Article #056 How to Implement Proactive Snagging Approach to Identify Defects and Omissions on Construction Projects?

In construction projects, a snag list (occasionally referred to as a punch list) defines the process of inspection necessary to compile a list of minor defects or omissions in building works for the contractor to rectify. The faults that are identified in the snag list should be rectified before issuing the certificate of practical completion by the project owner.

Nevertheless, a snag list can be used in a more proactive approach when it becomes an observation report that will be used throughout the whole construction duration as it will include every single defect or omission that had been identified by the project team and need to be rectified. This proactive use of the snag list can pave the way for smooth collaboration between the project owner, consultant, contractor, and subcontractors to ensure a speedy issuance of the project’s certificate of practical completion.

Most project management information systems (PMIS) including PMWeb has a snag list or punch list as one of their many default project management modules. For each project, there is no limit to the number of snag lists that can be created. To ensure the adoption of this recommended proactive snag list approach, a snag list will be created for each project owner and consultant team member that have a role in inspecting the building works. This will enable them to capture, compile and report on all minor defects or omissions identified by them while being on the project site. PMWeb snag list module can be accessed from any browser running on any device including iPad among other mobile devices. Using those mobile devices that usually have the option of “Speech to Text”, the user can state the description of the snag list item which will be typed in automatically in PMWeb.

All documents and pictures that are relevant to a reported snag list item need to be attached to the snag list item. When using a mobile device with a camera like an iPad, when the user clicks on the attach button, the user will be given the option to take a picture or video. PMWeb viewer can be also used to add comments and remarks to those documents when needed. The project team can append the attachment list with other documents as well as link other PMWeb records and imported email communications.

To ensure that the snag list is distributed to the right project team members which would usually include the contractor and other stakeholders that need to be kept informed of the reported defects and omissions, a workflow can be pre-defined that will include all the review and approval tasks. PMWeb allows capturing the actual dates for performing those tasks and comments made by each reviewer.

For those stakeholders who are either not part of the predefined workflow steps or do not have access to the PMWeb platform, the project team member can share the snag list report with those stakeholders using the PMWeb notification option. PMWeb will automatically record details of those issued notifications on the snag list record.

Similar to all other PMWeb modules, the snag list prepared by each project team member can be formally communicated using the default snag list form which can be also designed in any desired form and format to reflect the project branding and other requirements.

The defects and omissions reported by the different project team members will be consolidated into a single report and will become available for the project management to view. The reported defects and omissions can be grouped by their work category, location, reported by who, the responsibility of who to rectify, number of overdue defects and omissions, and any other attribute used while capturing this information.

Of course, the same snag list module used for this proactive approach to identifying defects and omissions will be also used to perform the snag listing needed for issuing the substantial completion certificate. In addition, the same snag list module can be used by property owners and facility managers in reporting defects when inspecting buildings and other facilities during the operation phase.

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 controls services to over 100 projects with a total value of over 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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