Commissioning Pull Planning Session Results in Ownership and Accountability

| By

The Commissioning Team at the DC Water Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station and Enhanced Clarification Facility recently conducted its first Pull Planning session. Pull Planning, which is a component of the Lean-based Last Planner System, helps develop a coordinated plan for a project component with influence from all people responsible for the associated work.

The commissioning-based “pull” focused on the milestone of Operational Demonstration testing associated with the project’s consent decree date. The 18-month pull had a heavy focus on electrical, mechanical, and instrumentation and controls coordination as well as the document control associated with start-up and commissioning. Representatives from the subcontractors associated with the respective work joined the project team to ensure all key input was considered into the process.

The session was full of “ah-ha” moments. Everyone knew their role in getting to the finish line, but pull planning really emphasized how each individual role affected other trades. Key coordination issues and major equipment releases were brought to light and the team became aware of the need for field direction about power distribution priorities.

The pull was shared with our client, DC Water, and has been crucial in engaging them in the work. We’ve been able to identify a handful of high priority items that needed quick attention and set up workshops with DC Water to facilitate reviews and provide resources for removing potential obstacles. With all key team members involved, high priority submittal reviews and RFI responses have been handled efficiently.

The Last Planner System is a great way to get the entire team engaged, involved and fully in tune with project milestones. We are continuously utilizing the Pull Plan method to target milestones and work activities from our master 18-month Pull. It is amazing how the entire team is taking ownership of their roles and being accountable to one another through this process.