The "Art" of Contracting - Contract Management

Is it part of Project Management, Construction, Procurement and Contracts, Corporate Legal or any other department or business unit? Depending on which industry one comes from it can be any of these or none. However in my experience on MEGA Projects particularly in The Middle East it becomes an integral part of Project management. It is ever more important the larger the Project and skilled practitioners are also needed, who have all round business operations capabilities to handle the challenges.

In many Companies however Contract Management gets left to the Corporate Legal Teams which in my view misses the whole point of its importance. The whole Project Team is responsible for Contract Management, not just the Contract Manager!

Contract management on successful Projects is where the whole team have taken on the ethos and practices in full. Many Project teams these days are multi-national with team members from many different nationalities and often very different training backgrounds and cultures. It is imperative therefore that early team induction on Contract Management is undertaken so as to get everyone to the same level of understanding and performance. At no time can the " it's not my job" attitude be allowed to prevail and needs to be dealt with by Management at an early stage.

There are ever increasing pressures that Saudisation or Emiritisation (or any other 'isation that comes to mind) bring to Projects regarding manpower etc. It is therefore very necessary to ensure that new starts to the Construction Industries are given a good grounding in the importance of good contract management. Highly intelligent and motivated, these young people are the future in their Countries. It is therefore imperative that adoption of best practices is undertaken early in their on the job training. After all many of these individuals do not have much work experience. In fact often with less than 5 years experience of the job. Therefore an imperative is that a good mentoring resource is provided to ensure success.

A sample induction presentation has been attached. This has been used on a number of occasions throughout my career and has been helpful in kick starting the process of understanding. Does you Company use something similar? When did you last look at it and use it?

Obviously this article can only be a simplification of the whole process but hopefully it gives rise to fruitful discussion.

Gavin McCully.


Art of Contracting Project management Contract management

About the author

Gavin McCully

Managing Consultant at OLEO Middle East FZC

Saudi Arabia,

38 years International Management, Contracting, Operations, Procurement and Proposals practice within the Transportation, Water, Petro-chemical, Nuclear, Oil/Gas and Civil Marine Industries in the United Kingdom and Middle East


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