One of the key requirements for a successful capital project delivery is to have the right project management team who jointly will become responsible for achieving the set project’s objectives. Those will include the project manager, design manager, construction manager, commercial manager, project controls engineer, planners, and schedulers, cost engineers, document controllers, quality manager, HSE manager, and field engineers among others. This requires implementing several processes to ensure acquiring the right team members, at the right time, managing their performance, and releasing them at the right time.
Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, the organization responsible for managing the capital project delivery can implement the different processes needed to successfully build, manage, monitor, evaluate and report performance, and release the project management resources. Those resources could be the project owner’s employed resources or resources from an independent project management consulting firm that will either have the complete responsibility for managing the project delivery or augment the project owner’s project management team.
#01 Single Human Resources Repository
To start with, PMWeb helps in creating a single repository of all resources that could play a role in managing the capital project. The PMWeb resource module will be used to capture the details of each resource either employed by the organization or has worked in the past. The resources repository will also include details of the project management consulting firm or firms that are used by the project owner to manage the project or augment the project owner’s project management team.
The data that will be captured for each resource will include the resource contact details, skills, categories, hiring, and termination date, among many others using the custom fields option. The resource module will also allow capturing the rates for regular, overtime, weekend, and holidays pay types. The attachment tab allows attaching passport copies, certificates, professional certifications and memberships, and other important documents related to the resource.
#02 Professional Services Schedule
For the organization responsible for managing the project, a schedule needs to be created to identify the different tasks that need to be performed by the project management team during the project life cycle phases. The project schedule will be aligned with the project’s work breakdown structure (WBS) helps in understanding the project phases and the scope of work that needs to be managed. The organization should avoid macro managing the professional services activities and accordingly the created activities need to be meaningful and manageable. PMWeb scheduling module will be used to create the professional services schedule.
#03 Project Organization Chart
During the different phases of the project life cycle, the project management organization chart could vary depending on the needed roles to deliver the professional services during each phase. For example, for a capital project, the design phase organization differs from the construction phase organization chart. PMWeb organization chart module will be used to create a visual diagram that shows who is in the team and the role they play. The project organization chart helps to create buy-in for securing resources and build clarity around who does what on the team. A workflow can be assigned to the organization chart to formalize the review and approval of the organization chart for each project life cycle phase.
#04 Role Job Description
For each role included in the organization chart, there should be a detailed job description that will detail the list of specific responsibilities associated with the role, a list of needed skills, experience, and qualifications required as well as measurable performance criteria of that role. Using PMWeb custom form builder a Job Description template will be created for each possible project role. The form header will detail the role title and the purpose of the role. For each project management role, the relevant form will also include tables to list the role responsibilities, relationships with stakeholders, skills and key competencies, experience, qualifications, personality, and performance criteria. For all tables included in the custom form, a score field is added to assess on a scale of 5 points how the selected resource for that role can Fulfill those requirements. This will ensure that the right resources are selected for the project management team.
#05 Booking the Project Resources
The resources assigned to the project as per the organization chart need to be booked by the organization’s project management office (PMO) or the projects department. Those resources could be needed on a full-time or part-time basis for each of the professional services tasks identified in the professional services schedule. The details of all those resource assignments will be added to the PMWeb resource requirement module.
#06 Capturing Actual Resources Hours Using Timesheets
For the organization to have visibility on whether the booked resources’ level of effort was in line with the actual level of effort spent by those resources in managing the specific project life cycle stage, the PMWeb timesheet will be module will be used. This module helps in detailing the exact activities performed by each resource and the hours spent in performing those tasks. Those hours could be regular working hours, overtime hours, weekend hours, and/or holiday hours. A workflow will be assigned to the submission, review, and approval of the reported actual resource hours.
#07 Monitoring, Evaluating, and Reporting Actual Man-Hours Spent Against Planned
The actual resource hours captured from the PMWeb timesheet module and the planned resource hours from the resource requirements module will be the basis for creating a real-time dashboard to monitor, evaluate and report the professional services resources performance.
#08 Monitor, Evaluate and Report on Professional Services Cost Performance
PMWeb allows assigning the relevant cost breakdown structure (CBS) to the relevant resource name in the timesheet. In addition, the PMWeb resource module allows defining the rates for each resource which could be regular pay, weekend pay, and holiday pay among others. This will enable PMWeb to automatically calculate the actual cost of those resources and posted as “non-commitment cost”. In addition, the planned cost of the resources can be captured from the resources’ requirement module. This will enable the organization to have a real-time solution to monitor, evaluate and report on the cost performance of the project’s professional services resources.
#09 Capturing the Project Management Team Member’s Feedback
No one can undermine the importance of having the project team’s personal opinion on the project’s performance and what needs to be changed to ensure successful project delivery. Because of the sensitivity and confidentiality of the project team’s feedback, this information cannot be captured or communicated using general survey applications. Therefore, using PMWeb custom form builder, a feedback form will be created for which the project team members will use to provide their monthly input. There will be no need to assign a workflow for the form as the main intention is to capture this data in a structured and complete format. The feedback form queries could be customized to meet each organization’s objectives, nevertheless, it should not be lengthy or complicated to fill. Dropdown lists for common answers and scoring are highly recommended.
The information captured in those feedback forms will provide the project’s leadership team with the personal perspective that most progress reports and dashboards nowadays lack. It allows management to have clarity on their project team morale as this will have a direct impact on the project’s success. In addition, the survey will help management to hear direct from the project team about events or actions that caused frustration and how to avoid repeating them. In brief, the feedback survey helps to promote the best practice of “voice of the project team”.
#10 Formal Resources Performance Appraisal
To ensure continuous improvement of the assigned project team, a formal performance appraisal of the project team is a must. Using PMWeb custom form builder, a performance appraisal template will be created to capture the points that each resource’s performance needs to be measured against. This will help the project manager, as well as the project team, identify performance areas that need to be addressed and improved to ensure successful project delivery. A final resources appraisal is required before the resources are released from the project.
About the Author
Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value of over the US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, and Telecommunication and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.
Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), and Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and Green Project Management (GPM).
Bassam holds a Masters in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – Kuwait University, Kuwait and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA and London Business School, London, UK.