Services to Designers and Architects

Having worked for both clients and contractors we understand that the role of Architect or designer is not the easiest one as you hold the middle ground. This is particularly difficult when the role of Contract administrator is added. We understand that in some circumstances the role of CA is both inappropriate and inconvenient for the design team, and this would be best carried out by a Project Manager. We are happy to work independently or within your own organization providing this resource and freeing up your time to concentrate on your core strengths.

To the left are the range of services we can provide.

Programme Management

Generally ‘programmes’ or ‘activity charts’ are often misunderstood and misused. All programmes must have the following characteristics;

  • Clear start date and completion dates
  • A clear critical path or paths
  • Clearly defined milestone dates
  • Allocation of responsibility
  • All non working period shown
  • Pre construction activities shown as well as construction activities

A good ‘project programme’ will include a ‘Pre construction’ phase as well as a ‘Construction’ phase.

Pre construction activities are as important if not more important than construction activities which rely solely upon them for success. Many of these are the responsibility of the client and /or designer.

Key activities in pre construction include ‘Outline Design and consent applications’ ‘Design development’ and ‘Procurement’. Without a ‘complete’ design the costs and time scale can not be accurately given just estimated and ‘Subject to change’.

We can prepare the following planning documents:

  • Tender Programmes (for tender return submissions)
  • Construction issue programmes (developed from Tender issue programme)
  • Pre-construction programmes - including design release and procurement – these are linked to the construction programme
  • Progress update reports against a set baseline
  • Filtered activity programmes for specific trades or suppliers

"There is such a thing as an unrealistic timescale."


Cost Planning & Control

Cost planning and control includes;

  • Preparation of ‘Project Cost Plan’
  • Preparation of pricing document for tendering
  • Tender Analysis, interviews and recommendation of main contractor
  • Monitoring and reporting costs against ‘Project Cost Plan’

Cash flow forecast

Project Progress Monitoring and Reporting

Programmes are essential project documents but there use is limited unless they are regularly monitored and where appropriate updated to show the true timescale. Only then can you have a realistic overview of the progress of you project as a ‘snap shot’ in time.

Reporting can be done in a number of ways to best serve the project and communicate to the stakeholders.

Critical Path Analysis is vital for accurate reporting. The critical path or paths may change throughout the course of the project and these changes need to be identified as early as possible to achieve the earliest completion date.

"Furious activity does not necessarily equate to progress and is no substitute for understanding."

View typical project timeline View project plan

Procurement Management & Information Release

The preconstruction phase of any project is as important if not more important than the actual construction phase.

Planning the work its design and making sure the cost plan fits together with the planned works is essential before work commences. Most project which have difficulties is usually due to the fact that this phase was not carried out thoroughly or it was assumed that 'it will be ok'.

With out the planning phase being carried out with due diligence the project is left open to 'chance' and risks are inevitable. Procurement of long lead-in items is all part of this phase; firstly recognizing what these items are and fitting them into the time schedule (or programme) to ensure that they are all ordered in time to meet the construction programme. Procuring critical items too late will create delays to the project.

Hence the old adage of the 6 'P's':

"Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance"

Contract Administration & Document Control

Projects are administered by the issuing of documents (drawings specifications and schedules) for planning consent, costing, information & finally construction.

This process needs carefully managing throughout the project as the information is subject to ‘change’ at any time and for a number of factors.

Changes in the project information are dynamic and can lead to mistakes, additional cost and delays. (See change management / Risk Management).

Change & Risk Management

Risk Management is simply the recognition of factors which have the most to the project in terms of additional cost or added time. These risks may well change as the project progresses and as things change. New risk may appear as old risks disappear.

Change management is the process of making a change in the project in a controlled and managed way. Changes are almost inevitable in all projects and can take many forms:

  • Financial Budgets changes either +ive or - ive.
  • Spatial and or Design priorities
  • Planning constraints or limitations
  • 3rd party or outside influences
  • Time constraints or delays
  • Material availability

Extension Of Time Assesment

Preparation of EoT claim with full supporting information relating to critical path of contract programme.

Analysis of EoT claims, in exactly the same way as these are prepared these can be analysed and assessed.

Inspirational text