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  • chris3797

Hi there! Nice to meet you...

I am Chris (Humphries). I don't think I have met very many of the 422+ people that have been kind enough to follow the 3cd website and blog but I hope to very soon! You may have associated with the page to follow our projects but I want to give you a better reason...

To give me a chance to share insight that may help you:

  1. Avoid costly disputes,

  2. Reduce the cost of a dispute if it is unavoidable.

Hopefully some of you will share your insights with me as well (and anyone else following).

If you are not sure if this blog is for you, here's a two-part test to help you opt in or out:

Test 1: Do you own or develop projects (or assist people that do)?

Test 2: Do you bid, negotiate contracts or manage construction work?

If you said yes to Test 1 or Test 2 - this blog is for you. If not, but you are interested in how to reduce the risk and cost of disputes, you are still welcome!

If you have read my bio and project list you will see that I have spent the better part of 25 years making deals and building projects right here in the Portland, OR area. I have worn a few different hats along the way and always worked hard while trying to work smart. I have a natural curiosity to figure out how things are done and why. Seeing the business from the Subcontractor, GC, Owner's Rep, Developer and Entrepreneur perspective has really scratched that itch. Having just completed my largest and most difficult project, I have some fresh insight to share and hope you will enjoy these posts and share your thoughts as well.

We live in interesting times; pandemics, wildfires, labor shortages, supply chain interruption, cost escalation, ever-increasing design complexity, and lots of software to learn (but curiously still a lot of paperwork). And it's not like projects were easy to build before all of this right?

However, being the optimist that I am, I can't help but try to figure out how the lessons of the past can provide a more successful future. But this series is not about being naive, projects are built by people and people cause problems. Luckily people also solve problems and I have been fortunate to see some folks that are downright inspiring when the chips are down.

This series is about avoiding the most difficult problems - the ones that evolve into disputes. The ones that keep you up at night. The ones that have your loved ones asking if you are ok. The ones that make you wonder if you really want to do this for a living. Yeah, those ones.

But this blog is not a pitch to negotiate your work or engage in integrated project delivery methods - those things are great, and if that is an option for you it will certainly reduce the risk of disputes. These insights are based mostly on a design, bid, build using AIA101, 201 and 401 lump sum contracts. Many will apply more broadly to multiple delivery methods and contracting forms too. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.

The reality of construction projects is that things don't always go the way they should. Almost everyone is counting on someone else to have the right materials, equipment and labor to do their job correctly, on schedule so that the next sequence of work can proceed. Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, one (or more) of those things may not happen and that is going to cost money and take time to overcome.

Worse, the person delayed and paying is often not the same party that caused the problem. The persons at fault may be downright unhelpful, trying to avoid responsibility by any means necessary. Project managers try hard to make things work out fairly but extra costs and delays can't always be turned into change orders and time extensions. Sometimes we just have to suck it up and sometimes "we" is "you".

If we can't live with that, we end up in a dispute and seek dispute resolution to try to achieve justice. Well, I am here to tell you that there is no justice in the legal system - but there are lots of lawyers and THEY all get paid. Spoiler alert, you want to avoid the dispute resolution process - seriously.

Despite the fact that the problem may not be your fault and your best efforts to stay out of a dispute, you may be forced into one - I hope this blog will provide strategies to get that dispute resolved faster and less expensively.

Even if you work for someone else and you are not at financial risk, disputes are emotionally draining. You can't help but feel blamed, constantly second guessing your role and work with the curse of hindsight - I hope this blog will provide strategies to avoid many disputes.

If you own a company and your pocketbook is on the line - I hope this blog will help you sleep at night and keep your money in the bank.

Sound good? Awesome! Please like and share while I get the next post ready...


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