Discrepancy & Divergence

Both discrepancy and divergence are almost the same in meaning, except in the application of them. As far as I know, discrepancy usually used to define any difference in a document, while divergence is used to define any difference between documents. In construction projects, if it is not handled with good care, the appearance of any discrepancy or divergence may result in project delay, compromise on project quality and increase in project cost. Therefore, preventing and eliminating this discrepancy and divergence can enable projects to be completed successfully.

Before we talk about the methods in solving discrepancy and divergence, it is important to know the potential causes of discrepancies and divergences in the project life cycle. Generally we can divide the causes into 2 phases; design phase and construction phase. Below are some causes of discrepancies and divergences in projects:

  1. Design Phase
    1. Involvement of contractor in the design conceptual and development phases
    2. Lack of data
    3. Delay in preparing construction documents
    4. Lack of human resources in design division
    5. Time limitation in the design phase                                                                                                                                                                                B. Construction Phase
      1. Lack of designer’s knowledge of available materials and equipment
      2. Incomplete plans and specifications
      3. Insufficient working drawing details
      4. Communication problems between contractor, employer and designer
      5. Lack of mutual respect between contractor, employer and designer
      6. Ambiguous design details
      7. Lack of specialists in complicated designs and technologies
      8. Material changes during the construction phase
      9. Shortage of construction resources
      10. Design errors
      11. Lack of coordination between parties
      12. Design complexity
      13. Buildability
      14. Fast track construction
      15. Weather conditions
      16. Variation orders
      17. Involvement of designer/contractor as consultant

And next issue is how to solve this discrepancy and divergence in a contract dispute?


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