Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Defining expectations in method avoids contractual dispute during implementation

Posted 9/1/2009

Specialist, multinational consultancy

Background to organisation

A complex commercial and technical environment featuring multiple simultaneous projects. Each project has a mix of civil and mechanical engineering to design specialist processing plants, followed by construction and commissioning.


The client had earlier used the full end-to-end method to select a sizeable new solution. This took over 12 months to fully implement. When planning the last phase, the supplier argued it was out of the original scope of supply and needed extra budget.

Project approach

The selection project had followed the usual approach whereby the evaluation scores are formally agreed by purchaser and supplier, and become an integral part of the contract. It is not unusual for sale specialists dealing with complex technology to be creative in their performance assertions, but this approach means they remain responsible for their statements right through implementation to project sign off.

When the supplier challenged the final phase as needing extra payment, the client contacted Martin Tate to check his meeting notes and refresh their memory on the agreed scope of supply. He responded that his notes had no significance to contract - but that the evaluation scores did.


Having checked the scores, the supplier agreed the capability was part of the original contract and therefore budget.

They subsequently built some of the specifics of the requirements into enhancements to the standard product.

Client comment - Implementation project manager

"As evidence of the contractual strength of this approach, I recall a point during project implementation when we were disputing a required time registration process for customer invoicing. The point was quickly won, as we as purchaser were able to point directly to the evaluation record in the contract, where the vendor had clearly stated full compliance. The vendor had to accept the £30,000 costs of the required modification, but more importantly the project avoided the more damaging costs of dispute and associated delay."

Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer.

Do you accept?