Front End Specifications Details

A project manager or contractor will draw up front-end specifications before the project begins, often as an important part of a tender for the project. Front-end specifications give a clear and concise description of how the project manager will organize the project. They are common in the construction industry because there are so many elements involved. It assists in project organization and communication.

Even a small construction project is complicated because it involves many steps and specialists. If you imagine building a house, you can see that the construction involves roofers, plumbers, electricians, and so forth. All of whom must coordinate their work. You don't want the roofer arriving before the builder has finished the walls. Complicated projects involve even more specialists, and contractors, sub-contractors, and suppliers must work in step. The project manager, as the leading voice, has to schedule the work, from the beginning to the end of the job.

Although there is no set form for front-end specifications some contractors use the same document for different projects. Most front end specifications will probably include:

  • Definitions of the terms included.
  • How the contractor will administer the project.
  • The finishing time for all parts of the project.
  • The program that the contractor will follow.
  • Safety.
  • Insurance.
  • Payments for the work.
  • Alterations to the schedule.
  • Termination date.

Front End Specifications Example

The historic city of Lardon is booming because the city administration has offered incentives to open a business in the city. Many companies have responded by opening branches, factories, and offices within the city limits. Unfortunately, the infrastructure is not able to cope with the increased demands. As part of a plan to modernize transport links, the city has decided to build a new bridge over the river that cuts through the center. The bridge will carry two lanes of traffic in either direction, a light rail track, and pedestrian walkways.

Jill Grimes will represent the city's interests in the project. She will choose the contractor and liaise between the city and the project manager. The city is asking for tenders for the project, but Jill knows that awarding the contract involves more than simply going for the lowest price. Construction will cause considerable disruption in the city, so Jill wants the work done as quickly as possible. She asks for front-end specifications from all the tendering constructors.

Bill Clair, head of Clair Construction, submits a detailed front-end specification document. He details his company's schedule, which sub-contractors he will use, details of how his company will reduce disruption and the cost. Jill and Bill iron out some of the problems which remain, and Lardon awards the contract to Clair. Both parties to the contract appreciate the advantages that clear front-end specifications bring; both have a clear frame of reference that will help if there are any future disputes, and both have a clear idea of the time frame for the project.