In light of the 2017-2018 Construction Forecasts, Capital Projects Cost Control is paramount and one to take a more acute focus.

In Project Execution, Field Labor Shortages Represent The Highest Risk To Achievement Of Time & Cost Objectives Large And Complex Projects.

Major Shortages in Construction Field Labor Will Influence (Negatively) US Construction Costs.

In Execution (After Stage Gate Three), A Major Risk to Project Cost Management Resides in Labor Cost (overruns),

The Highest Risk to Achieving Project Cost Management Occurs In Execution – After Stage Gate Three/Full Funding.

Driven By A Long History of Cost and Schedule Overruns, Managerial Thinking Now Prioritizes Cost Certainty.

On Complex Capital Projects, Cost Certainty Has Become a Compelling Objective.


McLaughlin & McLaughlin has assisted numerous  Major Capital Projects successfully over the years by providing cost effective business solutions and recovery plans.

What makes McLaughlin & McLaughlin unique from the others is that we  not only perform project management services but dispute resolution as practitioners.


It is important to note that McLaughlin and McLaughlin Project and Dispute Consulting LLC [M&M] is not a law firm and is not intending to provide legal advice.  M&M is a consulting firm providing (among other services) non-legal expertise in construction claims, dispute resolution and litigation support.   For further information on M&M services, please see


A View from the Field Project Execution / Contracting Strategies Large and Complex Industrial Projects

This article from the Division 1 of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Newsletter “The Dispute Resolver” represents George T. McLaughlin’s “View from the Field” formed throughout the course of his 30+ year career in the industrial marketplace.[1]   His article is broken into four parts.  Part 1, below, describes the evolution of the delivery systems in large and complex industrial projects[2]. The remaining sections, which we will publish in our next three newsletters, will discuss the legal implications (Part 2), impact on claims, disputes, and resolutions (Part 3), and prevention and corrective processes (Part 4).

Part 1 of 4 – Framing the Issue 

When the earth’s tectonic plates shift, unless there is a resulting earthquake, it goes unnoticed.  The movement is not perceptible.  Nevertheless, major changes are occurring.  In large and complex projects, with three to five (or longer) year schedules, industry shifts may not be perceptible.  Nevertheless, major changes and related impacts may be in progress.  Trends and changes in project execution and contracting strategies are similar.  These trends, however gradual and unnoticed on a daily or monthly basis, cause major impacts on existing and future projects.  While industry experts cite or drive these changes, the impact on the field may be delayed or go unrecognized by many, if not all stakeholders.  The business motivations driving the trends discussed below are varied and complex.  Perhaps, the central theme is risk tolerance or management.  The large worldwide prime contractors (typically Engineer Procure Construct) migrated toward limiting major risks by limiting scope of work, insisting on reimbursable cost (as opposed to fixed price) commercial  terms, or both.  Owners chose to limit or compartmentalize risks by breaking scope of work into smaller packages and seeking fixed price on these smaller packages.  Construction Contractors retained a willingness to work on fixed price commercial terms; but, increased their tendency toward claims and disputes processes in order to manage their risks.  Collectively, we see a myriad of fixed price scope of work packages being pieced together to form a complete project.  Formerly, this mosaic of work scopes was under one Prime Contract. [Read more…]