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THE TAKT GUIDE

FOR CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

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USING A TAKT PLAN

HOW TO USE A TAKT PLAN

The Takt plan is used as the:

  1. Master Schedule

  2. Look-ahead Schedule

  3. Weekly Work Plan, and,

  4. Day Plan

  5. And ultimately the Production Schedule 

 

Therefore the schedule has different layers of detail. It is the basis for all logistical, strategic, and tactical decisions on a project site and should be used in the following meetings:

  1. Owner, Architect, Contractor Meeting

  2. Team Weekly Tactical Meeting (Weekly Team Meeting)

  3. The Strategic Planning & Procurement Meeting (Weekly Schedule Update Meeting)

  4. The Trade Partner Weekly Tactical (Weekly Trade Partner Meeting/Weekly Work Planning Meeting)

  5. The Foremen Huddle (Daily Huddle)

 

The key items to notice when using a Takt Plan are:

  1. How is the planned work going?

  2. Is work planned for the next Takt time?

  3. Do we still have enough buffers?

  4. Where are we in relation to the project end date?

  5. Do we still have the right percentages of flow?

  6. What preparation work steps are important now to prepare for work?

  7. What roadblocks need to be removed or absorbed till the end of the takt?

  8. Is work being made ready?

  9. Are separate phases on track to support each other?

  10. Is the schedule networked to create a complete plan?

  11. Are current production rates and cycle times projecting correctly throughout the schedule?

TAKT ESSENTIALS

The Essential Elements of designing and executing a Takt plan

10 COMMANDMENTS

You're not doing Takt if you're not following these 10 Commandments

TAKT 101

Learn about the fundamentals of the TAKT planning system

USING A TAKT PLAN

Explore the TAKT Planning system methodology in detail

CORNERSTONES

The Core Tenants for TAKT Planning system success

BUILDING A TAKT PLAN

Review the TAKT Planning System Flow Chart  infographic

DEFINITIONS

Learn TAKT terminology, definitions and key concepts

12 PRINCIPLES

The 12 Principles of the Takt Production System™

RESOURCES

Watch our TAKT Planning System Video Series for getting started

Takt control is the implementation of control methods that create flow on a project site.  Below is an outline of approaches that can and should be used to control flow within a Takt-ed system:

 

  • Foremen & Super Control:

    • Prepare and stage materials before the Takt time

    • Prepare for the next process task within the buffer created by the Takt time

    • Improve hand-offs according to the Takt time

    • Finish work completely in areas before beginning the next process in the next zone

    • Matching the staging areas to work zones

    • Increasing communication in Takt control huddles

    • Swarm problem areas or bottlenecks with swing capacity and workable backlog processes
       

  • Create stability:

    • Project must be clean, safe, and organized

    • Team must be balanced and healthy

    • Do not start sooner than the start of the Takt time

    • Engage an effective Takt control meeting system
       

  • Leveling Work:

    • Adjusting Takt zones to shorten durations

    • Adjusting work packaging and work steps to level work

    • Bring materials and equipment JIT according to buffers and staging areas

    • Level manpower to have consistent crews

    • Adjusting work so each Wagon has buffers
       

  • Roadblock Removal:

    • Use and manage buffers to absorb roadblocks

    • Use Takt roadblock maps

    • Remove roadblocks ahead of the Takt time
       

  • Quality Product:

    • Install with quality at the source

    • Finish as you go according to the Takt rhythm

    • Create standard work for repeatable tasks

    • Pre-fabricate as much as you can 

    • Create quality triggers in the Takt plan
       

  • Manage Production:

    • Optimize bottlenecks

    • Optimize cycle times

    • Increase Labor productivity by Takt zone

    • Reduce variation

 

In conclusion, the list above details the common strategies and tactics you will use to constantly maintain Takt control within the meeting system.

WHY IT WORKS

A “Takt” is a multi-dimensional unit for a construction project and enables us to visualize time and space.  This format also enables the use of mathematical, scientific, and scalable operations that enable us to plan and execute work in hours and days, not only weeks. 

