June 25, 2019 Michael Copas No comments

Change Management – the other side of the coin

We previously explored the outgoing documents of CCDC 24 – those that are initiated by the designer/design team such as Site Instructions, Change Notices, and Change Orders. Now let’s take a closer look at the incoming documents – those that you receive from the contractor, consultants, and/or your client.

Since incoming documents are coming from outside sources, they tend to be less structured. Sometimes they aren’t even documents in the traditional sense at all (phone calls, texts, and email messages). CCDC2 tends to limit all communications about the project to the contractor, while management and other contracts may have communication coming from each discipline separately. Regardless of the contract type or communication source, incoming documents usually come in one of two “flavours”:

  1. Requests – an initial unsolicited request from an external party, typically for additional information and/or clarifications.
  2. Quotes – a response to a request for a quote initially solicited by the designer in the form of a change notice.

With the above in mind, below is one FIVE by StatsLog workflow designed to help you track these incoming documents:

Requests

Since there are multiple sources for requests, let’s consider them different documents: Owner/client request, contractor request, PM request, and various consultant requests (mechanical, electrical, structural, etc…). As a matter of good practice, I recommend keeping a record of each of the above. IN FIVE, we will record these documents on the Requests tab.

All documents are more easily tracked if they have a number and date, both of which are entered automatically for you when you click use the Magic Wand tool when logging a new request in FIVE. Other important information that you can record includes the form type, title, reason, location, and the date that a response is due. You can attach any photos or PDFs sent by the requesting party, and we highly recommend that you always attach a PDF of the received request where available. This practice will give you a thorough collection of information related to the request which is easily discoverable during future searches.

Client/Owner Request

This may be an email, letter, or even a simple phone call along the lines of “I want to change the wall finish in the lobby.”

Contractor Request

These requests are often referred to as RFIs (Request for Information). Over the past couple of decades RFIs have become increasingly used by builders as a tool to generate change claims as part of a fishing expedition as opposed to being good-faith inquiries. Recording & tracking RFIs has become necessary for your self-protection, and both activities are handled efficiently with FIVE by StatsLog.

Consultant Request

These requests usually come in the form of an instruction or notice from your consultant. These documents are rarely recorded independently as they are usually attached to an outgoing form as supporting documentation. However, keeping a separate record of these independent documents in FIVE is good practice since they can be easily linked to any subsequently related outgoing form, giving you a clearly discoverable trail of information related to an entire chain of events that may lead to changes to the contract.

Trade Request

Applicable to management contracts, these requests can become a huge distraction. Individual requests should be recorded and linked to any outgoing form, and FIVE makes it quick & easy to accomplish both tasks. The upshot will be greatly reduced risk in the face of challenges to the source and need for changes to the contract.

Quotes

Like requests, quotes are incoming documents that can come from multiple sources. Unlike requests, they are generally solicited in the form of a notice or instruction issued by you or your consultant, ultimately requiring approval in the form of an order. This means that quotes have precedent and antecedent documents, both of which are easily linked and tracked using FIVE.

Trade Quote

These quotes typically arrive with a covering recommendation from your consultant, but they can also come directly from a trade. If you receive a quote directly from a trade, it should be recorded but remain unprocessed until you receive a recommendation from your consultant.

Consultant Quote

These “quotes” are more commonly called recommendations. They cover a quote from a trade and should state whether the quote is reasonable – ultimately recommending acceptance, modification, or rejection of the quote.

Keep Tabs on Incoming Documents

Recording incoming documents organizes and shapes the whole change process so that management is possible. In FIVE, you can quickly and easily sort and filter requests and quotes so that individual members of the project team can be monitored for the timeliness of their actions. FIVE also put extraordinarily valuable information at your fingertips when you are pressed to respond to concerns about the timeliness of your own actions.

Simply put, there is no better way to get full control of your construction contract administration and management duties than with our purpose-built solution – FIVE by StatsLog! Try it today!

Image by Circe Denyer Licensed under CC0

Michael is the original and genuine article. He co-founded StatsLog Software over 30 years ago, and has been its stalwart captain ever since. He's lived and worked through the paper-digital transition, and been a driving force and champion of better contract administration through purpose-built software since the early days of the personal computer revolution.

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