Recovery Programme: The usual way for an unusual action


By Pavan Sarvepalli


In my career spanning a little more than seven years, I haven’t seen a single project finish within the Scheduled Completion date. Of late, in my new role, I have been the unfortunate one of witnessing Contractor’s failure in achieving the elusive Scheduled Completion Date. Whilst the reasons may be many, one noticeable process during this whole project life cycle phase has been the quick intent or rather actions by Contractors to submit a Recovery Programme.

My personal understanding of a Recovery Programme is – “A programme (schedule) submitted solely with intent to cease the existing slippage in progress; improve the pace of works through sincere and realistic mitigation measures and thus create a circumstance for timely project completion”.

However, I am afraid to state that most of Contractor’s do not understand the essence of this Recovery Programme. Rather, I witness a particularly dangerous trend of Contractor’s using the excuse of Recovery Programme submission, solely to escape the barbs of the Client. An interesting example in relation to aspect was that in one of my projects, the Contractor had continued to slip as early as from Week # 3 since the commencement of the project. Noticeably, there was no Client delay impacting the Contractor’s progress. This trend in slippage continued to be observed and, therefore, served as a whipping tool for the Client. The Contractor in his usual way continued to sweeten his assurances in the weekly progress meeting and at a point when evident that this could not continue, embarked on a drive to showcase a Recovery Programme. All this Recovery Programme did was reigniting the Client’s hopes on achieving a Scheduled Completion though unrealistic.

Alarmingly, this Recovery Programme did not contain any increase in resources as part of the proposed mitigation measures. Time crashing of activities without any basis was a doomed feature. Yet, most of the project stakeholders, during this time, extended an invitation to their peers to showcase this circumstance in an altogether different perspective i.e. in a perspective which I did not understand until that point of time. I began to see an influx of Senior Management personnel coming over and beam with the achievement. An achievement which showcases a statistic of the project variance (delay) being ZERO. More often than not, it is a catchy phase where the actual progress may even be slightly higher than the planned progress.


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About the Author

pmwj27-oct2014-Sarvepalli-AUTHORPavan Sarvepalliflag-india


Pavan Sarvepalli is working for nearly seven years in the planning / scheduling domain in the Construction industry. Armed with a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering and post graduate studies in advanced construction management, Pavan started his professional career only in the year 2007. In his short career, Pavan has had opportunities to work and experience International projects and programs ranging from $ 5 million to over $5 billion. Pavan can be reached at [email protected].
To view other works by Pavan, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/pavan-sarvepalli/.