reviewing a programme is more than just following a checklist…isn’t it?

Whether you use or prefer the terms schedule, programme, program or plan (or other), their purpose is to add value and assist in the planning and execution of the work.

Programme (schedule) reviews can be conducted at the outset and/or during the works. The purpose of the review is significantly important and can vary, so this needs to be clearly understood. However, primarily their purpose is to check the scope is incorporated, contract requirements are met, assist in effectively managing project costs and resources, monitoring and tracking progress.

Often Hayden Blaze is called in to provide such expert reviews. This can be done as a “member” of our client’s team, or as an external party.

This is all very simple and common stuff, right? Yet we have come across countless parties whose approach to a review is to follow a checklist, with the success of the engagement being how much they invoice. 

This approach (focusing on the checklist comment above) is flawed as the party commissioning the review is seeking and deserves an optimal level of value in the review, against the price it can afford. Now to the readers this approach would not seem like rocket science, so where is the disconnect when parties believe following a checklist provides appropriate value.

Perhaps the diagram above could be alternatively labelled Fees versus Value, but you get the message.

At Hayden Blaze we are not dismissing the use of checklists and have provided some guidance on “typical” things to investigate below. However, the aspects that are equally if not more important, are the qualitative aspects such as the robustness, veracity and achievability of the programme.



how we define quantitative versus qualitative

For the purposes of this article we use the term quantitative for elements which can be easily identified and explained via numbers or percentages using repeatable methods such as project management software. 

Conversely qualitative is referring to the specifics of the project at hand and its nuances. We recognise there might be qualitative similarities across projects such as a building with a single tower versus another building with two towers,  but even in this simple example the scope is different, dates are different, the contract is different, etc. So these (and any other) project, need to be analysed accordingly and the aspects needing to be considered can not be spat out as numeric “answers” using software filters.



so what is hayden blaze’s value

Typically consultants are good at running software, increasingly with fantastic looking outputs, to check the quantitative aspects, but that is only half (at best) of the picture. At Hayden Blaze we believe a programme/schedule review must investigate both the quantitative and qualitative components, to provide maximum value. 

Examples of the broad criteria we look at are identified below but our edge is we know construction, we know project management and we are thorough. We listen to what client’s want and tailor accordingly. We take note of whether it is a first review or subsequent review (which may require comparison) and we are consistently looking for additional value-add, project specific, opportunities. Each project is different and therefore each review is never the same. 

Our reviews are live, dynamic and more meaningful than simply ticking boxes. We are value.



what do we look at from a qualitative perspective

  • Scope;
  • Work Breakdown Structure;
  • Contract Requirements;
  • Critical Path;
  • Key Dates;
  • Key assumptions;
  • Durations;
  • Sequencing (generally speaking and aligning with construction methodology);
  • Resourcing (including machinery);
  • Logistics:
  • Supply chain;
  • Design requirements and process;
  • Construction/commissioning overlap;
  • Access and interface requirements; 
  • Is it a progress review (one programme versus an earlier one(s)); and
  • Numerous other things. 
  • NB – we regularly incorporate independent progress status updates but these are not considered in detail in this article.


what do we look at from a quantitative perspective

  • Logic (nothing without a predecessor or successor);
  • Use of constraints (ideally none); 
  • Calendars (their application and do they reflect the intended working hours);
  • Activity types;
  • Relationship types;
  • Lags/leads;
  • Float values – nothing negative and not too excessive

While there are common traits across reviews, there is also so much more. What matters is what you want and need. After all it is your project. 

there is the price you pay and the value you get. Unfortunately not all consultants were created equal. you can trust us to assist your project being a blazing success.

Contact Hayden Blaze so we can discuss value and tailor a solution with you.