University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences

Rich Siels, Chief Improvement Officer, Unified Works conducts a pull planning session with University of Chicago Medicine teams and project contractors.


As the Medical Center continues its efforts to expand access to its world-class care, the development of new facilities and renovations requires shorter timelines.  To meet the institution’s growth demands, the Facilities, Design and Planning Department implemented a Lean construction tool called “pull planning” to improve efficiencies, thus reducing overall project completion schedules.

“When you think of production, you typically think about how manufacturing companies streamline processes to move product from the start of the assembly line to packaging to retail,” stated Clay Goser, Director of Program Management. “That is essentially the core of pull planning. We are examining each component in a given project to determine where to cut the non-value added activity that will bring the project on-line sooner, ultimately allowing us to serve our patients faster.” 

To apply this project-based production method to University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Science Division projects, the department sought the expertise of Unified Works, a consultancy firm that specializes in Lean construction best practices and principles.

With their assistance, pull planning was incorporated into several key UCM  growth projects including the third and fourth floors of the Center for Care and Discovery and the Centers for Advanced Care at Orland Park and South Loop.

Emergency Department and trauma center teams and all project contractors also utilized this approach to develop the schedule for the Medical Center’s new adult Emergency Department and Level I Trauma Center, which is slated to open in early 2018.

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