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PMBoK begins with developing a Project Charter, then proceeds with stakeholders identification, collecting requirements, etc.

Below is the excerpts from PMBoK's 4.1 Develop Project Charter:

The project charter establishes a partnership between the performing and requesting organizations. In the case of external projects, a formal contract is typically the preferred way to establish an agreement.

The approved project charter formally initiates the project.

Obviously no sum of money can be agreed in the contract because the requirements are not collected, the scope is not defined, etc. What a formal contract is PMBoK talking about? And which PMBoK process is devoted to signing a contract that specifies scope, time and price?

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  • The PMBok Guide doesn't really address commercial issues of that kind. A contract often comes in multiple parts. Charter defines the scope or mandate. A contract should be signed before any work starts - and work usually includes detailed requirements gathering, planning, etc. – nvogel Jan 25 at 10:05
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To take an example, for civil construction multiple contracts are needed

Let us say that you want to build a factory:

  • First you sign a contract with an Architect. The Architect takes into account your space requirements and budget and plans and conceives the building.

  • Based on the above, the structural engineer determines the loads on the structure under its own weight, and also the loads that act on it from external loads such as winds, earthquakes etc. Designs safe and economical sizes for all the beams and columns and also the foundation and prepares the detailed drawings.

  • The builder manages the actual construction as per the above requirements and design and finishes and hands over the building to the customer.

Of these, the first two contracts include gathering the requirements, doing the design and documenting the scope in great detail.

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  • ... and there are experienced attorneys involved at every step. People "who know where the rocks are, and how to avoid them." Don't(!) sign any commercial contract without taking the counsel of an attorney who understands the business. – Mike Robinson Mar 1 at 16:14

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