Upon the award of a contract, the contractor is usually required to submit a Baseline programme for approval within 30 to 45 days. Within this short duration, the contractor needs to develop the Baseline Programme that elaborates how he will fufil the scope of the project.
To develop the baseline programme, one must have a good appreciation of scope of the projects, site constraints and contract key dates. With a good appreciation of project scope, he shall develop the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) which is the framework of the programme. After which, he needs to work with the various packages leads to develop the details of the programme.
Baseline Programme is more detail than a tender programme. For example, the procurement of Substructure work can be broken down to different sub-packages such as Diaphragm wall, Piling, Structure work and so forth. Likewise, M&E work can be further broken down into various detail packages such as Electrical, Fire Protection, ACMV, Lift and so forth.
Besides, the Authorities Permitting activities need to be elaborated. Without considering the design and permitting activities, work on site cannot commence.
It is important that the planner has the general knowledge and flow of work so that he knows what information to be solicited, how are they are linked between groups of activities. Only when group of activities from various disciplines are put together and linked, then the critical paths can be ascertained. Many a times, the overall duration of the initial iterations of project schedule may not meet the completion date. As such, the durations and logics of the activities have to be reviewed and revised iteratively until activities are logically linked and still able to meet the respective contractual key dates.
To aid in the understanding of the programme, a programme narrative is necessary. It explains an overview of construction strategy, the breakdown structure, coding convention used, the assumptions made in the schedule and illustrations of sequences of work.