Last edited 22 Jan 2018

How progress is agreed in construction

Contents

[edit] Introduction

Agreeing how much progress has been made at various stages or a construction project ensures the main parties to the contract are aware of how the programme is proceeding, it can assist in calculating payments due, and it can help identify potential difficulties and avoid delays and disputes.

There are a number of ways in which progress can be assessed and reported.

[edit] Project programmes

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. They will typically identify:

  • The start date, completion date and the date the programme was prepared.
  • Dates and durations allocated to specific tasks.
  • A critical path.
  • Tasks which can only be carried out after other tasks have been completed.
  • Tasks which can be carried out simultaneously.
  • 'Float' within tasks that are not on the critical path (that is, delays that can be incurred without affecting the critical path).
  • The need for specific resources such as plant, services or materials and their lead time.

Programmes do not normally form part of the contract documents, but rather are indicative tools for administering the project and helping to agree progress.

Contracts may require that the contractor provides a master programme for the construction of the works, but again, as this is produced after the execution of the contract, it does not impose any obligation on the contractor beyond those obligations already imposed by the contract documents.

For more information see: Project programme and Contractor's master programme.

[edit] Contractual obligations

Some contracts (such as the New Engineering Contract) may include key dates by which specific milestones or conditions must be met, and the contractor may have a duty to give early warning of anything that may delay the works. The contractor may also be under an obligation to proceed ‘regularly and diligently’ with the works.

[edit] Progress meetings

Progress will typically be assessed at regular construction progress meetings, attended by the contractor and the consultant team, providing an opportunity to:

Progress meetings typically generate a construction progress report for the client.

For more information, see Construction progress meeting and Construction progress report.

[edit] Interim payments.

The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act stipulates that interim or stage payments are due to any party to a construction contract that has a duration of more than 45 days. Therefore, almost all constructions contain provisions for interim payments.

Contracts should also include clauses that detail:

  • The valuation method for payments.
  • Criteria under which interim payments will be made.
  • Payment timings.
  • Administrative rules to which those undertaking the valuation should adhere.

The basis of the valuing interim payments will vary depending on the terms of the contract, but may include:

For more information see: Interim valuation.

[edit] Key performance indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurable values that can be used to assess how effectively a project, or part of a project are performing. This might include project progress.

Where key performance indicators are to be used on a project, it is important that they are identified in tender documentation and that the regular provision of the information required to assess them is a requirement of the contract. This may be of particular importance where the contract stipulates that the contractor will be rewarded or penalised based on their performance relative to certain indicators.

For more information, see Key performance indicators.

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