Visual Tool for Workload Leveling Using the Work Density Method for Takt Planning
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.24928/2020/0061
This paper presents a novel interactive Visual Management tool, called ViWoLZo (Visual Workload Leveling and Zoning), that supports takt planning. It is based on the concept of “work density” to depict workloads visually as well as quantitatively so that it can be used to find an optimal workload level and associated work space zoning. ViWoLZo was created in the course of action research on two projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. Because the concept of work density is generic, the tool can be configured to any construction floor plan and process sequence pertaining to any phase of construction—involving repetitive or non-repetitive work—to help level the workload based on the selection of zones. In turn, this leveling informs the user’s selection of the takt to use in planning the work. This Visual Management tool delivers proof-of-concept that work density is useful in studying workload leveling and zoning alternatives for takt planning. Use of ViWoLZo replaces subjective approaches for deciding how to divide work space into zones. While work density data is not yet readily available, the tool illustrates what value such data can have by supporting a user’s what-if analyses to decide if the desired takt can be met, considering different production rates, preferences for zoning of work space, and other work structuring considerations. The paper concludes with suggestions for follow-on research, including recommendations for tool enhancements and integration of additional planning steps.