Nowadays, one would rarely have a construction project that would not have a high likelihood of having the risk of construction claims. Whether the party of the contract needs to submit a construction claim or prepare a counterclaim against the claim submitted against them, each one of those parties of the contract needs to ensure that the project is claim-ready. A claim-ready project is a project that has pre-contract and post-contract administration and management best practices implemented in full so the project management team is prepared to better prevent, mitigate, respond and win in the event a claim situation arises.
Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb can enable a project to be claim-ready. The many PMWeb default out-of-the-box modules as well as the unlimited modules that can be created using the PMWeb custom form builder will enable the entity to enforce having all needed pre-contract and post-contract administration and management documentation and information for a claim-ready project.
PMWeb document management repository module allows the entity to create a filing breakdown structure that matches each project filing structure maintained in the filing cabinets. Folders and subfolders will be created to ensure that all project documentation is captured, uploaded, and stored in their designated folder. PMWeb allows creating attributes that could differ from one folder to another to ensure that the particulars of each uploaded project document are properly and completely captured as well as organized.
Contract Agreement Documents
PMWeb drawings list module allows capturing the details of each contract agreement document including but not limited to drawings, specifications, contract agreement, site investigation reports, bill of quantity, bid queries, and response to those queries among others. All revisions for those contract agreement documents will be also captured to ensure that the latest version of each document is available as well as the availability of all superseded versions.
PMWeb daily report module will be used to capture the details of all daily events as reported by the contractor and even prime subcontractors. The captured data will include the weather conditions, achieved deliverables, active and idle resources, labor and non-labor, spent against each project schedule activity, and progress photographs among others. This data will enable the entity to have information on actual resources and hours consumed on the project as well as progress achieved. Daily reports are the formal communication that enables formally documenting the history of a project.
PMWeb correspondence module will be used to capture all incoming and outgoing project correspondence. The actual correspondence documents will be uploaded into the PMWeb document management repository and attached to the record.
PMWeb meeting minutes module will be used to capture all project meeting types including but not limited to kick-off, progress review, coordination, safety, risk preview, testing and commissioning, and closeout among others. For each meeting minute, PMWeb will capture the details of the meeting, invited and attended audience, and meeting business items including responsibility, due date, completion date, and which project schedule activity the meeting business item could impact.
Request for Information (RFI)
PMWeb Request for Information module will be used to capture the details of all RFIs issued by the contractor, the proposed solution, and the engineer’s response to those RFIs. PMWeb RFI module allows capturing the issuance and response date of each RFI, the WBS level that the RFI belongs to, whether the RFI was for in-scope or out-of-scope work, and whether the RFI has cost or schedule impact and which project schedule activity it could impact. Of course, all supportive documents to the RFI will be attached and stored in the PMWeb document management repository.
PMWeb submittal item module allows capturing the details of all shop drawings, as-built drawings, method statements, guarantees, subcontractors prequalification, O&M manuals, and other documents that the project contractor is obliged to submit before procuring and installing those products and equipment. For each submittal item, PMWeb allows linking it to the relevant project schedule activity. PMWeb allows creating an unlimited number of user-defined fields to capture the particulars of each submittal by type.
Non-Compliance Report (NCR)
PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the forms that are not readily available in PMWeb. One of those forms will be the Non-Compliance Report (NCR). The layout and data to be captured in the NCR can be completely designed by the entity to capture the needed information as per the project contract management manual.
PMWeb company module allows capturing the details of all entities that could be involved in delivering the project. These include the project owner, project management consultant, engineering consultant, contractor, subcontractors, vendors, suppliers, government authorities, and all other stakeholders. For each entity, PMWeb allows capturing the details of all departments and individuals who can be involved in the project. In addition, PMWeb allows capturing the details of trade licenses, insurances, professional indemnity, ISO certifications, and other documents needed for a company to carry out its intended services.
One of the very popular sets of forms that can be created using PMWeb custom form builder is the occurrence report for events that could result in construction claims. These include for example differing site conditions, constructive acceleration, delayed approvals, and access to site denial among many others. Those occurrence reports have a predefined list of questions that need to be captured by the project’s field team as soon as one of those events occurs as well as the actions that the organization’s contract and commercial team needs to undertake.
Potential Change Orders
PMWeb Potential Change Order module allows capturing all potential change orders, anticipated variation orders, or claims which can be submitted by the project owner, project owner’s representative, project management consultant, engineering consultant, and contractor. In addition, PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the forms for the two additional processes Deviation Request or Early Warning Notification (EWN) and Change Order Technical Justification that is usually associated with the potential change orders process. Of course, all supportive documents to those forms will be attached and stored in the PMWeb document management repository.
PMWeb Change Order module allows capturing the details of all change orders issued on the project. This will include all approved, pending, and disputed change orders. For each change order, PMWeb will capture the details of workflow steps that were part of the submit, review and approve process. Of course, all supportive documents to the change order will be attached and stored in the PMWeb document management repository.
Interim Progress Invoices
PMWeb commitment module will capture the details of all contract agreements between the project entities. For example, if it is being managed by the project owner, then the contract agreements will include the agreements between the project owner and the consultant and contractor. On the other hand, if PMWeb is being managed by the contractor, then the agreements will include the agreements between the contractor and the subcontractors, vendors, and suppliers. In addition, PMWeb allows capturing the revenue contract between the project owner and contractor if PMWeb is being managed by the contractor.
