Stuffs Project Manager should do after Award of New Manager

Stuffs Project Manager Should do After Award of New Manager

When a new project contract is won, the project team generally dives into execution right away without going through the much-needed planning process. One reason for this is excitement, but more importantly the fact that during the bidding process some members of the organization are deeply involved in the process and there is a sense that we know it all.

However, in reality, things change during negotiations leading to contract award; and there can be gaps in the contract awarded and perceived scope of work which can lead to non-conformances and potentially result in non-conformance costs if not dealt with properly.

Following are some of the tasks the project manager should perform before actually really starting to manage day-to-day project activities, it is assumed that at least some project team members are already on board.

These activities are sometimes looked-upon as burden and impediment to achieve progress. Especially due to pressure from the management and customer, as for the new project everyone is engaged in the beginning and tend to relax as the project progresses.

But in reality, if you do these things right, you get in a good driving position to steer the project.

Some of these things you, as a project manager, will be doing yourself; while leading, guiding and facilitating for others. Once this stuff is sorted you are all set to manage-by-exception and stay in control of the project rather than firefighting for the complete duration of the project.

List of activities provided below, not necessarily in the order of precedence but can be taken as a guide.

#1. Acquire all contract documents, including referenced documents, appendices, deviation lists etc.

#2. Review all the above documents thoroughly to make sure there is no gap in the contract requirements and the quoted tender/price.

#3. Depending on the size of the project, involve subject matter experts to review their respective scope of work (SOW).

#4. Upon review of the scope by subject matter experts, compare their respective SOW with the tender quotation provided by the supplier to confirm there is no gap in the scope offered by the supplier and the contract, and subsequent price gap.

#5. Any gaps noted above can result in non-conformance, devise action plan to mitigate them.

#6. See if there is any prequalified vendor list by the customer. If so, identify if you need any additional vendor approvals.

#7. Identify and place order as early as practical for Long Lead delivery items, and items that are on or near the critical path. Sometimes even if the design is not approved for manufacturing, upon placing the order with the supplier you can reserve a manufacturing slot.

#8. Initiate procurement/issue subcontracts ensuring they are back-to-back wherever possible.

#9. Understand contractual requirement for product quality control and ensure that is in line with the supplier’s subcontract.

#10. Involve team members as you review the contract in detail, along the way you will uncover previously unidentified risks and opportunities.

#11. Document risks and opportunities in a register and devise action plan.

#12. If there are teaming agreements, e.g. joint venture, consortium etc., prepare an elaborated responsibility matrix outlining responsibilities of each entity.

#13. Have an organization chart of the customer organization to understand the escalation path and stakeholder management. It is also helpful for new team members.

#14. Identify resource requirements and prepare Project Organization Chart, if new team members are required mark their names as ‘TBA’.

#15. Initiate resource acquisition/training if required.

#16. Prepare a responsibility assignment matrix for the team members (to whatever extent possible).

#17. Prepare team calendar to know times when certain team members are not available, leaves, trainings etc.

#18. Prepare updated schedule as you uncover more information and timelines are clearer, make sure to engage the team members, supplier in the process to have their buy-in.

#19. Prepare templates as per contract requirements. Some contracts are very stringent, e.g. text and format of invoice, contents of monthly report, template for change request, document submission formats, drawing title block etc.

#20. Re-Baseline cost and schedule if required and ask for management approval.

Please note that these can vary for different projects and organizations.

This article focuses on Engineering and Construction contracts.


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