Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

The construction process is fractured with a myriad of requirements and components along with a range of stakeholders, contractors, consultants, subcontractors and suppliers all of whom can contribute to the success and failure for completing and delivering the project on time. A robust programme and good planning controls is essential for the project and commercial management team to successfully navigate through construction and mitigate issues that arise during the construction and project progress to completion.

So why is planning so important?

Sample Gantt Chart

Producing a solid program agreed (by parties) at the start, which demonstrates appropriate controls during execution will mitigate issues as they arise and aid in meeting the contractual, time and commercial objectives. Failure to produce a solid program can leave all involved parties exposed to greater risks and protracted disagreements about liquidated damages delays and costs. Darryl Goringe – Senior Consultant at Contract Solutions International provided a presentation to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Brisbane Chapter in April 2014 when he highlighted the importance of a good programme and resilient project controls.

In Review:

From the early stages at concept or tender it is important to establish the strategy in delivering the programme by identifying the key logic steps as well as the risks and opportunities. It’s a team effort and project members and stakeholders need to be engaged in this process and to take ownership from the beginning. As the project progresses maintaining accurate reports on programme performance are essential for analysis of trends and project status. If the programme begins to slip then the cause of this needs to be established and accounted for and delays need to be demonstrated and submitted to the client or principle as required in the contractual terms. Delay should be demonstrated at the occurrence when team involvement is available and records can easily be established which can also lead to a faster resolution of the issues. The planner must ensure that performance is reported accurately so that an honest and realistic view of programme is presented. It’s a proactive role and not just about proficiency in planning software. The planner needs to give direction to the team by communicating any concerns on performance and risks as well as recognising opportunities and sounding the alarm bells related to programme as soon as they are identified. Take time to consider your planning and project controls needs. The investment in the expertise of a skilled planner and the commitment from the team to maximise the programming process will pay dividends and is likely to enable savings on time and cost to be made. If you would like to know more about implementing robust planning practices please contact Darryl (he can be reached at the Perth Office) and the team at contract solutions for further discussions.