On every construction project, contractors are required to submit a monthly progress report that details the project’s performance status for the elapsed month. The challenge that most contractors will encounter is the time needed to update the information to be included in the report as usually the report need to be submitted within 3 days from the month-end. The challenge is not only the time needed to update the information but the time needed to analyze and report on this information. In addition, project owners and their authorized representatives have challenges in verifying the validity of the reported information for which most of it will be compiled in MS Excel templates as well as use the reported progress information to prepare their internal progress report.
Those challenges will continue to exist on construction projects as long as contractors are using multiple discrete applications to report the project’s progress information and then manually compile and maybe aggregate this information. Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) will provide a single platform to capture and report on the project’s progress information when needed.
Usually, the contractor’s monthly progress report will include the sections of Project Location and Layout, Project Summary, Progress Summary, HSE Report, and Project Updated Schedule. Submittal Status Log, Long Lead Items Procurement Log, Manpower, and Plant Equipment Details, Progress Payment Status, Areas of Concern, Authority NOC Status, and Progress Photographs.
Project Progress Narrative
Using PMWeb custom form builder, a form will be created to capture the progress narrative which needs to be completed by the contractor’s project manager or the authorized individual for reporting the project’s progress performance. The form will usually include fields stating the project’s original scope of work and revised scope of work. The form will also include details of the project commencement date, original period and current project duration, planned date of completion, current or forecast completion date, original contract amount, and revised contract amount. In addition, the form will also capture the planned progress percent complete and actual progress percent complete. Further, the form will also include a field to report the areas of concern that are either impacting or could impact the project’s progress. Finally, the form will also include a description of the completed works during the elapsed period.
The form will also include a table to capture the details of the key project deliverables’ status. Those are usually the milestones assigned to the project’s summary WBS level. For each deliverable, the table will include the deliverable name, weight out of the project’s 100% total weight, planned and current or actual completion date, planned and actual progress percentages, and remarks. The output progress report will do the needed project’s progress calculations.
The Project Progress Narrative form will only include the Contractor name as the project could include multiple prime contractors for which each might need to submit their monthly progress report. The details of the other project stakeholders which will usually include the project owner, project management consultant (if any) and engineering consultant will be captured in the PMWeb project module where the project was initially created.
In addition, the progress narrative form will be attached with the latest progress photos that will be included in the progress report submission. Those progress photos along with all supportive documents used in the progress report will be uploaded into the PMWeb document management repository. A folder will be created for each progress period for which those documents will be uploaded and stored. Of course, the attachment tab also allows linking other PMWeb records and imported MS Outlook emails to the progress form.
Using PMWeb custom form builder, a report will be created to capture the overall planned progress completed for each period and the reported progress percent complete. The planned progress complete values must be completed and submitted along with the contractor’s baseline schedule submission. Those planned progress values will be locked to disable any changes to the approved progress values. The report will become the basis for creating the progress S-Curves chart.
In case there is a need to have multiple curves for the project, then it is recommended to have two tables in the report. The first will capture the planned progress values for the curve while the second table will be used to report the actual performance. PMWeb custom form builder can be set to restrict access to the planned progress data.
When the initially planned progress values are submitted for review and approval, the contractor needs to attach a copy of the project’s baseline schedule report along with the S-Curves values for each period to ensure that what is included in the form is aligned with the project’s approved schedule. A folder will be created for the project’s baseline schedule submission for which all relevant documents will be uploaded and stored.
Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) Performance
Although PMWeb comes ready with it is own safety incident form, as well as the custom form builder, can be used to create forms for safety violation notices, work permits, site access permits, H&S self-assessments, HSE audit checklists, HSE risk registers among others, nevertheless, it is assumed that the contractor is only required on the key HSE performance indicators without formally implementing those processes using PMWeb.
