Putting together a master programme? Here are 8 things you need to consider

Published: November 5, 2019
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You’re on your way to finally securing that next contract and that means it’s time to produce a master programme. The detail included varies depending on the project but there is nonetheless a lot to factor in to ensure your master programme is fully effective. Its tasked with laying out the main stages of your construction works yet often key considerations are not taken into account.

Getting it right

So how can you make sure you’re implementing best practice when it comes to creating your master programme? It starts with considering the below 8 points:

1. Long-lead items

Will you be ordering bespoke cladding or glazing systems or other items with long-lead times? Will a holiday season prolong delivery times? It’s important to be aware of this in advance, particularly if these items are required for a critical pathway in your project plan. Order these items as early as possible and consider how much leeway you’ll need to introduce into your timelines. You may even want to create a long lead schedule.

2. Pre-contract works

Does your site need to be cleared first? Are there demolition works that need to be completed? Does asbestos need to be removed? Factor in how this will impact your start of works.

3. Prefabricated elements

For larger projects with repeated elements or projects on shorter timelines, you may need to weigh up the costs of prefabricated elements against your time constraints and the quality of in situ alternatives. You’ll then need to accommodate their production and delivery times into your programme.

4. Works outside of the main contract

What is the availability of utility supplies to your project site? Do any statutory undertakers need to carry out work on-site? If so, these works will need to be organised around your planned works.

5. Relationships with other projects

How many other projects will be running alongside the project you’re about to plan? It’s easy to spread your resources too thinly with multiple projects on the go. Consider how you’ll need to allocate your resources to simultaneously meet the demands of each phase of each project.

6. Phasing and sectional completion

Does your contract enforce sectional completion dates? Will you need to incorporate phasing of your project to better manage its funding? In either case, materials, manpower and schedules will need to be planned within these frameworks.

7. The CDM planning period

CDM regulations require you to allocate time before your works for planning as well as for assessing health and safety issues. The duration of the CDM planning period isn’t stipulated but be aware that the Health and Safety Executive may consider short CDM planning periods insufficient.

8. Decision points

Decision points can cause unnecessary delays to your project if they are not, wherever possible, planned in advance to coincide with pre-arranged client meetings, ensuring the right people are present to make the decisions.

Spending time fully considering the above points when putting together your master programme will ultimately save you time once your project is underway.

For assistance with creating your master programme, as well as with estimating, quantity surveying and contract management, get in touch with our experienced team at Multiproject, your construction consultants.