Article #078 Managing, Monitoring, and Tracking New Requests for Capital Projects

For project-centric organizations, there is always an ongoing demand for new project ideas, known as initiatives, to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives. Those initiatives will be requested by the different business units to identify what investments they would need to achieve the strategic initiatives to be undertaken by the organization. Those requested initiatives, if approved, would become projects that could be selected to be delivered by the organization depending on the organization’s selection and prioritization process.

Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb, organizations can formalize and improve the process of capturing initiative requirements, regardless of the initiative type. PMWeb Work Requests module is the module to capture new initiatives, new projects as well as new work requests for asset management. The user can provide the high-level details of the requested initiative such as initiative description and scope of work, category and type, location, and the requester details. In addition, user-defined fields can be created to capture additional details such as estimated investment cost, planned start, and need date among others. Those user-defined fields are very important to better describe the initiative request. PMWeb allows creating different user-defined fields for which each group would include the user-defined fields relevant to that group. The value types for those user-defined fields could be text, date, numeric, currency, predefined lists, and Boolean.

The attachment tab will be used to attach all supportive documents for the requested initiative such as pictures, market demand studies, and drawings among others. Those documents will be usually uploaded and stored into the PMWeb document management repository before they are attached to the new initiative request.

The workflow assigned to the initial request will be used to formalize the review and approval process for the initial request to be approved as an initiative which will be subject to further analysis to better define the scope of the requested initiative. The status of the initiative must become approved before an initiative is generated.

When the initial request is approved, the initiative can be generated. Usually, the approval of the initial request will be done by the business unit head they have submitted the initial request. When selecting the generate command, PMWeb will provide a list of project templates that has many of the needed items for each project depending on its type predefined. This will help not only in expediting the process of generating the new initiative but also have common values readily available.

When this is completed, a new initiative will be created in PMWeb. This initiative form will be used to capture additional initiative details such as the cost estimate, master schedule, and response to initiative scoring details among other details to better assess the initiative and decide whether it can become a project. It should be noted that even if the initiative request becomes a project, it is by no means that the project will be approved for execution. The project still needs to be subject to the organization’s project selection and prioritization process.

The initiatives request report will provide the organization with a comprehensive real-time register of all initiative requests submitted by the different business units. The report will detail the status of those requests as well as the details of the initiative requests. The report will also include visuals to group requested initiatives by location, category, type, and status.

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 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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