DR STUART KINGS, NEC4 Drafter, outlines the key changes to the management of risk under ECC4.
Everyone understands the reasons for risk management – in construction and non-construction – but in practice, it can be overlooked or even hidden away. Risk procedures certainly require clarity yet the fundamental changes (in this revision) were not to think too deeply about project problems or apportioning blame.
The ECC update is about the key principles of being risk-focussed, planned and transparent. As well as mitigating any impairment on a project, the focus is to safeguard timelines, objectives and change the procedure of risk reporting, and therefore mirror the principles of good project management.
Previously, there were shortcomings: The Project Manager did not convene meetings; did not put together a first Risk Register. Additionally, early warnings meetings were held sporadically and not always with the involvement of the supply chain.
So what are the main changes in the ECC version 4?
Well, there is a clear mandate that the Project Manager issues an Early Warning Register (new defined term) to the Contractor within one week of the starting date.
Secondly, the Project Manager convenes a first early warning meeting within two weeks of the starting dateand thereafter imposes regular meetings (at the interval stated in the Contract Data) to initiate a better ethos and culture of risk under the Engineering and Construction Contract.
These key changes appear in clause 15.2 in order to promote a better management of risk, and so the role of the Project Manager becomes much clearer and proactive in managing the process.
A software system such as the Sypro Contract Manager facilitates this using a cloud-based process – and therefore paperless – which allows the Project Manager and Contractor to seamlessly manage risk ‘on the go’ from a tablet, smartphone or iPad.
Ultimately, the amendment is more explicit as to what the Project Manager has to do. It is about the earlier management of risk, and for projects with timescales, meetings and deadlines, to be handled with a better management of risk.
Find out more information on our award-winning Sypro Contract Manager.