Article #035 Using Project Management Information System to Enforce Governance on Capital Projects by Implementing Formal Project Life Cycle Stage Gate Management

The growing demand for enforcing governance on project delivery, and in particular capital projects, had never been required like what we see nowadays. In addition to enforcing governance in the execution of the different project management processes as it relates to collaboration, document, planning, cost, procurement, contract, revenue, risk, quality, HSE management, and others, there is project governance that relates to deciding whether the project can proceed as is or must be changed or simply get terminated. To achieve this type of governance, project management best practices recommend the use of Stage Gates. Those stage gates will enforce a formal process for deciding on “Go/No Go” as it relates to proceeding with the follow-on project stage.

A Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb will enable the organization to map the project life cycle stages and define the deliverables for each stage. A stage cannot be considered complete until those deliverables are formally submitted, reviewed, and approved. An organization could have multiple versions of its project’s delivery life cycle depending on the type, size, and selected project delivery method. The deliverables at the stage-gate can be linked to the source PMWeb record or document that relates to that deliverable. Those could be the project cost estimate, budget, risk register, and design deliverables among others.

PMWeb stage-gate module will be also used to document the risk assessment needed to be carried out at each stage before it can be considered closed. The Stage-Gate Score tab will be used to detail all items that need to be checked and verified. It provides the option to provide a unique weight and score point for each item. In addition, it provides the option the specify the “Answer” type for each item. Those could be text, the values from a predefined list of values, amount, and date among others.

Although a workflow can be assigned to the stage to review and approve, nevertheless, most organizations require having a formal stage-gate review process. Using PMWeb PMIS custom form builder a form will be created for the stage-gate review. There could be a separate form design for each stage as the deliverables for each stage will differ. This will expedite the stage gates review and ensure it has been completed as per the set project governance policy and procedure. Similar to all PMWeb modules, documents can be uploaded and attached to the Stage-Gate Review form as well as relevant PMWeb records can be linked. In addition, a workflow will be assigned to formalize the steps for submitting, reviewing, and approving the Stage-Gate Review form.

The stage-gate status report will provide the organization with real-time information to monitor, evaluate and report the performance of each project phase deliverables. The form can be designed in the desired form and format to meet the organization’s reporting requirements.

About the Authorfounder

Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and control 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.


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