Planning and Scheduling/Programming are two separate disciplines. Project Planning is largely an experienced based skill and is generally a group process where ideas and considerations are put forward from all project stakeholders. Scheduling/programming is the science of using software and logic to predict when and where work will be completed and ensuring that this is carried out in the most effective manner.
A Contract programme is the programme defined within the contract associated with the project. It would be fair to say that the most common contract within the industry is either NZS 3910 or NZS 3915. The contract programme forms the baseline monitoring basis for the project duration and will form the basis for any extension of time claims.
NZS 3910 outlines that the contract programme must a comprehensive programme submitted twenty working days after the date of acceptance of the contract. This does differ contract to contract so please be aware of this. However, the majority of the time the contract programme will form a part of the contract documentation.
After this point the special conditions within NZS 3910 will specify all or some of the following; start date, completion date, working day duration, frequency of updates required and the format/software that the programme is required to be presented in.
Definition of a Comprehensive programme as noted within NZS 3910:2013;
a) The proposed sequence of works and the dates for commencement and completion of the various activities in the programme, sufficient to demonstrate how the Contractor proposes to meet the Due Dates for Completion of the Contract Works and any Separable Portions;
b) A critical path network analysis showing activity duration estimates and dependencies between activities;
c) The dates by which the Contractor reasonably requires access to specific areas of the Site;
d) The dates by which the Contractor reasonably requires any Materials, services, or work to be provided by the Principal, the Engineer, or any Separate Contractors; and
e) Any other requirements set out in the Special Conditions.
A construction programme is a more detailed version of the contract programme. This programme is utilised onsite by the site management team as a daily/weekly check in and monitoring document. The construction programme will be updated in accordance with site actuals and forms the basis as a “contractor programme”. This is a document that can also be issued to the sub-contractors associated with the project as a guideline for their expectations.
Critical Path Method
The textbook definition of the critical path method is as follows; “the sequence of scheduled activities that determines the duration of the project.” It is the longest sequence of tasks in a project plan that must be completed on time in order for the project to meet its deadline. If there is a delay in any task on the critical path, then your whole project will be delayed. Although many projects have only one critical path, some projects may have multiple critical paths.
The critical path method is a step-by-step project management technique to identify activities on the critical path. It is an approach to project scheduling that breaks the project into several work tasks, displays them in a flow chart, and then calculates the project duration based on estimated durations for each task. It identifies tasks that are critical, time-wise, in completing the project.
Please Contact Williams Planning with any further questions in regards to programming basics.