Article #118 How to Have a Comprehensive Contract Management Checklist for Capital Projects?

Capital project owners in the public and private sectors are increasingly becoming keen on improving their contract procurement practices to improve their procurement performance to drive cost savings, improve probity, deliver improved outcomes, and meet their broad range of organization objectives. This requires adopting the contract management best practices during the complete contract procurement phases including prequalification, tendering, awarding, and post-awarding contract management phases of contracts. The Contract Management Guidelines will document those practices to enable project owners to adopt a sound, consistent and effective approach to managing their contracts.

The post-award contract management is the most critical phase and the one that takes the longest time to execute in the contract procurement phases. Good post-award contract management is the process that ensures both parties to a contract fully meet their respective obligations as efficiently and effectively as possible, to continually deliver both the business and operational objectives required from the contract. Post-award contract management involves several processes that cover contract mobilization, contract administration, record-keeping, contract management roles and responsibilities, managing relationships, performance management, contract monitoring, negotiating contract variations, managing contract disputes, contract completion, and closeout including demobilization.

To ensure that those post-award contract management processes have been performed by the contract management guideline, a checklist can be created to become a guide for Contract Managers on the steps that need to be performed on capital projects. Each capital project owner needs to develop a checklist that must be aligned with their contact management guidelines as well as the terms and conditions of contract agreements they use.

A Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb will be used to map the complete contract procurement phases including prequalification, tendering, awarding, and post-awarding contract management phases of contracts for each project managed by the project owner. Details on how to manage each contract procurement phase process have been presented in different articles written by the author.


PMWeb will be also used to create a contract management checklist similar to the checklist shown below which is an example of a checklist developed by a public-sector capital project owner. The checklist groups the steps or actions that need to be performed at the pre-commencement stage and post-contract commencement stage. For each step or action, the checklist details who should be performing the step or action, if it was performed, when it was performed, and which PMWeb module is being used. The entities that could be involved in performing a step or action include the contract manager, procurement department, risk management department, and contractor. The checklist can provide a quick audit of the contract management steps or actions that need to be performed.

The checklist is grouped into two stages, pre-construction, and post-contract commencement. The preconstruction stage will include actions that cover contract documents, a transition plan, a contract management plan, insurance, security/ retention, key performance indicators (KPIs), risk management and health, safety, and environment (HSE) plans, contract meetings, and an induction program. The post-contract commencement stage will include the actions of audit contractor compliance with the health, safety, and environment (HSE) plan, contract meetings, payment claims, performance auditing, contract extensions, and contract expiry/ transition out.

The PMWeb attachment allows attaching documents that are relevant to the checklist which is usually uploaded and stored in the PMWeb document management repository. In addition, links to relevant PMWeb records and imported MS Outlook emails can be linked to the checklist.

About the Authorfounder

Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value of over US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education, and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, Telecommunication, and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.

Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), an Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE), and Green Project Management (GPM).

Bassam holds a Master’s in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – from Kuwait University, Kuwait, and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, and London Business School, London, UK.


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