Workface Planning

The systematic application of proven construction
practices that enable productive activity.

Our goal at Insight-WFP is to help the industry apply
Workface Planning, through education and coaching.

Learn about WorkFace Planning


Where did WorkFace Planning come from?
In the year 2000 the Industrial construction industry in Alberta had a gloomy outlook. The Oil companies where tripping over each other to get their mega projects started before their neighbors and as an industry we were just starting to wake up to the fact that we didn’t know how to manage them.

In 2001 The Construction Owner Association of Alberta formed a committee to look at what could be done to improve construction productivity on projects over $300 Million.

By 2003 they had developed the basic outline that showed: If you plan more, you get better results. Industry research continued over the next couple of years with hundreds of industry experts. The committee developed a fairly clear picture of the elements that were present when there was good productivity and what was absent when there was poor productivity. The committee used this information to develop the prototype model for Workface Planning.

The Key elements were:

  • Field Installation Work Packages (highly detailed small plans)
  • WorkFace Planners (Trades people turned planners)
  • Removal of Constraints (Ensuring that the work can be done before it is released).

The COAA model can be viewed at

WFP Software

By 2006 the industry was starting to publically support the model and Oil companies were developing it as a standard requirement in their contracts.

2007 saw the development of a recognized training provider: ASI through SAIT and the launch of Insight-wfp and our WorkFace Planning facilitation team. By 2008 we had several projects set up and were developing a very good understanding of what it actually took to be successful.

This year (2009)we have seen the development of a grass roots non profit organisation of Workface Planners, the WorkFace Planning Institute, and a guide book on WorkFace Planning: Schedule for Sale authored by the founder of Insight, Geoff Ryan.

The book offers a detailed step by step guide to WorkFace Planning along with explanations of the logic behind the concepts. It can be previewed and purchased through the website @

What is WorkFace Planning?


Removal of FIWP ConstraintsWorkFace Planner

A brief synopsis:
WorkFace Planning is the creation of small, well defined, Field Installation Work Packages (FIWP) for the construction workforce. A typical FIWP is one rotation of work (5 or 10 days) for one crew in one discipline. The FIWP is a dissection of the schedule and an element of the Superintendants execution plan.

Each FIWP has a standard list of constraints that must be satisfied prior to the work being released. These constraints are a list of all of the things that a Foreman will need to execute the work: Documents, materials, scaffolds, permits etc.

The FIWPs are developed and managed by WorkFace Planners who are developed from trade supervisors. These Planners are engaged at a rate of 1 per General Foreman or 1 per 50 trades people.

The complete application of WorkFace Planning provides a definitive view of:

  • what we should be doing (the schedule).
  • what we can do (information, equipment, resources and materials).
  • what we are doing (actuals/reality).

The Return on Investment:

The application of WorkFace Planning will initially drive up the indirect costs of construction by about 2%, (1 Planner per 50 trades). The application of organised planning and execution creates cost avoidance through improved productivity at the workface. The cost of implementing WorkFace Planning is recovered when we improve the productivity of our work crews by 6 minutes a day (1%). This is based upon the accepted “Time on Tools” standard of 40%. Industry estimates have pegged the potential productivity improvements from WorkFace Planning at between 10 and 25%, this equates to a reduction in Total Installed Cost (TIC) of 4 to 10%.

On one of the projects that we established the client had a fence down the center of the project and had two separate contractors, one using WorkFace Planning and one that did not. On the WorkFace Planning side of the fence pipe was installed at 2.6 work-hours per foot, averaged across the whole project. On the Non WorkFace Planning side the contractor installed pipe at 4 work-hours per foot. While this evidence is anecdotal, the client has since mandated the use of WorkFace Planning on all future projects.