In this case, the PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the HSE Monthly Performance Report. The form will include two tables. The first is to report on the safety incidents and lost hours while the second will be to summarize the HSE audit results. For each period, the safety incident table will report on the number of incidents by category such as Near Miss, Lost Time Injury, First Aid Treatment, Medical Treatment, and Fatality. It will include total manhours worked (which is usually captured in the daily report module) and the lost manhours due to safety incidents. The second table will include the total number of audits conducted and targeted or planned and a total number of NCRs Raised, Closed, and Outstanding. This information will be used to calculate the Lost Time Incident (LTI) and Total Reportable Incident Rate (TRIR) values in the output progress report.
Although the contractor will be required to submit the updated project’s progress schedule using the planning and scheduling software application, which is usually Oracle Primavera P6, nevertheless, the progress report will also include a report to display the variance between the current period progress and the baseline progress and/or last period performance. Using the PMWeb Schedule module, all monthly progress updates including the baseline schedule and any other schedule revisions will be imported to PMWeb.
This will enable the contractor to create different reports to be included in the monthly progress report. Those could be a summary bar chart of the project’s current schedule as well as the schedule comparison report. It should be noted that the contractor will not use PMWeb to replace the Oracle Primavera P6 schedule reports which will be produced, saved as PDF, and attached to the Project Progress Narrative form. All those Oracle Primavera P6 generated reports will be saved as a PDF file format and uploaded and stored in the relevant monthly progress folder in the PMWeb document management repository.
Submittal Status Logs
The monthly progress report will usually include the updated submittal logs for material samples, method statements, subcontractors’ and suppliers’ prequalification, shop drawings, as-built drawings, and other types of submittals that are needed for the project. The major mistake that most contractors as well as the other project stakeholders fall into is that those submittal logs are based on what has been submitted and exclude the submittals that are planned to be made as per the contract’s specification requirements.
To overcome this issue, the Contractor will be required to submit the planned submittal log for all submittal types along with the baseline schedule submission. Each submittal item needs to be associated with the relevant project schedule activity, that is to say, a unique activity should be created for each submittal item included in the submittal log. The final submittal will be usually created using MS Excel. This will enable importing the submittal log into the PMWeb Submittal Items module where the actual submittal review and approval process will be managed.
In addition, folders will be created in the PMWeb document management repository will create to manage the actual submittal documents such as shop drawings, as-built drawings, product catalogs, prequalification documents, and method statements among others. Under the submittal folder, sub-folders will be created for each submittal type. In addition, under each submittal type sub-folder, sub-folders will be created for the different categories within a submittal type. For example, for material samples, sub-folders will be created for Civil Material, Electrical Material, Mechanical Material, and Finishes Material among others. Those sub-folders will be used by the document controllers to upload the documents to be submitted.
PMWeb document management system allows setting access rights to the created folders and subfolders. This will help in assigning the needed access rights for each folder. In addition, PMWeb allows defining different document attributes to each folder to capture additional details on each uploaded document or documents uploaded in bulk. Further, it allows subscribing to the created folders to get email notifications or on-screen notifications when new documents are uploaded or downloaded from each form folder, a new version is uploaded among others.
The uploaded and stored documents will be attached to their relevant submittal item. In addition, links to other relevant submittal items as well as other PMWeb records can be added as well as links to imported MS Outlook emails.
The workflow assigned to the submittal item will ensure that each submittal is reviewed, shared, and approved by its intended recipients. The submittal item category field will be used to define the submittal type such as shop drawings, material samples, and method statements among others while the CSI Code field will be used to specify the submittal category which could civil, mechanical, or electrical among others. Using those two fields, conditions will be created to ensure that the submittal item is following the workflow steps that are specific to the submittal type and category.
The submittal log report will be generated from the submittal items captured in PMWeb. The output report form and format will be designed in the exact report layout required for each specific project. The report could include color indicators to highlight delayed submittals or those due within the next progress period.
