Managing complex projects
At our request, the client has gives us a list of other sub-contractors and from it we determine that we've never worked with any of them. There's an electrical contractor on the list, too, and he or she may try to take control of installing the lighting control system. That's no good, either. But we're confident the client will continue to use us for lighting control, so now we can start designing the systems and develop our set of system drawings. Meanwhile, we get another set of drawings from the architect and start our complete system design. It seems we're off to a smooth start— but then we find out that the client has hired a lighting designer (actually, that's a good thing) and we'll need their drawings and fixture types. So we get that designer's drawings, and we incorporate all this information into one document, called the "working drawings," that all parties will use to refine our proposal to the client (and to work from, of course). But that will come later—here's the tricky part.
We still need all of the information from the HVAC, warm floor, alarm, pool and landscape contractors. Many independent sub-contractors, tradespeople that decided to go out on their own, don't develop drawings or even do any pre-planning. Sometimes, they even design on-site as they go along. Red flags should should start going up.
Multiple meetings with the different subcontractors are now needed to get their information integrated into the working drawings because everyone should be using the same plan. The general contractor is not included in these meetings and is instead simply collecting change orders from the different sub-contractors.