Construction program (or a bar chart) is a must for a contractor to submit and get approved by the consultant within a prescribed duration after signing the contract agreement. Most of the Conditions of Contracts stipulate the time duration for the submission of the program and getting the approval. Once it is approved, it becomes the approved baseline program for the project. In the program, all of the activities must be identified, as they are all necessary to complete the project. Furthermore, this process involves establishing the time and cost for each activity, ultimately leading to the total time and cost of the project.

It is the responsibility of the contractor to develop the construction program for the project, detailing overall sequence of construction activities. Each construction activity is then identified and assigned to a construction party, who identifies what is included in its scope of work and what related activities are not included. This identification process is critical for the contractor to know what activities have not been assigned and could result in delays in late appointment.

During the project planning phase, the contractor would engage its planning team for the task and handover the BOQ, the drawings and other relevant documents of the project to the planning team. At this stage the planning team should consider the type of contract as agreed, as it will be useful to make proper planning. The type of the contract could be; tender based, lumpsum, or utilizing a not-to-exceed value, or paying for the cost of the work plus a fixed fee or any other method.

During this phase, the construction parties must review the contract documents for the methodologies, procedures, problems, and timely recruiting labor, getting equipment and material within the initial stages of the project location. They must assess availability of equipment, suppliers of material and manufacturers of construction components. Since all construction projects must meet the requirements of a regulatory governmental or local agencies, or the municipalities, and the contractor is generally entrusted with obtaining all necessary permits.

Preparing the project program requires experienced planning engineers having local knowledge. They need to pay great attention to all the construction activities and its methodologies. Also they must search and establish locally available subcontractors and suppliers prior to considering those who are far away from the project and foreign parties. One of the major tasks the planning team might face is scheduling activities which are special or have lack of understanding. Realistic Construction program is crucial for the success of a project. Any defect or an error would make substantial losses to the contractor or delay the project.

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