BIM 360 Plan brings foremen into the lean-construction conversation by putting trade progress into their hands, allowing the trades to better schedule worker count.

One lean-construction expert says Autodesk's BIM 360 suite, when complete, will bring about an egalitarian construction workflow in which the foreman can know as much as the BIM manager about the project schedule and flag trade-specific conflicts before they happen. The next piece in that puzzle is BIM 360 Plan, a mobile, cloud-based lean-construction management system.

The tech allows foreman and others—those closest to construction activities—with all the data they need to direct a work crew, says Hal Macomber, principal of Lean Project Consulting, Louisville, Colo. BIM 360 Plan is meant to replace a typical workflow–in which a foreman is beholden to the su- per for schedule updates and changes—by auto-syncing work progress from all trades and putting that data in workers' hands through BIM 360 Glue. At day's end, trades can see one another's progress and plan tomorrow's crew count accordingly.

"What's happening is the complete elimination of command and control. In the armed services, they call it 'power to the edge,' " says Macomber. He says schedule management gets bogged down when a trade slows for any reason. The resulting small variation in the completion of work has a compounding effect on the construction sequence, he says.

"You not only get interruption but complaining people, and we've been trying to fix this forever," says Macomber. With BIM 360 Plan, the trades will still complain, says Macomber, "but, after they're done complaining about you not working as fast as you should, they'll decide to cut the crew size tomorrow."