Choose a Last Planner® Software that teams embrace

Tired of clunky, complex Last Planner® software that no one on your team wants to use? You need this guide! Learn how Outbuild Last Planner software simplifies and modernizes construction project management, inspires team collaboration, and secures continuous improvement.

A line of hammers in a construction job site

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If you're in the construction industry, you know the impact the Last Planner® System (LPS) can have on a project’s bottom line. What you might not know is that even the research bears it out.

One study showed a 30% improvement in on-time completion rates, a 20% reduction in rework, and a 15% reduction in project costs after switching to LPS®. 

Regardless, though, the success of LPS in the field will always hinge on its implementation tools. That brings us to the two LPS implementation methods—traditional and digital—and their respective roadblocks.

For traditional LPS, the problem has always been scalability and transmissibility. Whiteboards and sticky notes can only get so big and go so far (and that means no bigger or farther than the trailer conference room).

Digital LPS was supposed to be the answer to that problem. But it ended up presenting yet another roadblock—complexity.

So far, the software Last Planner devotees have had to choose from present ultra-intricate interfaces and mega-steep learning curves—definitely not the greatest foundation for widespread adoption in the construction industry. 

So the natural result? Resistance and missed opportunities for real progress. 

This is where Outbuild Last Planner construction software totally changes the game. 

Outbuild encapsulates the complex power of the Last Planner System within a totally user-friendly platform that teams actually enjoy using.

The interface was designed by guys who’ve actually worked in the field—guys who know what it’s like to be expected to learn “yet another” software while trying to keep a thousand very expensive plates spinning off to the side.

With Outbuild, there are no cryptic instructions or 20-step click paths to make an update—just an easy, drag-and-drop experience that keeps teams focused on the job rather than waiting on tech support.

So, if you’re a construction manager who loves LPS for its profit-building power, you can finally ditch the whiteboards, sticky notes, and soul-sucking software—and trade them in for Outbuild. 


Now, we realize that our saying Outbuild is the easiest-to-use and best Last Planner software out there doesn’t hold much water. So the purpose of this guide is to show you what we mean.

In the following three sections, we’ll give you…

  1. A top-level, nuts-and-bolts overview of how Outbuild last planner system software works

  2. A deeper discussion of how the software digitally supports the Should, Can, Will, and Did phases of the Last Planner System

  3. And a round-up of the main reasons Outbuild really is the ideal software solution for construction project managers who want profitable projects

So, let’s get started with the nuts and bolts of how Outbuild brings the Last Planner System—along with its organized, revenue-generating efficiency—to your projects.

Master Plan Section

When you first open Outbuild, you see the master plan section. This is where your phase plan, milestones, and top-level planning are defined and where key stakeholders set up the different sequences of work.

The durations at the master plan level are typically more than two weeks and involve groups of trades and handoffs. 

Here you can view your plan with color-coded options. You can color-code by status, companies, tags, or highlight your Critical Path. You can also use color-coding for your Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

Outbuild master schedule module

Lookahead Planning

The next level is lookahead planning, where you can integrate the collaborative side of the platform. Outbuild’s drag-and-drop task function makes creating your plan incredibly easy. 

Just set up your tasks and drag them around to connect them to sequences of work. Here is where the collaborative, cloud-based aspect of our software solution truly provides value to last planners. 

It allows everyone to work in one place and see where others are working. It’s also where your conversations take place during sub-trade meetings and pull plans.

Outbuild Lookahead Planning Module

Forecasting Constraints

Constraint forecasting is a major element in LPS, proven to improve project predictability, reduce delays, and increase the likelihood that your project wraps up within budget. 

Oubuild integrates with Procore to connect live submittal data to your construction activities. That way you can anticipate possible roadblocks and track them right inside the schedule.

Submittals-view-over-activities-in-Outbuild-schedule-module

Collaborative Planning & Environment

Outbuild's collaborative planning tools give the whole team a virtual place where they can work together anytime and from anywhere.

In the platform, each team member can navigate to whichever project they’re working on. There, they can use the drag-and-drop interface to add tasks, move work around, and plan sequences collaboratively, or just leave notes for other team members to review.

This collaborative feature keeps everyone on the same page, regardless of space and time. And it significantly reduces the chance of costly mistakes due to miscommunication.

Reliable Commitments

As you know, weekly work plan commitments are a big deal in LPS. When you commit to a construction weekly work plan you’re telling your crew that this is the best play forward.

