Last edited 21 Mar 2016

Short period programme

Programmes describe the sequence in which tasks must be carried out so that a project, or part of a project, can be completed on time.

When deciding on the amount of detail that is required on a programme, it is important to consider what the programme is for. Senior management may require a more detailed breakdown, while operational management may require details of activities on a day-to-day basis. The level of planning tends to become more detailed as the project progresses, and once the contract stage is reached many contractors will prepare short period programmes.

Short-term or short period programmes allow the overall construction programme to be broken down into specific time periods that can then be scheduled in much greater detail.

On refurbishment or renovation projects of a relatively short duration, Short period programmes may be prepared on a daily basis for each trade employed on the project. On large projects, the short period programme may, in effect, act as a sub-programme that keeps the master programme up to date.

For example, a programme covering 3 weeks’ work might be produced, and at the end of the first week of this programme, another 3-week programme prepared for the following period that reflects progress, problems and any changes to be made.

Short period programmes offer the contractor a better means of controlling day-to-day operations on site and act as a useful method of communication between the site manager, the foreman, subcontractors and trades. They can also be used in toolbox talks in order to engage the workforce with the health and safety implications of the programme.

The short period programme may be prepared by a site-based planning engineer or construction manager. The main objectives of the short period programme are:

  • To assist in the coordination of operations in the short term, especially when considering the continuity of work for trades and subcontractors.
  • To keep the master contract programme under constant review.
  • To highlight information requirements in the short term in order to meet planned completion dates for each stage of the work.
  • To assess key material requirements.
  • To keep senior site management informed of progress.

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[edit] External references

  • ‘Construction Planning, Programming and Control’ (3rd ed.), COOKE, B., WILLIAMS, P., Wiley-Blackwell (2009)