The next step: when project controls and contract management meet

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Ghali El Samad
Ghali El Samad
Project Controls Engineer at Proove

As project controls experts, we strive towards preventing claims. Unfortunately, contracting parties still frequently end up in conflict. A broad general knowledge of project controls techniques helps my clients to strengthen their position. My certification in ‘claim preparation and dispute management’ also gives me a strong theoretical framework in this area.

Applied knowledge

Proove and AfiTaC join forces

Proove and AfiTaC experts create synergies between project controls and contract management services.

A partnership between Proove and Afitac is a sensible next step. We both work on complex and large-scale projects and share similar values. We strive towards long-term relationships with our partners and clients and focus on adding value to their projects. Our shared values are all about professionality, integrity and constructive collaboration. The different angle by which we address project challenges is where the true synergy lies. Proove sets forth analytical methods and has mastered proven and innovative project controls techniques and tools. Afitac deals with contractual aspects in all project phases and brings lots of contract management maturity to the project team.

As both Proove and Afitac are growing in knowledge and skills within their domains, the relation between these domains becomes ever more evident. Recognizing this, the time has come to forge collaboration to provide the next level of services to clients and projects. We are determined to help successfully deliver projects in a controlled manner and to maximize value for our partners.

Data

As Proove, we specialize in project controls for megaprojects and project organizations. We are market leader in our home-market Belgium and breaking through internationally. We build on the skills of our top-engineers and focus on staying ahead of the market by heavily investing in knowledge development.

Neutrality

Afitac provides contract management services to clients in the project businesses. We work for Project Owners, Contractors and Engineers/Contract Administrators. Therefore, we strive to keep a balanced approach between the parties and to avoid disputes thanks to transparency, open communication and anticipation. To achieve this, we need to rely on excellent project records, which are the result of solid project controls.

Change control: the link between project controls and contract management

The most obvious place where contract management and project controls meet, is change control:

A project schedule is a model of the project developed through Project Controls. Such a model – the schedule – is subject to change and the same applies for the budget. With project controls procedures, techniques and tools we identify, measure and classify changes. Change can occur at different levels and we consider a level 2 change to impact the contractual boundaries time, cost, scope and/or risk.

At Proove we advocate for an integral project controls approach in which those elements are linked. Project controls professionals analyze the impact of change on schedule and budget. Contract management then deals with the contractual implications of such change and safeguards each party’s rights under the contract.

How do we align project controls and contract management?

Both contract management and project controls require setting out a strategy. Aligning these strategies with the project management strategy is crucial for project success. Recent developments in both worlds show an increased focus on collaboration (which can be one of the foundations of a chosen strategy). Modern contracts seek not to ambush the other contracting parties and use simpler structure and terminology with less unnecessary references between clauses. Also risk allocation is done early in the process and to the party that is best positioned to manage the risk. Modern standard contracts, like the NEC 4 (UK) and UAV (NL), are a step in that direction.

In that same sense, Proove promotes project controls strategies that are about transparency and open communication. We implement techniques and tools that adhere to this philosophy, encouraging interaction between the parties at all levels (to avoid unnecessary escalation). Project management and the contract should facilitate this.

A simple example to clarify this is about the choice for a lump sum or cost-plus contract. The set project controls strategy should follow this choice. For a lump sum contract, the employer should be less focused on the close follow up of the books of the contractor. This has consequences for cost control methods and progress monitoring. If a cost-plus contract is chosen, strong alignment between project controls procedures (and techniques and tool-implementation) should be established between the contracting parties. If this is not done carefully, you might end up in exhausting discussions.

Next-level project controls and contract management on your project!

The challenges faced by (mega)projects these days are daunting. We recommend you to involve experienced and skilled professionals to support you with what they are best at. Thanks to our new partnership between Proove and Afitac, we are now able to support you in the related domains of project controls and contract management. Reach out to our experts for advice. They are happy to share their knowledge and experience with you. Rely on our Academies to increase your staff’s awareness of project controls and contract management or ask for in-depth training on a specific subject. Have one or more of our engineers strengthen your project-team for an instant quality and expertise injection into your team!

Together we can make your project a success!

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