Contractors can’t prevent change, but can prevent poor change order management

Change orders—they’re everywhere. From the smallest project to the largest nationwide expansion, there’s no question that construction projects continue to change daily. The documentation of these changes outside of a contract have become commonly overlooked and often ignored to the point of failure. But, contractors can save themselves a mountain of problems by properly documenting change orders to streamline additional costs.

Companies depend on change orders to drive profit—sometimes to the extent of bidding below cost in the expectation that change orders will drive a project from the red to the black. However, so many of the same companies have such inadequate change order management processes that they are, at best, leaving money on the table or, at worst, setting themselves up for business failure.

CBO regular contributor and Project Playbook columnist Gregg Schoppman frequently faces the tough subject of changes orders. As a principal with FMI, Schoppman specializes in the areas of productivity and project management. He also leads FMI’s project management consulting practice and provides his clients with information to help drive profits.

"Companies say that no work shall be done without a written, signed change order. If every company has this policy, why are we discussing this?" Schoppman shared in this short video, discussing change order management. Studies show that labor productivity decreases as the frequency of change orders increases. Coupled with other uncontrollable project issues, project margins begin to suffer. Contractors who have a practiced change order management strategy and proactive measures have the opportunity to benefit from profit growth and peace of mind.

In the video, Schoppman and Viewpoint’s market development manager Tim Gray dig into their own experiences and provide advice for navigating the obstacles of managing a construction business. To provide a more in-depth conversation about change order management, Schoppman has paired with CBO to introduce a free webinar presented in partnership with Viewpoint Construction Software.

The live online event, “To Live and Die by Change Order Management,” will take place June 23, 2015, at 1 p.m. EST. Registration is free at

The one-hour live webinar event includes a 45-minute presentation by Schoppman, followed by a 15-minute question and answer session. Attendees will receive a “Best Practices Guide” for change order management, compliments of Viewpoint Construction Software. Click here to register for this free webinar and find out how your business can benefit from improved change order management processes.