Saybrook Associates, Inc. Program Management and Project Controls
Program Management
Project Management
Project Controls
Risk Management
Value Management
Dispute Resolution
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Dispute Resolution
We recognize that all project stakeholders desire and strive for successful project outcomes. Yet individual participant needs and success factors often differ from those of others and can conflict with project goals. Dispute Resolution begins with Prevention - requiring capabilities in conflict resolution, communication, and fulfillment by all parties of their contractual commitments. When that fails, disputes must be objectively and quickly evaluated with the goals of achieving equitable and timely resolution.

Our approach:

Disputes can me prevented or minimized through creating the conditions for success early in the project. In establishing this environment, we do the following:
> Begin with the belief that the project must result in 'win-win' outcomes for all. Create an atmosphere of understanding and respect for the business needs of all stakeholders.
> Perform extensive pre-bid reviews of project documents. Detect and correct ambiguities, incomplete or missing information, and conflicting requirements that are the basis of many, if not most disputes.
> Develop clear and concise project goals and success indicators that provide the expectations required of all parties.
> Ensure that these goals and expectations are clearly communicated to all - via the Project Execution Plan, Budget, and Project Documents.
> Implementing a procedure with which to discuss and to resolve issues as they arise.
> Measure performance by comparing Accomplishments vs. Efforts -allowing early identification of deviations from expectations and the opportunity to solve problems while they are still manageable.
> Early identification of Issues and collection of pertinent data.
Disputes can and must be resolved equitably using methodologies that are objective and unbiased, and utilize documented steps leaving little room for rebuttal. We recognize that events and facts surrounding a dispute may not be in contention, but that parties will disagree in interpretation of cause, effect, and impact. We employ the following steps:
> Determine and document Events and Facts - through established project reporting and communication protocols.
> Cause and Effect Analysis - Determine Who did (or didn't) do What, to Whom, and When? Determine consequences and 'ripple effects'.
> Qualify Merit based upon the foregoing.
> Determine severity and extent of impacts. Determine Actual and Reasonable costs.
> Recommend resolution and disposition to Owner.
> Negotiate in behalf of Owner.
> Provide liaison with and support for counsel with expert testimony and supporting documentation.
> Liaise with attorneys and offer expert testimony.
Dispute Resolution

Case Study
A large, fast-track project - located in a remote part of the world - was dependent upon distant and scattered supply chains. Local contractors also had varying abilities to meet tough completion schedules in the midst of extreme weather fluctuations. The owner was certain that imposing severe liquidated damages penalties would ensure well-coordinated and timely completion by their contractor. Saybrook Associates respectfully disagreed. We believed that their penalties were an invitation for documentation and distraction for even the slightest delays in owner-furnished design, information, and materials. We predicted that separating stakeholders into their own protective enclaves was a recipe for trouble, so we reviewed contracts and construction documents early in the project and suggested that the owner create conditions for success instead of distress. We advised the owner to:
> Implement a team approach that rewarded better-than-targeted performance
> Simplify a contractor-grievance review and approval process for change requests
> Assume a greater share of risk
> Establish measures for the company's own performance and accountability
Both the owner and contractor feel that the project was more successful because of these critical "front end" measures. Communication was open and honest and stakeholders report that they were able to make decisions beneficial to the project as well as for themselves. The project was completed on schedule, with only $180,000 in requests for additional compensation - quite an accomplishment for a venture with $170 million price tag. Everyone agreed that success starts early!

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> Program Management
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> Value Management
> Dispute Resolution
> Project Auditing
> Business Process
> Resource Management
> Estimate Review

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