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Nialli Launches Visual Planner to Simplify Digital Transformation of Lean Construction Processes

Tue September 22, 2020 - National Edition

Nialli Inc., an SaaS collaboration company, announced its first product, Nialli Visual Planner, a cloud-based application that makes it easy to digitally transform the paper-based planning processes used in lean construction.

Nialli Visual Planner is modeled after the Lean Construction Institute's Last Planner System (LPS), a production control system that follows principles such as just-in-time delivery, value stream mapping and pull planning.

The Nialli visual planner can be used by all project stakeholders on any device and from any location, providing the flexibility of having any combination of co-located and remote participants during planning sessions. The solution also can be used on large interactive surfaces such as the Nureva Wall, to replicate the paper-based big wall experience with which many construction teams are familiar.

By making the process digital, Nialli Visual Planner increases visibility into team progress, and the status of a single task or activity can be updated on the spot, with all data being captured for post-analysis. This saves time and eliminates waste compared to paper-based processes.

Because the application is modeled after the Last Planner System and mirrors the same workflow, it is easy for anyone familiar with LPS to understand and adopt the solution quickly, according to the company.

A key principle of the Last Planner System is to support the conversations that take place between trade foremen, superintendents and management to identify milestones, spot issues early and keep projects on track. Nialli Visual Planner allows teams to keep those conversations going whether teams are in the same space, in a construction trailer or on the jobsite.

Using a personal device or interactive display, teams can produce and track progressively elaborate work plans that outline what needs to occur each week. Digital cards can be marked done with a diagonal line or crossed out to close the task. Cards can be assigned a color to indicate the trade working on a task and can be tilted with a red line across to indicate the reason for variance — all to replicate the analog pull planning process.

"We've been working closely with a major North American general contractor over the past few years, which has enabled us to get a deep understanding of the intricate details involved in a project and how to bring it into a digital realm," said Nancy Knowlton, Nialli's CEO. "We are delighted to share the results of that work with construction companies aiming to digitally transform."

Additional Product Details

Plans — Plans can be created locally and online.

  • Projects can have many different plans, depending on their size and complexity. In each plan, users can add the number of working days and holidays to the calendar and include reasons for variance. Multiple lanes can be created, and dependencies can be set across lanes. If things change, it's easy to add, edit or rearrange lanes.

Phase Pull Planning — Phase Pull Planning is used to map the work with a longer view of a project.

  • Maps out the phases of a project at the superintendent's discretion
  • Provides free format scheduling that can be viewed alongside the look-ahead plan
  • Identifies the longest path
  • Helps to identify and resolve constraints and eliminate rework
  • Can be transitioned into weekly work plan activities

Adding trades and users — Once a plan has been created, trades and users working on the project can be imported from an Excel file.

  • Trades can be assigned a color for quick identification
  • User permission levels can be set to view only, view my trade, edit my trade, edit all or as a plan administrator

Parking lot — The parking lot speeds up the planning process.

  • Anyone working on a project can create an activity card from a laptop, tablet or phone at any time. Details, such as the trade or crew size, can be added. The digital cards are added to an accessible parking lot and can then be dragged to the correct lane and day.

Dependencies — Stakeholders can easily see dependencies and not be caught off guard by mounting delays.

  • Cards that are part of the same activity are automatically connected with green lines. Dependencies between independent tasks and across lanes can also be set. When a task becomes at risk, red visual cues prompt attention.

Generating reports — Reports provide data on the progress of a project, helping teams see trends and drive continuous improvement.

  • Real-time reports are available, including the percent plan complete and reasons for variance.

Nureva Wall — The Nureva Wall gives teams the large horizontal space they need to visualize up to 6 weeks, spark simultaneous conversations and updates.

  • The Nureva Wall is 7.5 ft. (2.29 m) wide and combines a high-definition ultra-short-throw projector with a projected capacitive multitouch surface to create an expansive interactive working space to visually show entire phases of work and the connections and relationships to other work.
  • Typically, multiple Nureva Wall systems are connected side by side to allow for a more expansive project view. The Nureva Wall is not required to be used with Nialli Visual Planner, but it enhances the immersive collaborative planning experience.

Gestures — Gestures have been designed to enhance the system for use on large interactive surfaces and displays, to both speed user adoption and remove waste associated with the traditional analog methods of Last Planner System. For example, a simple two-finger twist of a card will change the status of a card to "done", shown with a line through the card. Multiple trades can status cards simultaneously.

Pricing and availability

Multiple pricing plans are available for Nialli Visual Planner.

For more information, visit

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