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Top Tips - Part 1 (1 to 5)

[Read Part 2 here]

  1. Keep consistent progress monitoring records that can be related back to the programme

Progress records should be detailed enough to record the activity being progressed, the labour, plant and materials being used without being too overly burdensome that foreman / supervisors don't use the form. Delays or events which prevent the works from progressing as planned should also be recorded. Photographs are also very useful but these should be filed in a co-ordinated filing system. Progress records should be accurate to ensure that if a retrospective analysis is required, they can be relied upon. Records must be maintained for the duration of the works with no gap periods, i.e. from the day you start the first works to the day you leave site. Consideration should be given to how records will be kept during leave periods of supervisors and as the site presence decreases.

  1. Don't change task codes and keep philosophy of the programme consistent

If task / activity codes are used these should be kept throughout the life of the programme and subsequent revisions. Activities should also never be deleted or removed from the project, if the task is genuinely no longer part of the scope of works it should be reduced to 0days (i.e. a milestone) and marked and coded as such, ideally a note should be added as to why the task is no longer required.

  1. Monitor long lead items and major package works

We have seen numerous examples where work packages have not been procured on time leading to delay which is at best concurrent and sometimes on the main critical path and therefore culpable.

  1. Ensure the programme is properly logic linked with no open ends

All activities should generally have a predecessor and a successor with no open ends (save for start and finish milestones / activities). The use of 'Start-to-Start' and 'Finish-to-Finish' relationships should only be used where absolutely necessary, Finish-to-Start relationships are preferable. 'Start-to-Finish' relationships should be avoided as should negative lags on relationships. 'Finish-to-Finish' relationships as the only dependency on an activity should also not be used. Mandatory finish constraints should also not be used as the alter the way in which a programme reacts if revised, in a large programme these are often entered but later missed when updates are entered. By correctly logic linking the programme it should be possible to determine the critical path, even if this is not disclosed externally. Whilst the critical path is important, any focus on it should not be at the expense of other activities by 'taking the eye off the ball'. Any critical path, indeed any logic path of activities, should be sanity checked for common sense.

  1. Keep documents registers for all project records

A full document register should be developed to record the existence of all project documentation, dates, to, from, its location in hard / soft copy form and any necessary actions.

[Read Part 2 here]

Key Contact
Tim Ellis

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