A Comparison and Contrast Between Contract Management and Project Management (Part 1)

Steve is the founder and president of Contract Management Solutions Group (Products & Services Group, and Education Group). He is a published author and educator on integrating project management discipline into contract management.

Welcome to this two-part article where we’ll examine the contract management (CM) profession and its people, processes, tools and key success factors. Its objective is to give you a basic understanding of the CM profession and their associations, roles, methods and tools, and success factors for managing their contracts to successful outcomes.

Comparing contracts to projects
Contracts and projects share many attributes:

  • both start out as a need and requirement
  • both have stakeholders
  • both require authorization or agreement before they can begin
  • both have sponsors, managers and teams responsible for their performance
  • both have associations with operational guides dedicated to their management
  • both use a standard methodology and discipline for management
  • both are related and usually interdependent on each other
  • both are critical to accomplishing the business’ objective (mission)

Since contracts and projects share so many similarities and are interdependent, doesn’t it make sense to learn more about each other’s profession, their management methods and their success factors? Couldn’t we also learn from each other’s failures or lack of success and the reasons why?

Is there anything from all of this that we can apply to our PM roles, organizations or projects? Yes, …

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"I don't like work - no man does - but I like what is in the work - the chance to find yourself."

- Joseph Conrad