The ‘baseline’ programme, is only one possibility in many, nothing more than a pipe dream that reasonably demonstrates a mutual agreement (contract, if you like) of ‘possibility’ in performance; the contractor should not be bound to it but left as free as possible to react to change. Like the only surviving plant in my office… leave him alone. Feed him information, water him regularly with payment, shine the photosynthetic light of fulfilled obligations upon his leaves and only point where the weeds of defect have taken root.
But step outside of these lines, even with the best intentions, and not only are you paving a road to the hell known as disruption, but the cost of constructing this road is going onto your account.
Disruption is pervasive, pernicious and cost accumulates insidiously; it starts in the hidden cost of every extra letter, every technical query, every request for information and drawing, before they even leave the office.
As the tools to model and value disruption develop, contractors, as typical recipients of the brunt of disruption, are becoming more aware that costs can be recovered and will look to recover them more frequently especially as margins shrink and the tools develop, become easier to use and, through use, more familiar.
This is not to say that only contractors suffer disruption, it is simply that the consequences are unstoppably magnified as they are reflected up and through a large organisation and mushroom out into dis-organisation. If 50 of the contractor’s 500 strong labour force is sitting still for a day on site waiting for a late drawing, this has just a little more visual impact than one of the engineer’s 10 staff relaxing and drinking tea for a day, unable to prepare the same drawing because he’s still waiting for contractor to finish the site investigation.
Though it’s truly a two-way street, the traffic is definitely heavier on one side of it in terms of cost.
Originally I closed the draft of this article with one word … beware, but since it is in everyone’s interest just to take care of their interactions with others and I will change that to … Be Aware.