• Establish a process. Establish a designated spokesperson (usually the project manager) for all communications on projects. This should be both internal (within your company) and external (within your contract, proposal or purchase order). The latter makes clear that only certain persons have contractual authority to speak on behalf of the company.
  • Respond to all accusations. Failing to respond to an adversary's accusations during a project is worse than responding ineffectively or badly. Your silence can be interpreted as agreement to the facts stated in the adversary's e-mail.
  • Use the phrase "among other things" when providing a list. When providing a list in a message (whether they be issues, defects, commissioning action items, problems, etc.), use the phrase "among other things" to keep the list open-ended - assuming it is in your interest to keep it open-ended!
  • Reserve your rights. Use phrases that make clear that you are not giving up any rights. These need not sound like they were written by a lawyer. For instance, when trying to work out a dispute, you might say: "In proposing this compromise, we are of course reserving all rights under our contract to the extent we do not settle our differences."