Organizations that have projects spread across different geographical locations within the same country or even across multiple countries and continents have the interest to report their projects’ performance using maps to easily visualize the location of a project or portfolio or projects. This is more of a requirement for executives and other stakeholders who are not deeply involved in the management of the projects’ portfolios. Therefore, they should not be required to access the organization’s project management information system (PMIS) to get this information. Nevertheless, they are keen to have the trust-worthy performance information that the PMIS is used to enforce.
PMWeb PMIS is one of those applications that is widely used by project-centric organizations to manage their projects portfolio from inception to operation including the phases of planning, design, tender, construction, and handover. PMWeb allows those organizations to manage the complete project management processes including but limited to scope, schedule, cost, quality, safety, human resources, communications, risks and issues, contracts procurement and administration, claims, environment, sustainability, and benefits realization among others.
PMWeb PMIS will be used as the platform that will enable having a real-time single version of the truth projects’ monitoring, evaluating, and reporting solution that is map-centric where the first level will be a summary of the regions, territories, or countries where the organization has their projects. Then they can drill down to a specific region, territory, or country where a Google or ESRI map will display the projects that the organization has within that region, territory, or country. When one of those projects is selected, the project dashboard will be displayed where it will show the exact project location on a Google or ESRI map along with the project’s performance and status details. For housing projects or projects that consist of different building blocks, another shape map can be created for the project layout can report the performance by house or building. This could be also roads, highways, pipelines, and other linear projects where the phases or segments of the projects can be displayed.
Building the Projects Inventory
PMWeb allows the organization to capture all of their projects regardless if they were being executed, planned, completed, canceled, or on hold. For each project, PMWeb allows the organization all needed details to better describe the project along with the latitude and longitude values needed by GIS solutions for map reporting. In addition, it allows attaching all documents that could be related to the project.
Capturing and Reporting Project Progress Details
Although PMWeb allows capturing all processes needed to manage a project, nevertheless, we will assume that the organization is mainly interested in the monthly progress report that will be provided by the project manager. The progress report is designed using PMWeb custom form builder to capture the progress details that matter to the organization. The form will have the fields and a pre-defined list of values that all project managers must use regardless of which project is being reported. This will not only ensure transparency but enforces standardization in performance reporting.
The importance of capturing progress report data and any other project management data using a PMIS like PMWeb is that will help the organization not only in maintaining the historical data of past performance across their complete projects portfolio but enforcing governance in capturing and reporting this performance data. The monthly progress form along with all supporting attachments will be submitted through a pre-defined work to be reviewed and approved thus enforcing governance, transparency, and accountability and having real-time trustworthy data to report on.
Monitoring, Evaluating, and Reporting the Projects’ Performance
The data captured in the online progress report will become the basis for producing the progress report which can be designed in any desired format including the display of progress photos that were captured, uploaded, and stored on the PMWeb document management repository and then attached to the progress report. The progress report could also be linked to other documents in PMWeb. The report can be saved as PDF or printed.
If the project is a housing project, consists of multiple building blocks, or a linear project that has phases and segments, another performance report will be created to capture the performance details of each unit within a project. For example, the report below shows a project that has 11 building blocks. The report displays the planned and actual start dates for each block along with the current percent complete and performance scores against schedule, cost, quality, safety, and overall performance. In addition, the report details the planned and actual quantities of concrete placed on the project. The report is interactive and if the user clicks on a block, the data will be filtered to display the performance values of that block.
Those progress reports can be designed to become linked to the PMWeb enterprise dashboard which shows a Google or ESRI Map with projects displayed on the map. When the organization selects a project from the scorecard which is part of the enterprise dashboard, the project dashboard will appear as the drill down is a standard function in PMWeb.
For organizations who have their projects’ portfolios spread over the country or different parts of the world, having a Google or ESRI map with all projects plotted might prove to be overcrowded and hard to read. Therefore, it is recommended to have a map that only shows a summary of territories, regions, or countries where the organization’s projects exist. For example, assume that the project owner has different capital projects across the United Arab Emirates. A shape file will be added to show the seven emirates of the UAE for which each will be colored differently. The shape file will be an interactive chart where if the reader clicks on any of the seven emirates, the information displayed in the five other visuals will be adjusted to reflect the values relevant to that particular emirate.
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 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.