A growing trend in construction management, pull planning is a technique that helps project managers, subcontractors, and other pertinent parties visualize and adjust the schedule of events as needed. Writing project milestones on sticky notes and attaching those notes to a large board broken into one week segments helps the team determine what needs to be done and when it needs to happen.

Like any project management method, there’s a right and wrong way to do pull planning. Here are four tips to use pull planning effectively and get it done right. 

Establish Conditions of Satisfaction- One of the first steps to take is to get everyone to agree on the conditions of satisfaction (COS). Everyone needs to be on the same page so all parties are striving for the same definition of success.

The Right People- Since pull planning with plan out the day to day operations, you need the people who will be running the day to day operations in the room. They are the ones who know the crew members by name and the capabilities of the equipment. Having the higher-ups attend won’t hurt the process, but it’s important that the boots on the ground attend these meeting.

Do Your Homework- The more prepared everyone is during these meetings, the better they go. Having to check facts or run something up the flagpole will greatly decrease the efficiency of pull planning meetings.

Universal Understanding- Each subcontractor and individual player will likely know exactly what it takes to get their job done. However, when everyone understands what needs to happen for everyone else to get their job done, things operate much smoother. Having open lines of communication will help promote this kind of universal understanding.