The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Step 9: Manage the Contract

Reference Number: MTAS-768
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: March 23, 2017
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This is a very important, but often under-emphasized step. The project is a team effort. After selecting a consultant, the city needs to stay actively involved throughout the project. The owner and the engineer have a mutual interest in developing a successful project. A successful project requires good communications, cooperation, trust and hard work by both sides.

Tips for a Successful Project

  • Before signing the contract, resolve any initial concerns or questions.
  • Establish a good rapport, and set the tone for working together.
  • Establish one main point of contact for both the owner and the engineer.
  • Set up regular communication opportunities. Involve key city staff as needed. Communication opportunities may take the form of weekly conference calls or monthly meetings.
  • Monitor performance and act swiftly to discuss and correct problems. If problems arise, resolve them as soon as possible.
  • Give each other information in a timely manner.
  • Owners should monitor invoices and submit payments promptly.
  • Owners should facilitate the engineers’ work wherever possible. Anything an owner can do to save the engineer’s time, ends up saving the owner money.
  • Celebrate successes.