How the specific benefits and disadvantages

of bilateral and multilateral contracts, together with project alliances and customer-led consortia, can influence project success



By Stanimir N. Sotirov

Ace in Project Business Management [1]

Dublin, Ireland




Using either of these two types of contracts – bilateral or multilateral with project alliances or customer-led consortia can boost the project’s success in terms of collaboration with external/remote teams. The non-on-site employees take a significant part of the company’s workforce in the last few years. The need to manage this workforce, make them align with the company ideas requires more detailed and wider discussion over Project Business Management [2] and the options it can give us in this constantly growing cross-corporate environment.

Very often the remote teams are considerate as strangers [3] in the company environment and bringing them into the work process seems a little bit scary for the Project Management Offices (PMO). This also requires the need for change internally in the organization and externally – the contractors in their way of executing projects.

On the other hand, the project alliances and customer-led consortia can give us additional resources in order to finish the project with success. The constant need for project managers capable enough to lead a project in the cross-corporate environment and to be able to deliver results in selected deadlines can bring us new knowledge, new methodologies, and practices.

The benefit of this kind of partnership is huge and the usage in real projects is wide – from a simple apartment renovation, for example, to giant cross-continental projects. This turn projects into more cost-effective and efficient collaboration. But despite the fact that this principle has a lot of benefits to the company work environment and culture, the vast majority of organizations still prefer to use their internal resources in the project management process.

We don’t know the real motives behind this decision in most cases, but there is a need for a developed methodology for managing remote/virtual teams and align them to the internal corporate environment. The project management process is changing all the time. The competition between the companies imposes the need for new methods and techniques to deliver more, fast and quality products and services. The open innovation approach used more often in many industries already is a good example of how the attraction of external sources and contractors can initiate significant changes in your organization.

How the concept has changed over time

The idea of using external contractors/resources became more and more popular in the last decade.  Moreover, in the last few years, many companies look into the freelancer market to find professionals who can fill temporally their project requirements gaps without the need for permanent hiring.

At the beginning of this process, the project managers consider this opportunity as a backup plan in case some additional things are needed and to solve issues on the road without the possibility to hire people who will be useless after delivering the project they were hired for. Nowadays things are different, and this remote workforce very often represents a full department in the companies. And yet they remain as a side employee, people not related to the company’s success, goals, and objectives…



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How to cite this paper: Sotirov, S.N. (2020). How the specific benefits and disadvantages of bilateral and multilateral contracts, together with project alliances and customer-led consortia, can influence project success; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VI, June.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pmwj94-Jun2020-Sotirov-how-contracts-alliances-consortia-influence-project-success.pdf



About the Author


Stanimir SOTIROV

ACE®, SFC™, Project Business Foundation, PMI Volunteer

Dublin, Ireland



Stanimir Sotirov is an experienced Project Manager with vast IT experience. 15+ years of initiating and delivering sustained results across a wide range of areas like SaaS software, digital marketing, freelance management, e-commerce. Skills include team and department management, analytical thinking and creative problem-solving. Project Business Foundation board member and PMI Volunteer.  He can be contacted at stanimir@sotirov.cc


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