No matter what the future holds for the construction industry and the global economy, there will continue to be issues that arise on construction projects. The best way to combat these issues is to be prepared before they happen, with tools in place and guidelines to follow that can help prevent an issue from becoming a full-blown construction dispute. Effective claims resolution starts at the beginning of each project and must proceed through completion.
Early identification of risks,
Proper training of the project team
Robust document management, and
Retention and analysis processes are key to avoiding disputes.
Preparing the project team – Effective claims resolution begins with the project team being prepared. Training on topics such as documentation, knowing your contract, and change management are crucial.
Risk management – A well-thought-out risk management plan is one of the most effective ways to avoid and mitigate disputes.
Proper contract delivery – While choosing the proper form of project delivery will not eliminate disputes, it is important to establish a contract that is best-suited for the project. This includes proper standard contract language as well as provisions that address the dispute resolution process.
Minimizing errors and omissions – This is a top cause of disputes. Proper design management, reviews and budgets are all essential to avoidance, mitigation, or resolution.
Schedule management – Most disputes involve an element of delay, acceleration, or disruption. Proper schedule management by all project participants has proven to be one of the most effective ways to mitigate and resolve disputes.
Documentation – Proper documentation from the beginning phases of the project, especially during construction, is vital for cost-effective and expeditious resolution of disputes.
Dispute resolution – The steps listed above will aid in the timely resolution of disputes. Proper preparedness and an understanding of the issues and associated damages will bring focus to the heart of the dispute.
Litigation – If a dispute proceeds to litigation, it is crucial that all parties involved have an objective and non-emotional perspective of their position. Outside counsel and effective experts can help participants understand the strengths and weaknesses of their positions and the associated financial risks.