Article #089 Monitoring and Tracking Site Work Instructions (SWI) on Construction Projects

Site Work Instructions (SWI) are written technical instructions issued to the Contractor by the Engineering Consultant to execute a particular job or work, which does not involve adjustment of the contract sum or time. All SWIs must be copied to the Project Owner or the Project Management Consultant upon issuing to the Contractor. The process for who should be involved and copied on the SWI should be outlined in the project execution plan (PEP). On some projects, Site Work Instructions (SWI) are also known as Field Orders.

Upon receipt of the SWI, the Contractor will evaluate the received instruction and advise the Engineering Consultant, with a copy to Project Owner or the Project Management Consultant, of the acceptance to carry out the work as outlined in the SWI without additional time or cost, when to commence the work and its duration for completion and whether it has any effect on other activities or work elements. Should the Contractor consider that a change in Contract Sum or Contract Time is required, then the Contractor must submit a Change Order Request to the Project Owner or his authorized representative immediately and before proceeding with the Site Work Instruction (SWI) works.

The Site Work Instruction (SWI) form must have the following disclaimer statement “This Site Work Instruction is not a Variation Order and should not be considered as or replace a Variation Order. This Site Instruction is issued for clarifying drawings, specifications or contract requirements or non-variation instructions, etc. regarding safety, cleaning, etc. Site Work Instructions involve neither Cost nor Time. Should the Contractor consider otherwise, he should request a Variation Order giving clear details to substantiate his reasons.”.

Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb a formal process for managing, monitoring, and tracking Site Work Instructions (SWI) can be enforced. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the SWI capturing the different fields needed to manage the SWI process. Those would include the SWI description, needed date, confirmation by the contractor that the SWI will be completed without additional time or cost, when to commence the SWI work and its duration and whether it has any effect on other activities or work elements, and the description of this effect if any.

The Site Work Instructions (SWI) form attachment tab will be used to upload and attach any documents or pictures that could be relevant to the SWI. Those documents and pictures will be stored in the PMWeb document management repository. In addition, links to other PMWeb records and imported MS Outlook emails can be also added.

The Site Work Instructions (SWI) workflow will detail the steps of issuing and responding the to SWI as well as the details of those who need to be copied on the SWI. Those would include the Project Owner or the Project Management Consultant. The workflow steps will be aligned with the access given to complete the different fields of the SWI. For example, the Contractor will be only given access to the fields within the section titled “To Be Completed By The Contractor”.

The Site Work Instructions (SWI) register will report on the details of all issued SWIs and their status. The report will include a table of SWIs issued on the project along with the details. The report will include visuals to summarize SWI by bid package, status, if it has cost impact, if it has time impact, and if it impacts any other activity or works on the project. The report data can be specific for a single project or all projects using the project filter as well as it can be for bid packages within a project or all bid packages by using the bid packages filter.

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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