Outbuild’s interface helps you and your team make and track reliable commitments you can be confident in. With a single click, you can turn your lookahead into a solid weekly work plan that instantly gets your team aligned and focused on the tasks ahead.

lookahead-commitment-to-a-weekly-work-plan

Roadblocks and Constraints

Outbuild's constraint tracking feature presents unmatched granularity for forecasting and managing potential roadblocks. It helps you identify issues before they become problems and also drills down to show you the precise percentage of each roadblock removed.

create-a-new-roadblocks-pop-up

With Outbuild’s Procore integration, you can also link RFIs and visibility of obstacles to your Last Planner activities. This gives you a crystal clear view of all the factors that could impact your project's timeline and success.

Outbuild-roadblock-log-and-RFIs-integrated-to-Procore

Traditionally, project managers have had to combine multiple software products to digitize LPS. Outbuild has put an end to that administrative nightmare by combining the entire process into one simple yet powerful platform.

The features and functions discussed above work together to digitally drive each of the Should, Can, Will, and Did phases of the Last Planner System. So all the power of this game-changing approach to project planning lives in one easy-to-use and affordable platform.

In this section, we’ll go a bit deeper into Outbuild’s construction scheduling and planning functions and how they’re designed to digitally support the Last Planner System.

Digital SHOULD—Master Scheduling

As we touched on above, Outbuild construction Last Planner software allows you to digitally map your master schedule complete with paths and phases. 

The digital format gives as-it-happens data updates and visuals of the project's Critical Path and instantly shows task dependencies and durations—improving the accuracy and speed of your scheduling. 

Outbuild-construction-Last-Planner-software

Because Outbuild creates a centralized system accessible to all players, the whole crew is updated as soon as changes occur, which prevents information gaps and miscommunication.

With these master scheduling features, you can make swift adjustments to the schedule, reflecting up-to-the-minute changes and decisions. 

The project stays on track and is adaptable to any influences that might impact the timeline. Ultimately, you find yourself working within a much more agile project management environment.

McAlvain Companies Inc. is a perfect case in point. Their projects were suffering delays due to miscommunication among managers using disconnected scheduling platforms. 

Almost as soon as they implemented digital LPS via Outbuild, their schedules were sailing smoothly and their profits spiked upward.

Digital CAN—Pull Planning

Outbuild turns pull planning into an interactive experience. In the platform, you and your crew work together virtually to identify upcoming tasks and strategize the most effective approaches.

It’s like meeting at headquarters, only no one has to leave the job site.

You can visualize work sequences, adjust timelines, and analyze the immediate impact of changes right on your laptop.

No need to rearrange sticky notes, revise whiteboard sketches, or worry about the fact that you don’t have a computer science degree. Changes are as simple as a click and drag. 

Once changes are made, they’re automatically shared, so miscommunication and data loss are not even a thing.

Outbuild pull planning in action

Imagine an impromptu meeting where you need to adjust the next six-week schedule. With Outbuild on your laptop, you can quickly adapt tasks based on new priorities. 

If a delay arises, you just recalibrate the schedule and assess the impact. It’s that easy.

Outbuild’s digital pull planning tools make planning interactive, honest, and effective. They enable your team to manage workflows and lay strong foundations, keeping everyone aligned and prepared to execute. 

As you know, modern construction is decentralized. It demands this level of adaptability in pull planning to maintain project momentum and synchronize the efforts of dispersed teams.

Digital WILL—Weekly Work Planning / Lookahead

Outbuild's digital tools are tailored for decentralized construction projects. Because of this, they totally redefine the Will (or Weekly Work Planning phase), making it clearer and more efficient than any other Last Planner software out there.

Commitment to Weekly Tasks

In the Lookahead Module, team members confirm their tasks and schedules for the next seven days. This feature formalizes each person's tasks and creates concrete accountability.

Reasons for Variance Tracking and Continuous Improvement

One of the best elements in Outbuild’s weekly work planning is its ability to document and track reasons for variance—things like material delays or equipment failures. 

This data feeds into the platform’s Analytics Module, supporting continuous improvement by presenting a clear picture of project challenges so you can make strategic adjustments.

Outbuild-reasons-for-variance-log

This way, unexpected obstacles are no big deal. You just keep track of any delays or issues in your weekly work plan, from material setbacks to equipment malfunctions. 

Then, track and analyze these variances in the Analytics Module to uncover insights and continuously improve your project performance.

Collaborative Planning and Task Management

Outbuild supports dynamic interaction during planning, allowing team members to adjust task sequences within the digital workspace. 

This flexibility is a perfect fit for the fluid nature of construction projects. Multiple users can engage simultaneously, so you get collaboration without compromising the master schedule.

Easy Updates and Integration

With Outbuild, you get an up-to-date schedule with minimal administrative effort. 

For example, when you enter tasks and updates at the lookahead level, they’re automatically synchronized with the master schedule. As a result, you eliminate redundant meetings and double data entry.

Outbuild-updating-progress

Additionally, Outbuild’s customizable features allow you to tailor the planning software to fit your needs—including adjusting column views and color-coding for easier reference.