 

Takt is the basis for production in manufacturing and should also be used for production in construction. Companies in the automotive industry like Toyota or Volkswagen and others are all based on Takt or rate of flow, then pull. “Flow where you can, pull when you can’t”. Takt streamlines the value creation processes and enables all pull systems to efficiently support the Takt-ed production rhythm.  Because of this, it creates stability, leveled work and ultimately protects workers.

HERE'S AN OVERVIEW

Little’s Law:

In construction, Little’s Law teaches us to do the following:

Plan smaller batch sizes

Limit work in process (WIP)

Finish as we go

The Law of Bottlenecks:

The Bottleneck Law has its origin in the Theory of Constraints, created by Dr Eliyahu Goldratt and published in 1984 in his book, The Goal. The law says that every system, regardless of how well it works, has at least one constraint (a bottleneck) that limits performance.  This law also states that when the largest constraint is optimized or removed, other bottlenecks will show up in the system.  

 

In construction, The Law of Bottlenecks teaches us to find the process bottlenecks in the system and optimize them.

 

The Law of the Effect of Variation:

The Law of Variation is defined as the difference between an ideal and an actual situation. Variation or variability is most often encountered as a change in data, expected outcomes, or slight changes in production quality. Variation in construction usually comes from waste, unevenness, or an overburden on resources.  To paraphrase Modig’s book again, as variation increases, throughput times or duration increases.  That means that as variation increases on our projects, then the project end date will extend.  This means that we must see and prevent roadblocks and create standards and consistency.  This is only done in a Takt system.

Kingman’s Formula:

There is a mathematical theory of probability known as, Kingman's formula, also known as the VUT equation. It analyzes the time it takes for a process to move through an area and is determined by how long the process takes, in addition to its resources capacity percentage in addition to the variation it experiences. In construction we learn that we must plan our process durations by area with the consideration of cycle time, capacity and variation. We  do this by packaging  standard process cycles in a Takt time.  Takt does this beautifully with Takt wagons, work packages, and standard work steps.  The team can optimize processes within and optimize the system.  Takt allows us to optimize process times by area and obey Kingman’s formula.

 

Additionally, Takt obeys the same production laws that have contributed to the increase in manufacturing productivity over the years.  Conversely, not obeying these laws is why construction continues to decrease in productivity from year to year.

 

Takt Steering & Control

The use of Takt allows accurate and short-cycled control of individual work. Due to the short Takt times, the Takt wagon will be affected immediately, showing potential disruptions that are visible in real-time. The goal at the end of a Takt is that all work is being carried out according to the plan. A completed Takt plan is not a fixed concept. Rather it is an execution plan that is constantly evolving and can become stable and much more predictable than any other type of system. Short-cycled adjustment of a Takt plan is important. This means for example if there is a disruption to a ‘station’ in the work train, an empty Takt (‘buffer wagons’) can be built in, individual work packages and wagons can be shifted to form a ‘catch up plan’. Therefore, short-cycled observations and control of the individual work packages is essential. 

 

Only through this the proportion of reactionary and costly control measures can be reduced. For the overall project this procedure leads to reduced risk due to the achieved stability of processes. Takt Control is responsible for maintaining the necessary stability. Systematic and short-cycled construction control is a significant success factor in the process of construction projects. 

 

All individual contractors become a part of the management process to achieve a continual improvement process. In the stationary industries this is known as Shopfloor Management. In construction practice, Takt meetings are held at the construction control site office or the Takt Control Board. This board documents various information, figures and recommended actions. During daily Takt meetings, led by the site manager, the current working step displayed on the planning board is incorporated and adjusted. The foreman of the different trades participated in that meeting. Thereby this adjustment between the planned working step and the current status is completed for every Takt which allows for short-cycled implementation of the required measures (Kenley und Seppänen 2010, 44-54). The required records and documentation should ideally be undertaken daily together with the subcontractors. 

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