The importance of having a compliant construction program

Construction programs are a central element of any project, communicating the project’s overall status and progress to both the client and the contractor.

Not only does a well-scheduled program allow all parties to prepare for upcoming work activities, but it can also be utilised to inform progress claim valuation, assess extension of time claims and measure the overall progression of the project to schedule and budget.

Large scale construction projects are subject to high risk. They contain many moving parts and are subject to external influence, often beyond the control of the parties involved, such as weather events or, as we have seen across Australia, lockdowns and health restrictions. A key factor to managing these risks is the quality and robustness of the Contractor’s Construction Program.

A Contractor’s Construction Program should clearly describe the Work Breakdown Structure, Activities, and Activities’ Sequential Logic. This allows a contractor to plan their construction execution and resourcing approach to deliver the project quickly and efficiently.

All too often, insufficient focus and consideration are given to the Contractor’s Construction Program by the Contractor and the Principal until issues and disputes materialise, and retrospective focus and attention is required.

“To reduce the number of disputes relating to delay, the Contractor should prepare, and the Contract Administrator (CA) should accept a properly prepared program showing the manner and sequence in which the Contractor plan to carry out the works. The program should be updated to record actual progress and any extensions of time (EOT) granted. If this is done, then the program can be used as a tool for managing change, determining EOTs and periods of time for which compensation may be due. Contracting parties should also reach a clear agreement on the type of records that should be kept.”

The Society of Construction Law Delay and Disruption Protocol

fission know through “lived experience” that many of the delays and budget blow-outs experienced on civil projects can be avoided through better planning, programming, and attuned monthly progress reviews. It is also true that the quality of the Principal / Contractor relationship is vastly improved by having aligned visibility across the critical path and near critical path activities throughout the delivery of the works.

fission’s ability to conduct complex program analyses allows us to provide project support on the following:

  • Governance and assessment of pre-approved program(s),
  • Governance and assessment of monthly progress updated program(s),
  • Consider not just the technical compliance and structural logic within a contractor’s program; but also, the construction logic and rationale used to present the critical path.
  • Provide accurate assessments of EOT submissions.

Our expertise means that we support contractors and clients across major infrastructure projects as they manage the complexities associated with the planning, procurement, and delivery of works. From reducing risk to tracking project performance and mitigating disputes, we have supported billions of dollars worth of projects across Australia in the civil, engineering, resources, and transport sectors. Please get in touch with us to discuss how we can ensure that your next construction program minimises the risks and maximises the benefits for your project, team and stakeholders.

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