American Society of Civil Engineers

On-Call Contracting Strategy and Management

by Andrew Shing-Tao Chang, M.ASCE, (Constr. Mgr., Vanir Constr. Mgmt., Inc., 4033 Iowa St., #5, San Diego, CA 92104) and C. William Ibbs, M.ASCE, (Prof. of Proj. Mgmt., Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720)

Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 14, No. 4, July/August 1998, pp. 35-44, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present an on-call contracting process model. On-call contracting is a strategy in which the owner initially signs a master contract with one party for a project and then divides the project work into task orders that are released to the party in phases. It is a contracting strategy tailored from traditional contracting methods, and applicable to consultant services. It is a flexible method that can retain the advantages of traditional strategies while avoiding or minimizing their disadvantages. It can make the consultant more attentive to the work. On-call contracting needs to follow principles and guidelines in order to be effective. Three principles—complete planning, overlapping, and design management—are derived from project scope freezing, concurrent engineering, and construction management, respectively. Task order planning is the core process of on-call contracting and includes four steps: (1) divide overall work; (2) group tasks into task orders; (3) define task orders; and (4) issue task orders. Guidelines for task order planning are presented within these steps.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Construction management
Consulting services