The primary purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the influence that the performance of the contractor has on project scheduling and complications that may be introduced. The overall impact that they may have is enormous, and it may be regarded as one of the biggest challenges. The literature on this subject matter will be reviewed and analysed to support the statements. The findings will be summarised in the last paragraph.
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It is imperative to mention that the process of the project schedule can be quite problematic because a professional must take numerous internal and external factors into account. Managers are pressured to make them as efficient as possible and are expected to consider various complications that may occur. The argument is that performance of a contractor is an area that is particularly problematic because a project manager has limited control in such situations, and some of the issues that can be introduced are hard to predict.
One of the most important factors that need to be highlighted is that scholars have recognised the importance of contractor management, and the influence that their performance has on the projects. The literature on this topic is quite impressive, and most of the suggestions on how problematic areas can be addressed are comprehensive. However, several issues are still present and must be taken into account.
First of all, contractors may have to deal with various subcontractors, and it could affect their ability to coordinate and set priorities. Moreover, a company may need to compress the schedule in some situations or alter some of the processes. Such changes may be beneficial to the contractor, but negotiations can still be incredibly problematic. Possible emergencies also should not be overlooked. Another problem that needs to be mentioned is the overall knowledge of contractors and their skills.
It may be nearly impossible to make sure that they would perform as well as employees because they did not participate in pieces of training and may not have an understanding of some of the operations. This aspect is rather problematic, but a project manager has to accept the situation most of the time because it is still more efficient to use contractors in most cases.
A person responsible for the development has to consider several criteria when selecting a contractor. Such factors as expertise, methodology and track records are crucial, but some issues still cannot be prevented. Also, it is important to ensure that all of the schedules are aligned, but delays could lead to inconsistencies and introduction of other problems (Kuehn, 2011). It may be necessary to write warning letters that would include all the required information regarding the areas that need to be improved. Relationships with a contractor company may be affected, but such actions are justified.
Liquidated damages clause is incredibly important because it limits the possibilities for fraud and low-quality of performance, but it still has several weaknesses. Some of the points may not be well-developed, and a contractor may not agree with particular terms. An area that is quite problematic is that the firm will have to deal with courts in case the delays have hurt the organisation. The problem is that the process could take a lot of time and will require a lot of resources.
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Also, it is noted that exemplary damages are rather hard to recover in most cases because one has to prove that it was done intentionally (Mubarak, 2015). The situation becomes especially problematic if subcontractors are involved because numerous aspects must be considered during the analysis of delay. The possibility of concurrent negligence also should not be disregarded, and the damage to the enterprise may be long-term.
On the other hand, a project manager may utilise a broad range of techniques to improve performance. However, it may require a lot of time and additional resources are also necessary. One of the most important goals is to take a project schedule as efficient as possible, but it would be appropriate to consider the need for evaluations and other activities. The development of modern technologies is incredibly important because it is much easier to monitor the whole process, and most of the issues may be identified promptly (Uher & Zantis, 2012).
In summary, it is possible to state that the performance of the contractor is still one of the biggest challenges for a project manager because it is nearly impossible to control. Their experience and legal issues can be viewed as areas that are the most problematic at the moment. On the other hand, some of the complications can be avoided if an organisation manages to establish long-term relationships with such specialists, and it is much easier to cooperate.
The situation is expected to improve in the future because many contractors are starting to use software programs to monitor performance, but this aspect is still rather problematic for small firms. Overall, a project manager may consider several preventive measures to minimise the risks and must have an understanding of what course of actions needs to be taken in such cases.
Kuehn, U. (2011). Integrated cost and schedule control in project management. Vienna, VA: Management Concepts Inc.
Mubarak, S. A. (2015). Construction project scheduling and control (3rd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Uher, T., & Zantis, A. S. (2012). Programming and scheduling techniques (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.