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Chartered Institute of Building launches the CIOB Planning Protocol 2021

Posted: 22/02/2021


Two years in the making, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has launched its new CIOB Planning Protocol 2021 (also known as CIOB PP21 and with a working title of the CIOB Programming Protocol).

In the construction industry, a programme shows the order and duration of tasks required to progress a project from start to finish and includes key dates and constraints. CIOB PP21 has been designed by a team of experts as a tool for construction parties to use to determine if the construction programme they create and maintain is precise and of a high quality at every stage.

Good programmes develop through an iterative, collaborative process. They are effective planning tools that can guide the project, as well as serve as a means of recording the progress and performance throughout the delivery period. An accurate and detailed programme can also assist with and defuse any time-related arguments that may arise. Unfortunately, most programmes aren’t fit-for-purpose and are often put together without suitable teamwork or care.

CIOB PP21 remedies this by setting out criteria and associated thresholds that must be applied to the programme to make sure that quality and consistency are achieved. It differs from existing planning guides, which are predominately software-focused assessments of the programme and are not designed for the mainstream construction industry. Its principal aim is to aid users in their understanding of the requirements of an effective programme and to act as planning guidelines which, if followed, allow the thresholds (stress tests) to be met.

The pass/fail nature of these stress tests is more demanding than those of other existing planning guides. For example, the production of a programme narrative, a valuable accompaniment to the programme, allows key assumptions to be explained.

CIOB PP21 is not merely a checklist for software applications but a vital component and benchmark for producing a high-quality programme. Its stress tests have already been incorporated into leading planning software packages as of last year (such as Elecosoft’s Powerproject) so it is immediately ready for use.

CIOB PP21 has been devised for the mainstream construction industry and can be incorporated into standard form and bespoke construction agreements alike. Finally, it is capable of being used on a broad range of projects as its various tests are easily adaptable to suit any project, whatever its level of complexity.

Manoj Bahl, senior managing director of construction solutions at FTI Consulting and co-author of the CIOB Planning Protocol 2021, said: “The CIOB Planning Protocol 2021 is a practical tool for use by a project team when assessing the quality and suitability of a construction programme. It offers a set of clearly established standards to apply to a programme and allows for a simplified system of assessment.”

Penningtons Manches Cooper construction partner Francis Ho, who is chair of the CIOB’s Contract and Procurement Special Interest Group and was involved in producing CIOB PP21, added: “The CIOB Planning Protocol 2021 is an exciting initiative to raise standards by creating a mainstream industry template for collaborating on construction programmes. With a central premise based on rating programmes through pass/fail tests, it is simple to understand for contractors and clients alike. It’s a tool that all contractors and clients should seriously think about adopting.”

Richard Ormerod, industry sector manager at Elecosoft (which publishes the scheduling software application Powerproject), commented: “We at Elecosoft welcome the CIOB Planning Protocol 2021 and have already integrated it within our Powerproject scheduling software. As a consequence, the Schedule Quality Check is widely in use, enabling planners to use this tool to check if their plan complies with its standards.”

The CIOB Planning Protocol 2021 is available free of charge and can be downloaded from the CIOB’s website here.


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