Pull plans are powerful tools for project teams of any size to map out key tasks, identify critical paths, discover efficiencies, and confirm the project scope can be delivered when it is needed. While your team may be successful in creating a pull plan – are they successful at using and maintaining it through the project?
The pull plan represents a collective team approach toward how the project will be done. It is an important tool that will drive hundreds of detailed tasks over the course of weeks, months, or years, but it can be all too easy for the pull plan to be out of sight and out of mind. Suddenly, efficiencies are eroded, and critical paths are threatened.
Below are some best practices Array incorporates into our project process to keep the pull plan front-and-center, creating value for the project:
- Give the whole team access to the pull plan via cloud-based platforms like Asana, TouchPlan, V Planner and the like.
- Assign tasks to people, not organizations.
- Review the pull plan weekly with the team:
- Confirm last week’s tasks were accomplished. If they weren’t, develop an action plan to get caught up and assess any downstream impacts.
- Perform a two-week look ahead to get the team aligned on what everyone is working on and to augment the pull plan with more detailed tasks – assigned to people – to ensure clarity on how everything will be accomplished. This is a great exercise to identify any staffing capacity concerns on where help is needed, or even discover who has help to give!
- Confirm the near-term approach outlined in the pull plan still works for the current state of the project.
- As a team, review and flesh out the pull plan just ahead, or just after, key milestones. This gives everyone the opportunity to provide feedback about how things are going so far and allows the team to consider appropriate adjustments to the project workflow.
Following through on these practices will help make sure the team is bringing the best focus and value to the project.
Take a deeper look at Array’s planning expertise in our design book.