Almost all construction projects face changes due to various reasons. Such changes can be small, such as changing the position of window in a house construction, or medium such as changing the position of the staircase in a multi storey building, or can be a major alteration, such as re-construction of a flood damaged highway construction project consisting bridges, revetments … etc.
Change order management is a crucial and inevitable aspect of construction management and has a substantial impact on successful project completion. Such unresolved change orders not only affect the project but give rise to unpleasant situations between owners and contractors thereby souring relations.
In effective construction management, it is vital to deal with change orders in time and in a professional manner to avoid costly disputes arising out of unresolved change orders. It should be the prime motive of construction management professionals to try mitigating change and managing claims at all times.
Failure to effectively manage change or to mitigate disputes originating from change orders, construction management professionals should handle the issues with coordination of all involved parties to the change orders, such as, the project managers, quantity surveyors, construction personnel and owners.
Below are several key factors in effective change order management that help to mitigate the impacts of changes and increase the probability that change orders will be resolved:
Understand and follow the change order procedures as stipulated in Conditions of Contract,
Designate an experienced construction management professional as the key figure in change order management team,
Maintain effective logs about all the Change orders,
Timely handle and settle change orders,
Keep track of contract document changes.