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Change Management Tools: Upline & Downline


We have previously mentioned contractors having a Change Management Strategy in place.

Change Management Strategies are made up of tools that are at the disposal of the Contractor.

These tools can be spilt into 2 divisions and termed:

  • Upline
  • Downline

“Upline” is where there is a change from the contractor to the client/design team. The key tools/templates required are:

  • Site Diary
  • Labour/Day Work Sheets
  • Confirmation o Verbal Instruction (CVI’S)
  • Revised Programmes
  • Progress Reports/minutes
  • Delay Letters
  • Request for Information (RFI’s)
  • Variation cost breakdown Sheet

“Downline” is where there is a change from the contractor to the supply chain (i.e. Subcontractor/specialist contractor/supplier). The key tools/templates required are:

  • Subcontractor Instruction
  • Non-compliance Instruction (also known as non-conformance)
  • Delay notice/action (commonly known as a 7 day letter)
  • Payless Notice
  • Payment Notice
  • Contractor’s Terms & Conditions
  • Suitable Subcontractor Order (short-form & long-form)

In my experience, it does not matter if it is upline or downline – please note that this list is not exhaustive. The main aim of any of these documents, is to mitigate a reasonable amount of risk from the contractor and mitigate risk in terms of time and cost.

These documents will only work if you have a client’s contract takes account of any tender qualifications and especially if you have tight/concrete orders with your supply chain.

Should you wish to discuss any of the above in more detail, or need assistance with any commercial aspects of your construction projects, then please do not hesitate to contact me, either via my website: or via email

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