Article #084 Automating Alerts for Delayed Review and Approval Actions in Project Management Processes in Construction Projects


One of the main objectives of using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb is to automate the submit, review and approve steps associated with the workflows assigned to the different project management processes. When a workflow is created, each step assigned to a project team member would have a duration to complete the needed review and approve actions. The total of all those durations within a workflow should not exceed the allotted duration to complete the review and approval process. The total duration of a workflow could differ depending on the type and nature of the project management process.

For each workflow, PMWeb provides the option to create automated alerts when the workflow step duration exceeds the originally allotted duration. This is a must requirement in projects, and in particular capital projects, where workflow steps cannot be simply escalated for another project team member to act on. The assigned individual to the workflow step must perform that step to fulfill the project’s roles and responsibilities requirements. PMWeb allows the setting of the number of days for an alert to be triggered should the assigned individual fails to complete the review process in the allotted duration. Those number of days could be either for several delayed days (+) or several days remaining to consume the allotted days (-). In addition, PMWeb allows specifying what project team members are to receive this alert and whether this alert is to be received via email, on-screen notification, or both.

PMWeb allows defining the layout of the alert email message by adding the fields that need to be included in the email notification message. It also allows specifying the attachments to be sent along with this alert email. Those could include the default PMWeb report and PMWeb Word form assigned to the relevant project management process. It also allows creating a link to the PMWeb record for which the alert is being issued.

For example, let us assume that the Contractor has submitted a Request for Information (RFI) asking for the engineer to clarify the ambiguities that the mechanical floor piping layout drawing has with the structural drawings. Usually, responding to RFIs should not exceed fourteen (14) days from the submission date. For this RFI workflow, there are two reviews and approval steps each is five (5) days long leaving four (4) days as a buffer. The RFI workflow has an alert if the workflow step is delayed by two (2) days or more. Should this happen, an alert email will be sent to the Project Manager who will check with the assigned reviewer on the reasons for this delay. Now assume the first step reviewer has delayed the review duration by two (2) days. In this instance, PMWeb will automatically send an alert email to the Project Manager as shown below so he/she can take the necessary actions.

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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