Contractor and Client
The client refers to the
entity that has the need that defines the project objective, schedule, and
dedicated budget. The expected result of the project is the creation of a
product, called works.
The client is in charge of the
basic idea of the project, and, in this regard, represents the intended end
users of the work.
Thus, the client is responsible
for the functional expression of the needs, but does not necessarily hae the
technical competency related to the implementation of the work.
If the client does not have the
necessary specialized knowledge to head up the project, it may appoint a
delegate (specialized in project management). This is called client
assistance. The client delegate is responsible to act as an interface
between the contractor and the client in order to help the client make its
needs clear and verify the technical feasibility of the objective with the
client. The client delegate is not a substitute for the client and therefore
is not directly liable to the contractor.
The contractor is the
entity hired by the client to carry out the work, under the terms and subject
to the deadlines, and quality and cost provisions determined by the latter
pursuant to a contract. The contractor is therefore responsible for the
technical choices inherent in the performance of the work in accordance with
the client’s requirements. The contractor thus has the responsibility, in the
context of its assignment, to designate an individual in charge of the proper
progress of the project (generally referred to as “project management”); this
is the project manager.
For certain tasks of the project,
if the contractor does not have the necessary resources in-house, the
contractor may use one or more external companies, known as subcontracting (and each company is called a subcontractor or provider). Each
subcontractor forms a project sub-group directly with the contractor, but is
not directly liable to the client, even if the client has a “right of
inspection” of the subcontractor’s work style.
between the Roles of Contractor and Client
It is essential to distinguish
between client and contractor in the performance of the project, because this
distinction makes the responsibilities of the respective entities clear. It
is also worthwhile to make sure that the determination of needs remains the
sole responsibility of the client. In fact, it sometimes happens that the
client delegates functional choices to the contractor under the pretext of
insufficient technical knowledge (specifically, an organization’s IT service
takes over and heads up the project starting with the statement of needs). Then,
only the client is able to know its users’ needs. A lack of knowledge about
the roles of the two entities creates the risk of creating conflicts in which
each blames the other.
On the other hand, while the
contractor must take into account the initial requirements of the client,
this does not mean that it is able to add new functionalities over the course
of the project itself if it deems appropriate. Howeve,r the client is in
charge of the technical choices, no matter how little they functionally meet
the client’s requirements.
Finally, a client may decide that
an existing product is capable of meeting its needs, buy it, and then turn to
the contractor (e.g., the IT service) for adaptations to the product.
The distinction between contractor
and client is even more difficult if the two entities are part of the same
corporate structure. In cases like this, this makes clear contractual
definition of the respective roles of the two entities even more important.
between Contractor and Client
ensure the smooth running of the project, it is necessary to clearly define
the roles of each entity and to appoint a representative of the client and
the contractor. A project group consisting of the client and contractor’s
project managers, as well as the client delegate, if applicable, should also
meet if necessary to resolve conflicts related to the client’s requirements
or the coordination of the project.
it is essential to establish a training plan that allows the contractor and
the client to have a common language and understanding as to the method of
running the project, conducting interviews or meetings, etc.
Cliente / Contratista
Maîtrise d'ouvrage / Maîtrise d'oeuvre
Cliente / Mestre de obra
Latest update on October 16, 2008 at 09:43 AM by Jeff.