Every project that involves multi-disciplined teams require a level of forward planning far greater than any other job. Here at Regency Contracting, we’re used to forward planning with our clients, irrespective of what sector they’re serving. Whether it’s the healthcare, education, industry sectors, the project needs to be planned in great detail if it is to be a success.

But what do we mean by forward planning?

Well, this is the process by which we look at the project as a whole, decide on the strategy, the time scale, the materials that we’re going to use, take a detailed look at the supply chain and manage staffing to be able to keep on track to deliver the project on time and on budget.

It’s easier to look at the end date firstly and work back from that. It gives us an idea of what time frame we’re looking at. Project planning takes place in most businesses, and the construction industry is no different. It may come with different terminology, but the process of planning and implementing is still the same.

Considerations in Forward Planning

There are many considerations to take into account when forward planning a building project

  1. The time scale – is it realistic? How long will it realistically take to deliver the project?

2. The budget – prices are held for a certain amount of time, but if the project is delayed, the quotes and supply prices may vary, which could knock the budget out of the ball park.

3. The manpower – allowances have to be made for staff. Is the building project going to take place over the summer months? If so, contingency needs to be made for holidays

4. Time management – it often comes about that we’re working on other projects at the same time, so it’s important that we manage the work load with sufficient capacity to be able to be flexible with the workforce and not have them waiting for supplies on one job when they should be on another.

5. Supplies – If we order supplies at the start of the project, we can usually be confident that they will be delivered on time and on budget. Ordering supplies on an adhoc basis puts the price up, detrimentally affects the supply chain and reduces the efficiency of the workforce.

6. External personnel – very often we work with other external specialists within our projects, for example, Architects, Local Councils, specialist Contractors. It’s vital that these ancilliary personnel are available at the right time to keep the project flowing and on schedule.

7. Unforeseeable adverse circumstances – thought needs to be taken to consider any unforeseen, unpredictable events that could derail the project process. So, by identifying the critical aspects of the project, we can easily see where we need to add some ‘padding’. As an example, say for instance, the supply of concrete is late – the knock on effect would be that the work force is kept waiting, which means the timing of the project is pushed back. This has a ‘knock on’ effect to the rest of the project.

So, how can we prevent these problems arising in the first place? Well, with the process of forward planning, we can smooth out many of the potential pitfalls of project management.

There are many benefits to forward planning:

  1. Prices from suppliers are usually fixed, orders are submitted, stocks are allocated and delivery dates are booked
  2. Labour can be allocated effectively, taking into account annual leave, sickness etc
  3. Other projects workload can be managed well too. You’d get the most out of the workforce because it’s planned and methodical
  4. The project is completed on time and on budget.

In conclusion, the science of forward planning is essential for building projects, both small and large. Here at Regency Contracting, we have many years experience in forward planning. If you want more information about how we forward plan our projects, please see our recent works or call us on 01452 372229 or visit our website www.regencycontracting.co.uk