy’s director of operational efficiency, shared that in the past, anyone could attend these meetings, but that meetings are now limited to the last planners attending in-person.

The key to any pull-planning session is planners gathering to work the tags out. The McCarthy team has noticed their meetings are more effective and efficient by only having the last planners physically attend while the rest of the staff joined remotely.

The team felt these sessions couldn’t take place without having the rest of the team physically there. The group decided to try using Oracle’s Lean Scheduling solution to run one of their mid-level pull plans virtually.

All team members were provided with their own license to the software and were accountable for filling out their tags before the start of the meeting. The software did everything they needed it to do—including letting team members know where they were falling behind.

These remote sessions lasted about an hour to an hour and a half and were much faster than the traditional, in-person pull planning session. Moving forward, McCarthy is looking to continue doing their sessions remotely to help keep stakeholders accountable and projects on track.

Watch the on-demand webcast, “Remote Lean scheduling: Taking field planning out of the field” to learn how McCarthy is effectively leveraging digitized Lean scheduling, fully integrated with its master schedule, to improve the productivity, safety, and efficiency of their job sites and back office in today’s environment.

In this webcast you’ll learn:

•    How McCarthy is adjusting its processes, including for worksite teams and those returning to the office
•    Ways to limit disruption while enforcing physical distancing on job sites  
•    How specialized technology can re-define standard pull planning sessions by enabling everyone to participate remotely in a live simulation using Oracle’s Lean Scheduling solution

Learn more about our Lean Scheduling solution.

Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.



Alyssa Gagen

Senior Marketing Manager

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