Conference Paper

Knowledge management in contract administration: An ontological engineering approach

Osman H.
El Sherbiny A.
Moselhi O.

Knowledge has been identified to be a significant organizational resource, which if used effectively can provide competitive advantage. Construction contract administration is a complex, knowledge-intensive process that if properly managed can mitigate the contractor's risk exposure. Challenges in proper knowledge management of contract administration are due to: 1) Large amount of fragmented information that is required to manage a construction contract, 2) Information located in heterogeneous sources (Request For Information (RFIs), site notices, schedules, contracts, etc...), 3) Information is handled by many actors in the organization (planners, schedulers, site supervisors, etc...), and 4) Concentration of knowledge related to construction contract administration within a select few in the organization. Knowledge management can play a vital role in the formalizing, sharing and reuse of knowledge related to the contract administration process. This paper presents domain ontology for the construction contract administration process. The ontology formalizes knowledge in contract administration in the form of five main concepts (processes, events, actors, products and constraints). The ontology is modeled according to the contractual conditions of the Federation Internationale des Ingenieurs Conseils (FraFIDIC) Conditions of Contract for Construction for Buildings and Engineering Works Designed by the Owner (1999). Formal ontological engineering methodologies are used to develop the ontology and domain experts validated the concepts and relationships.