Project Management

3 Keys to Better Contract Management for Project Managers

Dr. David Jones is a project management consultant, experienced in helping teams excel. His passion is transforming complex problems into real-world working solutions, making a difference for his clients.

Anyone wanting to know the official start of a project may well look to when a contract was signed. After all, projects always start with a signed contract detailing all expectations and deliverables required to meet outcomes.

Yet it is not always considered a necessary role in the project management profession. Many project, program and portfolio management frameworks regard contract management as a discrete function to be performed, when necessary, by a project manager even if they have limited commercial experience or exposure to it. That is why contract management is a challenging concern within our field.

In some respects, a contract has a lifecycle of its own (as described in Gregory Leveau’s 2013 book Pratique Du Contract Management), requiring careful oversight to manage the analysis of it, minimize risks, and maximize performance for successful project delivery.

As prescribed in the Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s eight principles for project success, having a contract that clearly stipulates the products/outcomes that will be delivered is a key success criteria. It helps to set expectations with stakeholders and acts as the baseline of a project.

As projects progress, contract variations and amendments will change the delivery, so project management becomes intrinsically linked to contract management—along with other typical P3M …


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