Project Management

Benefits with Risk

Risks are all over your project, from the birth of the idea to completion. Maximize benefits with true risk management of your project. In this blog, I bring ideas, some basic level of knowledge on key project subjects. I try to have everything identical in English and French.

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Negotiation - Bidder | Négociation - Exécutant

Negotiation - Bidder | Négociation - Exécutant

Negotiation — Bidders

Your proposal has been chosen. Before signing the contract, it is often desirable to negotiate. You have no doubt denounced/qualified certain conditions of the request for tender and you have suggested modifications. You will have to assert each of your requests.

Each call for tenders often contains points that do not suit you, regardless of the field of business. Here are some examples that might make you think.

For example, your project is in engineering and/or construction. Soil conditions are identified as your responsibility. The reality is that the land on which the work will be carried out belongs to the client. Although some analyzes have been done, you are not sure what will be present during the excavation. You need to minimize the risks associated with this uncertainty. Several surprises can surface, soil contamination, the quality of soil lift are factors that can influence your work. For engineering, will the foundations have to be modified following the excavation? For construction, you may have to decontaminate or transport the soil to specialize and more expensive places, specify in the contract will absorb the increased costs. Have the engineering plans been modified to take into account the factors revealed during the excavation?

No doubt you had included an additional budget in your proposal. It is up to you to decide whether it is better to negotiate a minimized transfer of responsibility, eliminate this risk or simply accept it.

In information technology, other types of uncertainties exist. Do the data have to be transferred from an existing system for commissioning? There may be an exchange of information with other existing systems or will have to run on equipment already in place. Will you be responsible for the poor performance of the product of your project even if it is linked to your client’s installations?

It is important to identify who will be responsible for the execution, for example, the preparation of the data that will be transferred and when it is available.

 In all projects, the client will have to approve certain documents or information. Is the approval time indicated? Will the consequences of not respecting the deadline have consequences in your realization of the project? It is desirable to specify in the contract the impacts that this will cause you.

The stakeholder you negotiated with may not be the same throughout the project. You must ensure that everything is written in the contract. Remember that this will be your basis for negotiation or the legal reference which will be used in a complaint.

#NégociationNégociation — Exécutant

Votre proposition a été choisie. Avant de signer le contrat, il est souvent souhaitable de négocier. Vous avez sans doute dénoncé/qualifié certaines conditions de l’appel d’offres et vous avez suggéré des modifications. Il vous faudra faire valoir chacune de vos demandes.

Chaque appel d’offres contient souvent des points qui ne vous conviennent pas et ce peu importe le domaine d’affaires. Voici quelques exemples qui pourraient vous faire réfléchir. 

Par exemple votre projet est en ingénierie et/ou construction. Les conditions de sol sont identifiées comme étant de votre responsabilité. La réalité est que le terrain sur lequel les travaux seront réalisés appartiennent au client. Bien que certaines analyses aient été faites, vous n’avez pas la certitude de ce qui sera présent lors de l’excavation. Il vous faut minimiser les risques associés à cette incertitude. Plusieurs surprises peuvent faire surface, la contamination des sols, la qualité de portance du sol sont des facteurs qui pourront influencer vos travaux. Pour l’ingénierie les fondations devront-elles être modifiées suite à l’excavation ? Pour la construction, vous aurez peut-être à décontaminer ou à transporter les sols dans des endroits spécialisés et plus dispendieux, préciser au contrat absorbera l’augmentation des coûts. Les plans d’ingénierie auront-ils été modifiés pour tenir compte des facteurs révélés durant l’excavation ?

Vous aviez sans doute prévu un budget supplémentaire dans votre proposition. C’est à vous de voir s’il est préférable de négocier un transfert de responsabilité ainsi minimisée, éliminer ce risque ou simplement l’accepter.

En technologie de l’information, d’autres types d’incertitudes existent. Est-ce que pour la mise en service les données doivent être transférées d’un système existant ? Il y aura peut-être un échange d’informations avec les autres systèmes existants, ou devra fonctionner sur un équipement déjà en place. Serez-vous responsable de la mauvaise performance du produit de votre projet même si cela est lié aux installations de votre client ?

Il est important d’identifier qui sera responsable de l’exécution, par exemple la préparation des données qui seront transférées et le moment où celle-ci seront disponible.

Dans tous les projets, le client aura à approuver certains documents ou informations. Est-ce que le délai d’approbation est bien indiqué ? Les conséquences du non-respect du délai auront-elles des conséquences dans votre réalisation du projet ? Il est souhaitable de préciser au contrat les impacts que cela vous causera. 

L’intervenant avec qui vous négociez ne sera peut-être pas le même tout au long du projet. Vous devez vous assurer que tout est écrit au contrat. N’oubliez pas que ce sera votre base de négociation ou la référence légale qui servira dans une réclamation.

Posted on: January 01, 2020 10:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Automation, AI - How could they affect you?

In a recent study "Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How machines are affecting people and places". Some interesting information is available. 

The jobs that seem to have more potential for automation are the one that doesn't require a Bachelor's degree.  Not that surprising.