Outbuild-columns-customization

Every element, feature, and function in Outbuild supports and refines the digital execution of weekly work planning, making sure each task and change is integrated back into the broader project management framework. 

This detailed tracking keeps weekly plans aligned with the project objectives and, over time, boosts project delivery and profits.

Digital DID—Analytics Learning

If digital LPS shines anywhere, it’s most certainly in the Did phase, where you’ve got to look at and learn from what’s gone wrong or right.

Outbuild takes that shine and turns it into a supernova. Its analytics learning component digs deep into the complexity of your project data and then presents it in a way that’s super easy to understand at a glance.

Outbuild-analytics-module-view

You get up-to-the-minute data tracking and insightful analytics, allowing you to make last-minute refinements that significantly improve project outcomes.

Real-Time Data and Percent Plan Complete (PPC)

Outbuild’s Percent Plan Complete (PPC) feature captures the amount of planned work completed within a timeframe.

Outbuild-PPC-Chart-Analytics-Module

This on-the-fly tracking gets rid of an incredible amount of uncertainty and allows you to accurately assess planning and execution reliability in your project management.

Percent Roadblock Removed (PRR)

Percent Roadblock Removed (PRR) tells you how effectively your team identifies and removes constraints that could hinder progress. 

By tracking these efforts, Outbuild allows you to take care of obstacles before they result in delays or other expensive setbacks that could affect the project timeline or budget.

S-Curve Analysis

The S-Curve chart in Outbuild is an invaluable tool for visualizing long-term project performance. It lets you compare the baseline plan with the projected finish and actual progress so you can make adjustments based on real-time data.

Outbuild-S-Curve-chart

For example, Arco Murray National Construction was having trouble tracking deviations, like material shortages, that were causing project progress to fall behind.

Once they implemented Outbuild, the S-Curve chart allowed them to quickly identify these deviations and take measures to address the delays. The result was more on-time outcomes, happier clients, and a better profit margin.

The S-Curve chart gives you at-a-glance access to overall project health. There’s no need to dig into the data or get updates from all your leads. Just take a look at the S-Curve and compare it with the baseline plan.

Reasons for Variance

Outbuild’s Reasons for Variance feature clearly shows performance issues and their causes. It categorizes problems based on factors like RFIs, inspections, or change orders. 

This analysis pinpoints issues affecting weekly work plans so you can target ways to improve.

Outbuild-reasons-for-variances-chart

We’ve given you the top-level nuts and bolts, and we’ve broken down how Outbuild’s features and functions operate to digitally support the Last Planner System in action. 

Now, in case you’re still on the fence, we’ll boil it all down into 5 reasons why Outbuild is the ideal Last Planner software for you and your team:

  1. INCREDIBLE Ease-of-Use: Outbuild’s dev team is led by guys who’ve worked in the field. So the interface was designed with that end-user in mind. More than intuitive, Outbuild’s interface requires zero specialized training—everyone on your team will be happy to use it.

  2. All-in-One Digital LPS: Outbuild Last Planner scheduling software integrates master scheduling, pull planning, and weekly work planning into a single platform, so there’s very little administrative overhead. All the complexity of LPS is rolled into a super-simple-seeming frontend interface—and even a Last Planner app for iPad.

  3. Real-Time Analytics: With features like Percent Plan Complete (PPC), Percent Roadblock Removed (PRR), and S-Curve analysis, you get as-they-happen insights into project performance. Armed with these insights, you can make informed decisions that support continuous improvement and more profitable outcomes.

  4. Unparalleled Communication: Outbuild is a collaboration powerhouse. While other teams are spinning their wheels with phone tag, text messages, and delayed emails, yours has a virtual environment surrounded by the data that matters—a place where they can engage in up-to-the-minute planning, refining, and execution. The advantage can’t be overstated!

  5. Unbroken Field-Office Connection: Outbuild bridges the gap between the field and office allowing for real-life collaboration and updates between these two teams. Related to #4, this level of communication and collaboration is indispensable to effective LPS implementation and is always an element in stunning construction success.

In a nutshell, Outbuild simplifies the complexities of LPS, making it digitally accessible and actionable for everyone on your project.

With Outbuild, you can infuse the entire Last Planner System workflow into your projects without relying on any external platforms. 

This all-in-one LPS solution integrates planning, scheduling, and analytics to create a modern construction planning and scheduling tool matched-up perfectly with today’s dynamic construction industry. 

Add our Procore integration and you’ve got a project management powerhouse capable of taking your company to the top.

Ready to advance your construction project management? Book a demo or sign up for a free trial, and see how easy it is to supercharge your projects and your profits today!

Lee Evans
Syble Harrison
Senior Copywriter
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