Project Managers are critical for the execution of projects. Larger projects are generally lead by the Project Manager with a team of personnel and ensure the smooth delivery of the deliveries under a contract. For smaller projects, the Project Manager may be "the team".
Project Managers have full responsibility for gaining the expected contract value, minimizing contract value leakage, and ensuring all commercial risks are kept to a minimum, including ensuring that the goods are delivered on-time and on-spec.
They are the person that both clients and suppliers look to for answers.
A project team may include cost controller (accounts), planner, purchasers, engineers, health and safety, document controllers, and logistics. A Project Manager must ensure that their contractual obligations and responsibilities are being fulfilled.
A Contract Manager has been a part of the project from the project's inception. They participated in defining what contract type to use, participated in negotiations, define terms for procurement and limiting commercial risks.
The Contract Manager will follow the contract for its entire life. They support the whole organization from Sales to Projects and from Projects to Decommissioning / Disposal.
Why a Project Manager should have a Contracts Manager because they support each other through the contract's lifecycle. Each individual within the team has a primary responsibility, one thing that they focus on during the contract's execution. A Project Manager relies on this information to make decisions; it is a lot of information.
A Contract Manager, especially one utilized from the beginning, provides insight, support, interpretation, and services related to the written and agreed contract. For example, contractual expectations, legal expectations such as notice requirements, change order requirements, legal negotiations for changes, legal negotiations towards suppliers related to contractual changes and alleviating some of the pressures already placed on the Project Manager.
Hire a Contracts Manager; they will support your organization during the sales, procurement, project, and aftersales phase of your contract and could help to reduce your organization's overall commercial contract risk.