Project management does not specifically name, some close relatives will be "Management" and "Business" with a relatively low level of automation. 

Some jobs in project management will be affected, more specifically "Administration" that doesn't require a bachelor degree.

Other jobs that are identified will be more specific by industry.

Some interesting information.

The study was made for the USA only, love to see WW study



Study available -

related in HBR May-June 2019 paper issue, p26 there is an interesting graph about the study.

Posted on: April 18, 2019 08:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Lesson to be learned from renovation of historical landmark - Updated

Has of writing this we don't know much about the source of the terrible fire, that ravage Notre-Dame of Paris.

Notre-Dame was started in 1163 the construction lasted about 200 years, many generations participated in the construction. It is a part of humanity heritage, part of many stories that we all know such as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame". A terrible loss for human history, part of Unesco World Heritage Center. Notre-Dame

My first impression is that the construction/renovation happening on the building might be at the source of the blaze. Many old structures need to undergo a major renovation. That is not without risk.


All around the world-historical structure need to go through a renovation cycle from time to time. In the process of those project do we put enough security? Who should be responsible for ensuring that enough resources are considered for fire risk? We have to be reminded that many of those historical structures consist of an important quantity of wood. Wood should I remind you is highly flammable, especially old dry wood.


Hopefully in the case of Notre-Dame the external structure, the part in stone, will be saved. That is the initial evaluation. Rebuilding will be a daunting project, likely over 10 years of work.


Everybody that is involved in a similar project should double check the risk mitigation that is planned in the project. I can think of two projects that would go into a similar rework the city hall here in Montréal and the Parliament in Ottawa are just starting this kind of work. The Voltigeurs de Québec Armory structure was in this kind of renovation, you guessed it a fire also destroyed the wooden structure in 2008.


In any case, I'm not blaming anyone, a project is the work of many people.

We should learn from those terrible events. How many of other historical landmarks can we lose before learning?


Were there similar events in your region? What were the lessons learned?


A study made by Didier Rykner in France reveals that 50% of church fire is during renovation work, so associated with construction work. Should there be more lessons learned from that?



Some resources I found concerning fire risk in renovation

If you don't know about Notre-Dame

And the fire

Posted on: April 15, 2019 10:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Risk management, not crisis management

Categories: Crisis, Risk, Risks Management

The temperature, yes the temperature, in itself is not a risk. What is a risk is the events triggered by this temperature. In the last few days, the weather forecasts announced heavy precipitation accompanied by sustained winds accompanied by gusts. It was a certainty, not an unexpected and sudden event. Risk management involves identifying future events and their impacts.

Having weather forecasts in hand, problematic scenarios could be established. A significant snow accumulation in a short period of time, accompanied by severe wind blowing, increases the threat of accidents and pile-ups.

Sound risk management requires that the various scenarios be identified in a mitigation plan and emergency measures. Responsible authorities must then provide for material and human resources as well as operational procedures to mitigate their impacts and minimize the time the crisis lasts. So, establish risk mitigation plans and crisis management plans potentially.

In light of the information I have, a highway in the urban centre (A13 near Montréal airport) was the scene of a foreseeable event, or close to 300 vehicles were blocked from 8 pm to 8 am the next day. So for about 12 hours, people had to wait for the cold in their vehicles, without any communication with the responsible authorities concerned.

In short, an event for which, if a mitigation plan had been prepared, it has obviously not been put into action.

Losses, which have by no means caused any casualties, are obviously multiple, and shared mainly between the owners of the vehicles involved. In addition to material losses, the loss of confidence in the responsible authorities should not be underestimated, as they will have to urgently mobilize significant resources (human and financial) to carry out the post-mortem of the event and, Development of a mitigation plan.

It is a loss for society in general that could have been greatly diminished with an intervention plan/communication, initiated by a sound management of risk. There is no doubt that the actions would have been implemented quickly.

Montreal Gazette

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Twitter @vguerard


Posted on: March 16, 2017 01:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Risk management to avoid unpleasant surprises!

In preparing your invitations to tender unidentified risks become potential additional costs, by increasing delays, poor quality or any other deviance.

In recent months, Canada Post has made headlines for the second generation of mailboxes that have been installed. The first generation did not have a significant locking problem. Undoubtedly when the tender of service the requirements were not specific enough. The new generation was awarded to a Texas firm, which is unfamiliar with winter conditions.

The locks of a large part of the million new boxes have to be replaced, where they are installed. An operation that will be expensive, who will have to suffer the costs of this replacement?

The identification of the risks associated with the use of such boxes should have identified this problem. This would have made it possible to choose an action in the face of risks. Several scenarios would have avoided such a situation, for example:

— Define the context of usage of the mailboxes so that the manufacturer is then responsible for the non-performance of the product.

— A technical requirement of the lock with specifications such that the problem cannot exist, Canada Post would then be responsible for choosing the right specification.

Article originally posted on LinkedIn

Posted on: December 05, 2016 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal."

- Pablo Picasso