The importance of having a programme of works

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How awful would it be to find out that something substantial hasn’t been included in the agreed price? What about overrunning the project without any consequences or warning from your trusted builder? Are you surprised that there seem to be no organisation or management structure in place and the entire process kind of drifting on its own? Chances are that there is something missing and that something is a Programme of works (among other things).

Looking at the example above, let’s try to examine what this is. The long list on the left should include every aspect of what needs to happen on site to bring the project to a completion. This is a meticulous process which requires skill, attention and extensive experience in construction trade. This should then be marked with appropriate dates for any one task to keep track on the progress. A visual chart on the right makes it easy to follow and see whether they are ahead of schedule, behind or right on time.

Creating a detailed programme is half of the problem. What makes it hard is management and making it work. In theory, anyone can put some numbers into the schedule but making it realistic and stick to it is a whole other game. Companies with strict management policies and quality control, such as Adam Renovations Ltd, can follow these to the letter and deliver as planned even if making projections 6 to 12 months into the future. This benefits everyone involved – the client will appreciate a completion within the original time frame, the contractor will minimize costs and overheads, and neighbours can breathe a sigh of relief after enduring disruption to their daily routine due to construction.  

Should I attempt to do this myself? If you are a member of chartered surveyors with appropriate qualifications then by all means, otherwise you will waste your time and get nowhere.It’s very likely that you will be able to create a chart, but it might be not as accurate as you’d like it to be and the necessary processes that you must put in place to make it work won’t be unavailable.  

The programme of works should be cross referenced with other documents such as scope of works, contract and its conditions, payment schedule and specification list. This will ensure that the document is true and reflects a realistic outcome.

Is this for projects of certain size? It’s recommended to have some sort of a programme for projects of any size simply because it will force you to plan, think and organise which will of course benefit you as the client. Having said that, not all contractors will be accommodating since this takes time and effort.

Are there any other benefits of having this in place? Absolutely! If you have managed to find a decent Contract Administrator, they will evaluate the programme on regular basis, claim back savings, monitor any Extension of time claims that might cost you extra, flag any delays early on, hold payments for works claimed but not yet completed and keep an eye on the overall process.

In conclusion, creating a details list of what you expect is a good idea which will provide a glimpse into the future that should help you with achieving the best result possible, and perhaps more importantly completing everything on time and within budget!

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