For all those agreements, the PMWeb progress invoice module will be used to capture the details of all interim progress invoices. The progress invoice allows the integration of each invoice line item with the project’s schedule activities to capture the approved percent complete values at end of each period. PMWeb also allows capturing the details of all miscellaneous invoices that are not part of a specific contract.
Bonds and Insurance Log
Each contract captured in the PMWeb commitment module will include the details of the performance bond, advance payment guarantee, workmen compensation insurance, third-party liability insurance, professional indemnity, and other insurance documents required for the contract agreement. This will enable having a log report for all those documents with their expiry and renewal dates.
Baseline Schedule, Revised Schedules, and Periodical Updates
Although the project schedule will usually get developed using Oracle Primavera P6 or MS Project, nevertheless PMWeb allows importing all those versions to enable the entity to report on those schedules, link to time-sensitive records (RFI, submittal, meeting minutes, progress invoices, budget, etc.) and compare the start and finish dates of the different schedule versions. In addition, PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create a schedule review and analysis checklist to ensure that each schedule version and update is formally reviewed and analyzed before it is approved. A copy of the schedule file (XER or MPP) will be uploaded and stored in the PMWeb document management repository and get attached to the checklist form.
Usually, the detailed project schedule will be resource-loaded to help in identifying the required resource numbers to be assigned to the project delivery. Unlike the resource-loaded schedule values which could vary from one period to another, the resource requirements for a project need to be consistent over longer periods, for example, 3 or 6 months. PMWeb resource requirement module is used to book the different resources, labor, and non-labor, for the different project periods. Those would be similar to the resource availability limits that will be assigned to the project’s schedule.
Extension of Time Requests and Delay Events
PMWeb custom folder will be used to create the Extension of Time or Delay Events form. The layout and data to be captured in the EoT/Delay Event can be completely designed by the entity to capture the information that matters to them most. For example, this could include details if the delay is excusable on non-excusable, entitlement for compensation, concurrent, on the critical path or not, and other relevant details.
PMWeb risk analysis module will be used to capture the details of all risks identified during the project life cycle stages. For each risk, the occurrence likelihood and impact on project schedule and cost will be captured as well as the proposed risk response action. The analysis will also detail the occurrence likelihood and impact on project schedule and cost after applying the risk response measures.
Project Cost Estimate
Organizations tend to use different applications including MS Excel to develop the project cost estimate. PMWeb cost estimate module allows the organization to create the project cost estimate using the rates for items and resources captured in PMWeb. Nevertheless, what is more, important is that it allows importing the cost estimate from MS Excel into PMWeb. Even if the cost estimate was created in any third-party cost estimating application, all applications nowadays allow exporting the cost estimate into an MS Excel file format which can be then imported into PMWeb.
Bids and Proposals
PMWeb procurement module will be used to capture the details of all proposals submitted for each contract or bid package. The procurement module will compare the bid proposals received using the PMWeb online bid module with the approved cost estimate for each bid line item number.
No Objection Certificates (NOC) and Permits
For capital project delivery, there is always the requirement to obtain no-objection certificates (NOC) from local authorities like the municipality, water, and electricity, civil defense, and roads department among other permits. Those time-sensitive permits need to be renewed to maintain them active. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create a form to capture the details of all those NOCs along with their expiry and renewal dates.
Request for Inspection
PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the different site inspection templates which could vary depending on the type of work to be inspected. The request for inspection form will identify what items to be inspected for each building system type. Pictures for inspected works can be attached to the request for inspection form especially when those forms are accessed using a mobile smart device.
PMWeb punch list module will be used to capture the details of all final inspections made to enable the project’s substantial completion stage. Different punch lists will be created for each building system to enable project team members responsible for that building system for example HVAC, Electrical, and Fire Protection among others to perform this inspection. For each reported item in the punch list, a due date to rectify, responsibility and amount to be withheld will be added to facilitate the re-snagging and ensure that work had been rectified.
Periodical Progress Narrative
The weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly progress narrative report prepared by the project manager is very important as it provides insight into important events and actions that could have an impact on the project’s progress. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the periodical progress narrative report to capture the needed information. The design of this form could be done in any form and format to meet the project’s progress reporting requirements.
Processes Workflow Dates
For each contract administration and management process that will be performed during the project life cycle stages, a workflow needs to be created to ensure that the submit, review, approve and share steps are being actioned as per the agreed responsibility assignment matrix (RAM). PMWeb report writer can be used to create a report that captures the actual dates for those workflow steps for each contract administration and management process. This will enable investigating and reporting on the history of every process performed during the project duration.
Of course, a PMIS like PMWeb can capture the details of many other contract administration and management processes that could be deemed necessary to have a claim-ready project. For example, there could be a need to capture details of all interface agreements, transmittals, safety incidents, material deliveries, confirmation of verbal instructions, site work instructions, budget, budget adjustments, earned value measures, and actual payments of progress invoices among many other processes. Many of those processes are readily available out-of-the-box from PMWeb as well as other processes can be created using the PMWeb custom form builder. For each process, a workflow can be defined to formalize the steps to submit, review and approve the process.
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.