One of the fundamental challenges facing any major project is to ensure that each of these elements is adequately understood and that they are brought into alignment (i.e. that differences or contradictions are reconciled). Because this is relatively complex to achieve, there is need for a disciplined methodology. And that is where the contracting process comes into play. A good contracting process will ensure that there is consensus over scope and goals, that there is an appropriate procedure for on-going governance and management. This includes forums for discussion and negotiation, reports that offer visibility and insight, analysis that places the spotlight on risk and copes with reducing its probability and consequence.
Conflicts between people, their interests, rules or commercial practices lie at the root of most under-performing or failed projects. Failure to understand and address them adds to the complexity and becomes potentially overwhelming. No matter how talented a project manager may be, he / she needs effective tools and a coherent framework within which to work. That is what a good contracting process will deliver.