Implement Pull Scheduling in Your Projects
Every project needs a way for all stakeholders to share input and collaborate effectively to optimize the flow of deliveries based on resource capacity, materials, and other information. This is where project managers employ pull based schedule planning. This is an agile-based approach often used to substitute certain scheduling practices by piecemealing the schedule into smaller, more detailed chunks using iterative scheduling.
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What is Pull Based Scheduling
Pull based scheduling, also known as just-in-time scheduling, is a method of scheduling that ensures each task is completed as close to its deadline as possible. Just-in-time scheduling can help to reduce waste and overproduction of goods and improve quality control by assuring tasks are started and completed as close to one another as possible.
Just-in-time scheduling is a dynamic approach to labor planning that can help organizations match their workforce supply to changing consumer demands. Businesses typically begin developing a just-in-time schedule with a high-level view of the work that needs to be done before breaking it down into smaller, more detailed chunks using iterative scheduling. This approach allows businesses to be more flexible in their labor planning, which can be beneficial in industries where consumer demand is constantly changing.
One way to think of just-in-time scheduling is as a “rolling” schedule that is continuously updated based on the latest information about the market. Using this tool requires businesses to have systems and processes to quickly collect and analyze consumer demand data to make the necessary adjustments to their workforce plans. Additionally, companies must promptly communicate changes to employees so they can address last-minute changes to their schedules.
While just-in-time scheduling can benefit businesses, it can also be challenging for employees who may have their shifts changed or canceled at the last minute. Organizations can mitigate this by giving employees as much notice as possible about schedule changes and offering flexibility for when and how they work. Additionally, businesses should ensure that employees are compensated fairly for the constant scheduling changes and responsibility of just-in-time scheduling.
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Examples of Pull Based Scheduling (Just-in-Time)
A real-world example of a just-in-time schedule is an airline’s flight schedule. Airlines must constantly adjust their flight schedules based on changes in consumer demand, which can be challenging to predict. As a result, they use just-in-time scheduling to ensure they are only flying the number of flights needed to meet consumer demand. This helps minimize the number of empty seats on flights and maximizes efficiency.
Grocery store stocking schedules are another prime example of a just-in-time schedule. Grocery stores must constantly adjust their stocking schedules based on changes in the amount of food they sell. Customers will be happier if a grocery store has enough food in stock. However, if a grocery store has too much food in stock, it will go to waste. As a result, grocery stores use just-in-time scheduling to ensure they only store the amount of food they need to meet customer demand, helping to minimize food waste and maximize efficiency.
For a final example, let’s consider a manufacturing company’s production schedule. Manufacturing companies must constantly adjust their production schedules based on changes in customer demand. Customers will be happier if a manufacturing company has enough products in stock. However, if a manufacturing company produces too much of a product, it will go to waste. As a result, manufacturing companies use just-in-time scheduling to make the precise amount of product they need to meet customer demand.
When appropriately used, pull based scheduling optimizes the flow of deliveries based on resource capacity, materials, and other inputs. It can also minimize time and resource waste while enhancing the efficiency of processes and the throughput of deliverables.
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