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How to Manage Project Opportunity and Risk: Why uncertainty management can be a much better approach than risk management by Stephen Ward, Chris Chapman

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Chapter 15

Contracts and governance as frameworks for enlightened relationship management

We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.

—Benjamin Franklin

Some people view contracts through a ‘legal lens’, as legal instruments designed to preserve the interests of different parties in a legal sense, in a court of law if need be. However, once the contracts come out of the drawers, everybody is in trouble, as noted in Chapter 9. The opening quote for this chapter, attributed to Benjamin Franklin – as a remark to John Hancock during the signing of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776 – has resonance in any important undertaking when the key players do not ‘hang together’ in the ‘work together for a common goal’ sense of this phrase. Benjamin Franklin’s remark is a generalization of the contract specific comment repeated above – it applies to some extent to all relationships of interest in this chapter. Contracts between clients and contractors are a central concern, but governance and other relationships are also relevant aspects within the seven Ws framework.

The PUMP ownership phase, as discussed in Chapter 9, is concerned with allocating responsibility for managing project uncertainty to appropriate project parties in each individual project. As noted previously, the issues involved are of fundamental importance, because allocations can strongly influence the motivation of parties and the extent to which project uncertainty is assessed ...

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