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‘The Man in the Middle’ CIArb SCL Seminar Buro Four 14 June 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "‘The Man in the Middle’ CIArb SCL Seminar Buro Four 14 June 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘The Man in the Middle’ CIArb SCL Seminar Buro Four 14 June 2013

2 Introduction Buro Four David Offord Russell Doughty

3 Summary Who is the Project Manager (PM) and what does he do? Does everyone have the same understanding? Progress: early warnings; execution; ‘broker’ Pressures (up and down) Inside or outside the contract How many hats?

4 The Project Manager’s Role What is project management? Project management focuses on controlling the introduction of the desired change. This involves: Understanding the needs of stakeholders Planning what needs to be done, when, by whom, and to what standards Building and motivating the team Coordinating the work of different people Monitoring work being done Managing any changes to the plan Delivering successful results. ‘At its most fundamental, project management is about people getting things done,’ Dr Martin Barnes, APM President

5 The Project Manager’s Role Over-riding obligation to represent the client Initiation – very few disputes at this stage Design stage – part of the design team or not ? Procurement – does the best deal for the client always mean the same thing to the Client, PM, Design Team Construction – as EA (or CA) decider, as PM the ‘broker’ – sometimes both

6 Pressures Client believes you are ONLY there to represent them The Design Team think you should be sticking up for them – ‘top cover’ Contractors think you must ‘surely understand’ and be ‘the voice of reason’ to the CA and Client Obligations clearly written down and defined by contract CA – strict impartiality EA – a bit more latitude PM - ‘get it done’ – BUT …..

7 What do you know and how ? Can you use it? Is it reliable? PM often has the widest view CA – limited to what you have been ‘told’ EA – more latitude – but still not inviting the claim – may have additional assistance / input PM – pushing for resolution - can point out the strengths and weaknesses to both sides to encourage agreement

8 What do you know, how do you use it? We often know where the claims and defence may come from beyond: −the classic ‘we have a claim but haven’t told you what it is letter’ −the highly specific ‘this is a claim about one window frame detail in week 27 day 3 letter’ – which you know you are now going to get a lot of ! The importance of trust −in the decision maker −in the ‘broker’ Tread carefully and make sure that everyone is happy with how you intend to proceed.

9 Example 1 : Background Architect as CA Large mixed use scheme ( £100m plus) Delay – on part of contractor and employer Substantial provisional sums left unresolved and a ‘CM style’ procurement of the remainder ( contrary to contract ) CA required to make decisions that may leave his own practice exposed Very strong client – seeking to ‘test’ the CA’s decision to give him the best opportunity to make the ‘right ‘ decision Our part – has a robust process been followed; is the basic information right ?

10 Example 1 : Resolution Limited instructions for specific matters – excluding contentious matters Client instructions to overcome their own delay Written undertakings as to how matters will be addressed in the future Substantial provisional sums left unresolved and a ‘CM style’ procurement of the remainder ( contrary to contract ) Workshops to address perceived underlying issues Individuals often more important than company

11 Example 1 : Issues Mistrust of the CA decisions from the Contractor Very strong client – seeking to ‘test’ the CA’s decision to give him the best opportunity to make the ‘right ‘ decision Contractor seeking to write ‘ independent arbitrator’ into certain sections Escalation – bigger and bigger actions e.g. Principals Meetings, ‘Star Chamber’ – but without recognising that none of these bodies have authority ! Willingness to settle – misjudged by PM and Contractor as Client hadn’t disclosed his full position – course of action being pursued by PM because he believed it to be in the project and the clients best interests Has a robust process been followed; is the basic information right ?

12 Example 2 : Background Small backlog maintenance contract PM also acting as CA (not EA) Contractor was late in placing orders etc. and was in delay Employer was obliged to issue variations toward end of contract (employer change – spec issues) Employer wished to instruct additional scope

13 Example 2 : Resolution As CA the PM advised the contractor did not foresee issuing EoT beyond (date) which was prior to likely PC date – due to the contributory effect of the contractors late orders - excepting additional scope PM advised the employer that he would be liable for some EoT costs but not as much as the contractor was seeking – if he instructed the additional scope then he could be liable for some costs, should the contractor pursue the spec change vigorously and all should he wish to instruct the additional scope PM agreed with both that if he was able to agree between them a suitable compromise then he would find as CA a method to formally record this – contract mechanism was a quote for a variation Both parties got what they wanted without a dispute arising

14 Example 2 : Issues Is the PM acting as PM or CA? Concerns over impartiality overcome by establishing trust on both sides Need to have clarity on what you would revert to under the contract PM is using his knowledge of were the contractor would go next (matters not yet formally advised) and what the employer would like to achieve (matters not yet instructed) to reach an agreement beneficial to both sides

15 Dispute resolution as a PM Never forget your obligations (and to whom) under the appointment or contract Keep everyone advised of when you are speaking to them as the PM and when you are speaking to them as the EA If you think that a commercial settlement is the better option to resolve a dispute check everyone else agrees and only then proceed Always have the strict interpretation of the contract (in your view!) in mind and let everyone else know what it will be if they can’t agree

16 Dispute resolution as a PM Protracted disputes or disagreements are rarely productive – take every opportunity to avoid without compromising the intentions of the parties (as long as they are honourable) Don’t be afraid to implement the contract mechanisms at the right time in parallel with the above – certificates of Non Completion are a good example If things stall have a fallback plan – most often an instruction Use your support network to sense check your decisions

17 Monitoring Principals meetings, if conducted appropriately are often a good way to gauge the temperature of the water Ineffective decision making tends to manifest itself in: −excessive correspondence −reports very heavy on why things couldn’t be done −reluctance to proceed without costs agreed in advance (contract dependent) −delay −confusion

18 Quality control Predominately by peer review - as per the list above. Has the decision maker: −Understood the ‘rules’ – as amended not just from their last job −Set out ( and documented) their position clearly −Agreed where a divergence from the strict process is to be followed −Got the parties buy in −Got a good enough relationship with the parties to carry it through?

19 Conclusions Manage up and down Separate when acting as PM and when as CA or EA Relationships Maintain progress Non contractual vs. contractual basis Professional judgement - can you justify your actions? If the answer is yes – proceed!


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