“The way we handle potential change order notifications can help set the table for change negotiations.”

Let’s look at how we interact with our clients when there is bad news.


Last week we talked about change notification and today we are looking at the next step, when the change will require an adjustment to the contract. Telling the client when the change we told them about previously will add cost or time to the project.


How we handle this delivery is very important to building lasting relationships with our clients. Just like doctor’s have to work on their bed side manner we need to work on how we deliver news to our clients.


  1. Notification
    1. Deliver the message in-person or by phone first – then follow-up
    2. Notify the client as soon as you are reasonably sure there is an impact and can give specifics
    3. Let them know your schedule for next steps
  2. Written Follow-up
    1. Now that you made an initial notification you need to follow-up with a written notice – (check contract)
    2. Include the following in the correspondence
      1. Immediate impact to the project
      2. Required action date(s) and the impact of missing the dates
      3. Your plan
    3. Provide a clear call to action for them – even if the CTA is to wait for more information from you
  3. Step Up Our Game
    1. Meet your promises and deadlines
    2. Provide solutions
    3. Remind your client of their action items and deadlines

Taking the time to properly manage the change order notification process will make your clients glad they hired you and build lasting relationships.

Take-Action Items:

  1. Develop your procedures for handling change order notifications

  2. Meet your promises

  3. Deliver solutions


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