Critical Path International


Ensuring Construction and Engineering Programme Requirements are Implemented Effectively

Increasingly Construction Contracts are placing greater emphasis on maintaining an up to date programme throughout the construction period. The programme is a key document for administering the contract. It enables the Project Manager and Contractor to monitor progress and to assess the time and cost effects of compensation events. Inadequate Programme Management can therefore have profoundly adverse effects on project delivery.

The Problem

Whilst the importance of the programme under NEC 3 may be recognised by many, in practice the required Programme Management and coordination required is often difficult to achieve. Programmes produced are often inaccurate leading to time and cost being measured against erroneous benchmarks and the internal planning capability of project organisations varies considerably. Construction organisations often face time and resource pressures which inhibit the proper consideration of the programme and it can be difficult for clients and project managers to clearly identify if programmes are accurate and feasible. There is also an inherent problem in the communication of the programme information to relevant project participants

The Solution

The solution to the problem is to ensure the requirements of the NEC 3 are adhered to as closely as possible.These are simply good practice principles of Programme Management. Critical path have successfully facilitated such effective Programme Management on a range of projects, working with the project team to establish accurate and achievable programmes which are properly structured and accurately represent the intended build method and build sequence at the time. By introducing measures to ensure progress is recorded accurately and programmes updated regularly, effective project monitoring and project control can be achieved.

Critical Path’s Role

CPL work with the team augmenting planning functions and undertaking independent assessments as required. Frequently our role on NEC 3 projects is to ensure the integrity of the programme and to be responsible for the monthly programme updates and reports. We also assess the effect of compensation events regarding delay, disruption and associated costs. Once appropriate project control procedures are in place these assessments can be undertaken quickly and efficiently towards the end of each monthly update period and the results communicated clearly to relevant participants.


  • Independent programme reviews prior to acceptance
    • Programme integrity checks
    • Build method/ sequence reviews
  • Development of contractually compliant programmes
    • In relation to Clauses 30-36 and relevant Options
  • Establish effective management / control procedures
    • Progress monitoring and checks
  • Recording/ documenting project change events
  • Delay / compensation event analysis
    • Impact of events on time and cost
  • Development & implementation of mitigation strategies
    • Development of what if scenarios
    • Risk assessment


  • Increased client trust/ confidence in programmes presented
  • Clear communication of project progress
  • Independent assessment of programmes and progress by CPL. No ulterior motives
  • Increased likelihood of timely project delivery
  • Ability to mitigate delays as and when they occur
  • Accurately assess costs of mitigation strategies
  • Better use and reporting of Programme data (e.g Earned Value)
  • Ongoing recording of change events with which to rebut un-warranted claims