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Case Study

Case Study – PPC & Variance

At JE Dunn Lean, we seek to maximize collaboration as early in the process as possible to deliver transformational solutions with certainty of results.

Why do our teams have that overwhelming sense of dread when it comes time to report out and discuss percent planned complete and cause of variance metrics? What are our team’s biggest struggles with implementing PPC & variance with our trade partners?

To understand why, Let’s start with what these metrics are:

How the information is presented
One JE Dunn superintendent notes when their team initially introduced these metrics there was a lack of visuals. This caused confusion for trade partners on the project because they simply reported the PPC and variance. Shifting from reporting on the numbers to facilitating a conversation using graphs made a big difference.

Fully understanding what these metrics are and how they can be used as a tool
“When our JE Dunn teams take the time up front to understand how we use these metrics and why they are important, you start to see a real shift in performance. Sometimes we overcomplicate things, get hung up on graphs and charts and forget to focus on the story the data is telling us. The teams who are successfully using these tools are 1) capturing the supporting data daily to ensure a higher level of accuracy; and 2) taking the time to analyze the outcome and trends before reporting out to the trades. They are able to answer the question “what story is the metric telling?” in a couple of sentences and can facilitate a conversation with the trades on how the group can collectively improve. Keep it simple – our goal is to understand where we stand and determine how we can improve.” -Lindsay, Lean Specialist

Lack of variance trend
“One of the biggest hurdles we saw was just suddenly rolling PPC out with no trend, no real variance trend, just a number. So, we as a team decided to gather data for about 4 weeks, that gave us a decent PPC trend line, and gave us some good feedback on the variances. We then rolled out in a trade partner meeting, with visuals, telling everyone… this is where we are trending, and these were the issues (variances) we were seeing. Then we asked the question, ‘How can we do it better?” Justin, Superintendent.

What are some best practices to reporting and implementing PPC and cause of variance on projects?
As our teams continue to implement and experiment with PPC and Variance our level of understanding has grown significantly. The responsibility is on our JE Dunn teams to analyze and communicate with our trades how our performance is trending in a way that enables our team to take tangible actions to improve. At the end of the day, PPC and Variance are simply conversation starters that help us continually raise the bar for ourselves and our trade partners.

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