It’s no secret that a detailed construction program can save you from a lot of fuss. Many misunderstandings can pop up during a construction project. This can normally cost you a considerable amount both of money and time. But this can easily be avoided with the use of a detailed construction program. In that way, everyone can remain informed regarding their responsibilities and do their best for the progress of the project.
Successful projects, then, demand that we have programs. But what kind of programs? It’s critical to deeply understand all the different parameters and dimensions that are supposed to be taken into consideration when putting together a construction program. For that reason, it’s necessary to explain what a construction program normally consists of before we move further with the reasons why you can’t survive without one on the site.
What Is A Construction Program?
Most construction projects usually have a couple of programs. We could roughly divide them into the three following categories:
The Client’s Program
The first is produced by the client’s people. It’s, more or less, an overview of what they had pictured when they decided to go after this project. Normally, the client’s program tends to be a bit blurry in the beginning. It can sometimes take up to 18 months until they reach a conclusion as to what they precisely want. In that sense, it may not be the best asset you have when you want to arrange every single detail around your project with great accuracy.
Master Build Program
The second is the Master Build Program. This is most usually produced at the Tender stage by the main contractor. It gives a lot more information; stuff like ground works, foundations, steel frame, cladding, M&E, fit-out, etc., but still is too vague to be of use. All that can be said in its favor is that it does give an idea of time-scales and trade skills required for each phase of the project.
Detailed Program to Completion
The program that is so often missing on a project is the most important one from the point of view of both project success and best practice; the Detailed Program to Completion (DPC). The problem with this option can be that someone has to sit down and actually think about it. They also have to discuss it with all the subcontractors involved. What is more, someone has to pay for the software to do it.
Another thing about the DPC is that it should start at the beginning. It shows every task, and who has to do it, as it crops up in the order of things. It shows which Tasks are dependent on the ones going before and it shows the Critical Path – those that can’t be allowed to drag out without missing the Completion Date!
As you can see, there are different types of programs during a construction project. All of them have their own importance and can play a vital role in leading a project to success. At this point, it would be very useful to investigate how this could happen.
Why You Need A Construction Program
There are a plethora of reasons why a construction program is deemed to be essential. All of them are directly connected to project management:
Efficient Process Monitoring
With the help of an accurate program, you can easily keep an eye on the construction process and be sure that everyone is fulfilling his/her responsibilities. Thanks to this, you are better informed regarding the needs of your project and you have better control over its general progress.
A detailed construction program can have a truly positive impact on the progress of a project. The reasons are improved coordination and collaboration among the different sides. A solid construction project plan with clear guidance can lead to the faster completion of the tasks. In other words, a significant productivity boost on site.
A well-established construction program can contribute to the minimization of any misunderstandings that it’s possible to arise during a project. Everything is minutely documented. This adds unique clarity on the whole procedure. A program can also offer great help in situations where potential construction disputes will arise in the course of a project. By keeping everything documented, you can be sure that you have a good answer for every problem that emerges.
Fewer misunderstandings mean fewer repairs. Your project’s budget will thank you for that! In addition, the project completion time will be significantly less. That being said, it’s evident that a solid construction program can be your strongest ally in increasing efficiency and overcoming some common issues during a construction project.
More Profit for Everyone
Getting done with a project early will result in greater profit for all parties. First and foremost, the clients will be happy due to the budget savings and the on-time delivery of the project. Furthermore, the construction manager and the rest team members will be able to move to their next project fast and without wasting any time. This will signify some extra money to their bank account and an important improvement of their reputation on the industry.
Forensic Delay Analysis (FDA)
Now the DPC can also serve another function. It can be used as the basis for a Forensic Delay Analysis (FDA), a fourth kind of program. Funnily enough, if there is a good DPC an FDA is something rarely required. If things have gone badly wrong and an FDA is required, someone is going to have to pick up the bill for an expert to do it and that will set them back at least £25,000 plus accommodation fees! If there isn’t a decent DPC for him to work from, he’ll have to come up with one retrospectively, the bill for which will be considerably higher than if it had been done properly in-house in the first place.
So it isn’t just successful projects and best practice that makes DPC’s so important. It is just good business sense to have one from day one. Putting it together is sometimes tough but necessary for the success of the project. The use of a trustworthy project management software can make your life much easier during this effort and help you keep a close eye on how is everything around the plan working.