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Last Planner® System as a problem solving framework

Last Planner® System (LP®S) reduces uncertainty and brings stability. However, when we put LP S in a problem solving framework we realize that the core of LP®S is based on two problem solving techniques: (1) Root Cause Analysis and (2) GROW model (Goal-Reality-Obstacle/Option-Way forward).

During the LP®S use-
  • We set milestones for an activity - We set goal (G)
  • We do the reality (R) check during the brainstorming sessions and look ahead planning
  • We look for obstacles (O) i.e. constraints analysis and find options (O) to deal with the constraints
  • We go ahead and execute the plan that’s our way forward (W)
  • Next we ask "why" five times which is a popular root cause analysis technique

LP®S planning protocol can be explained using these two problem solving techniques and they encompass George Pólya's method in "How to solve it?”
Pólya suggests the following steps when solving a mathematical problem:

1. First, understand the problem.
2. After understanding, make a plan.
3. Carry out the plan.
4. Look back on your work.
5. Analyze, how could it be better?

There is a scope of future research in applying different problem solving techniques and models to the problem of unpredictability of production plans and testing if other approach gives better results.

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