Regardless if technology was used or not to digital transform the many processes needed to manage the delivery of a capital construction project, individuals from the different entities involved in the delivery of those projects will continue to use emails as one of the communication methods. Even when Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb are used to automate the project scope, schedule, cost, quality, health and safety, human resources, communications, risks, procurement, contracts, claims, funding, sustainability among many other processes, emails will continue to be used. Emails are used to communicate project information that might or might not be related to those processes. In addition, email communications might involve individuals that have either been authorized to use the PMIS or any other collaboration platform implemented on the project or not.
The content of those email communications can sometimes be of great importance to those involved in delivering the project. They can include information that can help to clarify or confirm the content of information included in the managed processes in the PMIS. In addition, emails can be the method used to communicate with individuals who have not been authorized to use the PMIS or collaboration platform used on the project. In addition, email communications will be also used with entities that are not yet part of the entities who are currently involved in delivering the project. In many cases, email communications are used to support claim submissions as well as counter claims responses.
PMWeb is one of the PMIS solutions that enable entities to capture, store, track and use email communications to benefit the management of capital construction projects. To achieve this, there should be a unique email address assigned for each project like for example Boston.Medical@CMCS-MENA.com or P1000@CMCS-MENA.com. This best practice ensures that for every email communication that relates to a specific project, a carbon copy (CC) should be also sent to project email address. Whether PMWeb is in use or not, this practice will ensure that all email communications for each specific project are properly captured, stored and can be tracked. Email communications should be one of the processes that need to be detailed in each project management plan.
To use those email communications in PMWeb, the email address details assigned to each project needs to be added. This one time setup for each project will include defining the fields for the project email address, mail server, port (POP3), password, whether the email will use SSL and if the email is active or inactive. This setup will automatically enable importing emails to their designated project folder.
All imported project emails will be captured in PMWeb email module. The module has two main folders, Inbox and Outbox. Each one of those folders will automatically list all projects that were setup to import emails into PMWeb. Projects will be grouped by their assigned location breakdown structure value. The inbox folder will include all imported emails while the outbox folder will include emails sent from PMWeb using the Notification option which is available at each PMWeb process whether those were PMWeb ready-to-use processes or processes created using PMWeb custom form builder.
Each displayed input or output email will include the project name, email sent to and from, subject, date and list of attachments. The list of email can be grouped by any of those fields by simply dragging and dropping the filed on the grouping field.
The imported emails will become available to be linked to any PMWeb process by using the attachment tab available in each PMWeb process. Selecting the “Add” command, the user will be given the option to select “Email”. Selecting the browse command will open the register for the imported emails into PMWeb. By defualt, PMWeb will select the inbox email folder for the project that the process record was selected. PMWeb also gives the option to link emails that are belongs to other projects if needed and of course if the user is authorized to do so.
The linked emails will be listed on the attachment tab for which the hyperlink to that email will become automatically available along with attached documents and linked PMWeb records. PMWeb will capture the details of the linked email to the attachment list. In addition, there is the option of adding notes to the linked email.
About the Author
Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with 40-year service record providing project management, project controls services and project management information system to over than 400 projects with a total value in excess of US$ 400 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment, Hospitality and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, 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 in topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 40 years he has lectured at more than 400 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and South America. He has written more than 400 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He was 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.