vPlanner: Visual Planning to Facilitate Building Construction

This article provides an overview of vPlanner, a new visual planning tool developed by Ghafari Associates to facilitate collaborative project management in the AEC industry. Ghafari Associates is well-known for its advanced implementation of AEC technologies as well as its professional work in multidisciplinary design, technology consulting, construction management, lean construction, and IPD projects. With such a distinguished track record in the field, it seems likely that vPlanner will prove to be an effective tool for managing AEC projects, given that it embodies Ghafari’s own processes and workflows.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/buildingthefuture/2013/vPlanner.html

One thought on “vPlanner: Visual Planning to Facilitate Building Construction

  1. I have closely observed a hospital construction project that used an early version of this planning system. Ghafari was a participant on that project and responsible for supporting the IT infrastructure and information systems. This version of the planner did not have all the capabilities of the system described here, but it did provide a very effective working tool for the protect team to plan at a detailed level and re-plan on a frequent basis to maximize the probability that certain milestones would be achieved. It was far more effective than traditional CPM programs because of the visual process of planning it supported and the rapid feedback to alternative plans. It required the teams to work very closely together and really understand the tasks and constraints of the other teams. This led to a level of effective collaboration and trust that is the essence of a lean production process.

    The system described here goes beyond what I had observed in its many varieties of graphic presentation and screening. This should be very helpful in addressing specific problems. However, I would warn prospective users of this system that it will take time for a project team to gain the benefits of this software because of the close collaboration required. Support and training by Ghafari would be very helpful to speed the learning process.

    One idea that occurred to me as I read this review is that it would be desirable to have some method of identifying WHY the start an activity is constrained by another activity. Options include: need for space, resources (labor, equipment, material), physical support, perhaps others. The advantage of having this information would be to support smarter analysis (by the computer or humans) of the best ways to compress or re-pan a schedule. The current system appears to make no use of resource and physical information. Perhaps in the next version?

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