Planning & Programming

Planning

Planning is the most important phase of any construction project. Communication of the plan to the right people; management, clients, project managers and site managers at the right time and in a contractual way determines whether a project will be successfully carried out or results in costly litigation. Such communication is by a well prepared program which clearly sets out the intended sequence and timing of all construction activities to achieve the project completion on time. This demands an efficient technique so that the program clearly shows the sequence of working. It must also be flexible to allow for changes to the plan as well as being easy to progress during the course of the project.

In today’s modern construction industry Planning is a prime requirement to any successful project. The Project and Construction Team needs to have the facility to monitor current and future events in order to achieve a timely and cost effective completion. Planning is the first phase of any project and is where most of the money and timing decisions are made. It should not be treated or taken lightly! Any company that skips or shortcuts this process pays for it many times over as the project progresses. It is therefore, important to generate a clear project direction and program schedule before construction commences to avoid making costly mistakes and causing delays.

RWA believes within the construction industry, as in most other industries, management is no longer a matter of individual effort. The reason for saying this is that with the introduction of new techniques, new methods and the demand put on contractors to complete projects quicker, has created a need for greater project direction and control. For management to be concerned with such changes and demands is to be also concerned with the future! This consideration for the future is known as planning.

Therefore, by proper planning, management can influence and control both the nature and direction of such changes as well as determining what actions are necessary to achieve the given aims.

In many instances The Project Team requires fully developed programs showing the intended logic, sequence, milestones, activity dependencies and resources to manage the project in an efficient manner. From this it is possible to monitor progress, delays and allow mitigation measures.

FROM RWA EXPERIENCE,
THE PRINCIPLES OF PLANNING CAN BASICALLY BE CATEGORISED IN TO
THREE MAIN HEADINGS, THESE BEING:

Planning and controlling work are so closely linked in the Building Industry that they are inseparable. Good planning ensures that all resources are used to the best possible advantage , that they are used in the correct manner as well as being in the right place at the right time.

In the execution of the plan, all work to be carried out on a project and the people participating in that work must be properly coordinated and the result of this coordination is in the form of the program.

By this we mean that good and efficient management by individuals cannot be bettered but all employees are subject to accident, ill health of promotion and therefore, discontinuity of their services can throw a project in to some degree of confusion! However, the alternative is management by a system which, although still requiring the judgments and ability to make decisions, relies on a formally prepared and agreed plan and so enables the transference of management responsibilities from one manager to another with the least disruption.

Why Plan

What happens if we don’t plan? Most probably we would end up with projects in total chaos!

Planning is an essential every day task and not just a function in the construction industry. If we do not have a plan in place then we could not effectively manage the various construction operations and stages within the overall project time frame to achieve the project completion date. What we are in fact doing by preparing a program, is proportioning time to each construction activity by way of its duration, sequence and its respective start and completion date within the project calendar.

Before we continue on the subject of Planning and Programming, it is necessary to understand exactly what planning and programming is! When one talks of planning in particular within the construction industry, we straight away think of a program, a Barchart! Wrong!

So we would like to give our views on the difference between planning and programming which we have explained in very simple terms. To start with we would like to establish a framework upon which we can build a clear picture and understanding of what is meant by Planning & Programming, as although they are part of the same process, they are two separate functions.

Planning is the process of deciding in advance the necessary operations to achieve a given aim. This will include the determination of broad tasks for carrying out the various operations, the policy for the sequence of working, the overall plan, the organisation, working techniques and methods for effective control and action. Consideration of how the project is to be built, the methods of construction as well as the sequence of working must be carefully thought out before we can consider preparing the program.

We believe that good planning is a pre-requisite to good management and very much so an essential part of a manager functions. Planning must be communicated at all levels from management to the operatives which must lead to action. If the plan is not clearly communicated then it will obviously fail.

Roger Webster & Associates (RWA) Planning and Time Management Services aims reduce the delays on construction projects through the use of specific planning tools.

Using planning techniques from pre-commencement stages through to project completion, RWA is able assist the client, contractor or professional team to manage the design, procurement and construction process to ensure accurate completion dates, by pre-empting possible delays to the progress of the works, and proposing corrective actions where necessary with the main contractor.

There are many reasons for a project being delayed and overrunning either the sectional completion dates or the date of practical completion. When such delays are encountered, they have to be properly assessed and presented in terms of the conditions of contract. This is where good planning and programming can assist.

Programming is the expression of the plan either in a written or diagrammatic form to a time scale which is most commonly represented in the form of a Barchart or Network program against which progress performance is measured.

Roger Webster & Associates (RWA) Planning and Time Management Services aims reduce the delays on construction projects through the use of specific planning tools.

Using planning techniques from pre-commencement stages through to project completion, RWA is able assist the client, contractor or professional team to manage the design, procurement and construction process to ensure accurate completion dates, by pre-empting possible delays to the progress of the works, and proposing corrective actions where necessary with the main contractor.

There are many reasons for a project being delayed and overrunning either the sectional completion dates or the date of practical completion. When such delays are encountered, they have to be properly assessed and presented in terms of the conditions of contract. This is where good planning and programming can assist.

Early warning of a delay and or disruption to the progress of a project is essential and can be assessed at each progress update (time now) of the current progress impact and overrun to the date of practical completion. RWA progress updating and reporting methods highlight at an early stage during the progress of the project, areas which give rise to concern and which are likely to impact on and overrun the date of practical completion to enable the contractor to take early corrective action.

by the CONTRACTOR

  • Not managing the construction works properly.
  • Not pre-planning/programming the works prior to commencement.
  • Changing planned intentions and under resourcing.
  • Being affected by the increase in the scope of works.
  • Receiving construction information late.
  • Receiving late nominated/selected subcontrat appointments and approval of workshop drawings.
  • Receiving late payment causing cash flow problems.

by the DESIGN TEAM

  • Not interpreting the clients design needs correctly.
  • Not understanding the contractors program.
  • Not planning design to contractors needs.
  • Issuing construction drawings late.
  • Untimely management of the submittals & approvals process.
  • Approving subcontractors shop drawings late.
  • Granting extension of time and additional costs to the contractor through Inexperience and or negligence.

by the CLIENT

  • Increasing the scope of works late in the project.
  • Making late design changes.
  • Approving architectural design late.
  • Approving subcontractors late.
  • Not being properly appraised of client duties and needs in terms of the contract and contractors program.
  • Having undue cash flow and payment problems through incorrect advice from his professional team.
  • Impossible or unrealistic milestones and completion dates.
  • Late or none payment to the contractor.

RESULTS OF DELAYS

  • An extended completion date.
  • A higher capital cost.
  • Delayed income to service loans.
  • A reduced return on investment.
  • Delayed use of the building.
  • Contractor-possible exposure to penalties.

Get In Touch

If you need a reliable and professional construction planning service, we will be more than happy to meet with you to discuss your planning and programming requirements as well as answer any questions you may have about our services.