Article #090 Managing Employer Complaints in Construction Projects

Project Owners, or as contractually known as “Employers”, are one of the most critical stakeholders that need to be managed and ensure their continued support for the project. Failing to address and resolve complaints that they might raise could lead to drastic impacts that could directly impact the project objectives. This requires having a formal process for managing and resolving all Employer Complaints.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb can help in enforcing a formal process for monitoring and tracking Employer Complaints and ensure that it is part of the project’s performance dashboard. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the form that the Employer can use directly to file a complaint or used by the project team to capture and manage those complaints. The form will detail how, when and the method the complaint was received as well as the details of the complaint. The form will also include fields to capture the immediate actions to be taken to address the complaint and by whom and when the investigation results of what has caused the complaint and the measures to be taken to prevent the recurrence of those causes.

The attachment tab for the Employer Complaint form will be used to attach the complaint letter or email sent by the employer as well as attach documents and link PMWeb records that have a relation to the raised complaint. Similar to all other project documents, those documents will be stored in the PMWeb document management repository.

The Employer Complaint form workflow will be used to ensure that the complaint is distributed to the right project team members. The final approval of the workflow process will be assigned to the Project Executive or some other senior company executive who will be the only authorized individual to close the complaint.

The Employer Complaint Report will maintain a real-time register of all complaints raised on the project showing the details captured in the Employer Complaint form. The form will have visuals to show the status of all Employer Complaints, employer complaints by bid package, and the average time taken to close those complaints.

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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