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Contracting for Project Managers

A project manager must be able to work together with contract managers, procurement professionals, and subcontractors to accomplish their project objectives. Contracts are becoming increasingly complex, a good understanding of the contracting process is essential. This course explores these vital issues from the project manager’s perspective, both from the buyer’s or seller’s perspective.

Contracting for Project Managers will give participants an overview of all phases of the contracting process, from requirements development to closeout, and how it is integrated within the overall process of Project Management. It examines the various roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in the contracting process, and how they can influence the performance of work on a project.

Covering the processes of contract management in detail, this course is based on the best practices found in the Project Management Institute’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

Individuals from all industries, government bodies, non-profit organizations and any one who are interested in learning techniques for establishing and managing contracts in a project environment will find this course valuable.
This programme will be of especial interest to:

  • Programme managers
  • Project managers
  • Project team members
  • Members of Process Improvement Teams
  • Administrators responsible for managing projects
  • Technical professionals and engineers moving into project leadership roles

Participants attending the programme will:

  • Understand the different stages of the contract process from start to finish
  • Identify the right contract type for your project
  • Understand the difference between objectives, requirements, plans, and specifications, and their importance to a contract
  • Negotiate terms and conditions
  • Apply incentives to improve contract performance
  • Understand the “10 rules of contract interpretation”, and how they apply to project disputes
  • The appropriate methods of contract administration
  • Understand how to make revisions to a contract
  • Identify when and how contracts can be terminated

A combination of lectures, case studies, exercises, and negotiation role-playing are used to maximize the learning experience. Participants will also be involved in discussions of their current problems and concerns regarding the management of contracts.

The choice of the right type of contract, together with effective contract negotiation and proper contract administration can help ensure project success, speed performance, and reduce risks and costs.
The course will also discuss actions that can be taken to help ensure that contractors or subcontractors perform as required under the contract.


  1. The Process of Contract Management
  • What is contract management?
  • Why do we need contracts?
  • Contract management and the PMBOK™
  • A view of contract management from both the buyer’s and seller’s perspectives


  1. Understanding the Concepts of Contract Law 
  • Elements of a legally enforceable contract
  • Terms and conditions
  • Remedies to breach
  • Interpreting contract terms and conditions


  1. Roles and Responsibilities in Contracting
    • Project manager vs. procurement manager
    • Agency
    • Authority 
    • Privity
  1. Types of Contracting Methods
  • Competitive and noncompetitive contracting
    • Sealed bidding
    • Two-step sealed bidding
    • Competitive negotiation
    • Competitive proposals
    • Reverse auctions
  • Purchase agreements vs. contracts
  • The role and implications of single-source and sole-source contracting


  1. Contract Types and Pricing
    • The implications of risk and uncertainty in contract pricing
    • Types of contracts
        • Fixed-price
        • Incentives
        • Cost-reimbursement
        • Time and materials
      • Considerations in selecting the right type of contract


  1. The Pre-award Phase
  • Procurement planning
  • Solicitation
  • Making the “bid / no-bid” decision
  • Preparation of proposals


  1. The Award Phase
  • Source selection considerations
  • Selection criteria
    • Management
    • Technical
    • Price
  • Evaluation procedures and standards
  • Objectives and the process of contract negotiation
  • Negotiating a contract
    • Tactics and counter tactics (buyers vs. sellers)
    • Documenting the agreement


  1. The Process of Contract Administration
  • The purpose of contract administration
  • The importance of communication
  • Responsibilities of buyers and sellers
  • Contract analysis
  • Monitoring progress and performance
  • The importance of documentation: records and files
  • Managing contract changes
  • Resolving claims and disputes
  • Termination (planned or early)


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