Contract managers and project managers are often asked to provide estimates and schedules very early on without there being enough clarity about on what needs to happen. If the contract manager or project manager does this then the estimates provided are insufficiently substantiated. This creates the risk that not enough provision in the budget is made, unrealistic expectations are created and unattainable agreements are made. It is, therefore, in the client’s best interests to consider all budgets and schedules as provisional until there is sufficient depth in the preliminary phase of a project.
Contract managers and project managers must be clear about the uncertainties, and not be too optimistic in the first phase of a project – expectation management is essential.