Non-Compliance Report (NCR) Log
PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the input for the NCR. The form will include details of the required corrective action and the actions taken by the contractor to rectify the same. Similar to other PMWeb modules, the form can be attached to the form directly or as recommended, uploaded and store into the PMWeb document management repository, and then attach to the relevant NCR. In addition, a workflow can be assigned to the NCR to ensure it is reviewed and approved by it is designated project, team members.
In addition, and similar to all other PMWeb modules, an output form can be created for the NCR to ensure that it is formally communicated by printing, wet-sign, and stamping the form or save as a PDF and digitally signing the form. In addition, the NCR log report will be designed in the exact report layout required for each specific project. The report could include color indicators to highlight closed and pending NCRs.
Long Lead Procurement Items
Although PMWeb custom form builder can be used to create a summary Long Lead Procurement that will capture the required details of the Long Lead Procurement Report, nevertheless it is highly recommended to have a form that will capture the details of each long lead procurement item. The form will capture the subcontractor name, bid package reference, relevant project schedule activity, material or equipment description, Bill of Quantity or Specification reference number, estimated and ordered quantity along with the unit of measure, required order date, issued purchase order date, and reference, supplier name, method of shipping, shipping date to the country and required on job date, estimated and the actual date of arrival to site, and remarks. There will be also a field to confirm if the issued purchase order has been attached.
In addition, the form will also include a table to capture the material or equipment details if they were delivered in batches. The table will include the lot, delivery date, quantity delivered, and remarks. There will be also a field to confirm if the delivery note has been attached.
The form attachment tab will be used to upload and attach copies of the issued purchase order, factory and third-party testing certificates that could be needed, documents that confirm that the material or equipment had been shipped, and delivery notes among other needed supportive documents.
The captured data will become the basis for generating the Contractors’ Procurement Schedule which is usually known for those who have worked on projects managed by Turner as the “E2” report. In addition to the fields captured from the Contractors’ Procurement Schedule form, the report will include a field called “Lead” which will be the difference between the estimated date of arrival to the site and the required job date.
Manpower, Equipment, and Plant Histogram
Although the project schedule will be the source for determining the manpower, equipment, and plant resources planned requirements, nevertheless, it is known those requirements could be different from one period to another. A contractor cannot simply hire, fire, and deploy resources on a weekly or even monthly basis. There should be a planned deployment schedule for manpower, equipment, and plant resources that will take into consideration those variances. Although PMWeb has a resource requirement module to capture those requirements, will assume that the Contractor will use PMWeb to create a much-simplified form to capture those requirements.
PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the resources planned requirements and consumed resources for each period. Of course, the PMWeb default Daily Report module provides the better and right approach for capturing the actual manpower, equipment, and plant resources deployed on the project on daily basis. The report allows linking each resource to the relevant project schedule activity as well as capturing the exact hours that each resource has spent against the activity. In addition, PMWeb daily report allows for capturing the details of actual work type and quantities completed on each particular day. This will allow for generating the actual productivity report for each trade.
In addition, PMWeb daily report allows for capturing the details of actual work type and quantities completed on each particular day. By using the actual hours spent on completing this work, the Contractor can generate the actual productivity report for each trade.
Interim Payments Log
PMWeb contract module will be used by the Contractor to capture the details of the agreement between the Project Owner and the Contractor. The contract agreement could be summarized as a single item or it can be detailed to reflect the Bill of Quantity (BoQ) tables or even be detailed to the BoQ item levels. For each item, and depending on the level of detail, it could be the lump sum contract amount, lump sum amount for each BoQ table, lump-sum value for each BoQ item or quantity, unit of measure, and rate for each BoQ item. PMWeb allows capturing the contract terms about retention as well as adding adjustments for Tax, VAT, and advance payment recovery among others.
The interim progress invoices will be captured using the PMWeb Requisition module which will detail the amount of approved work in place for each progress period. PMWeb allows linking each requisition line item with the relevant project schedule activity to import the percent complete from the approved schedule to the requisitioned item. In addition, the payment tab for each requisition will be used to capture the actual payment made against the approved progress invoice, whether in full or part of it. The payment tab will include the field for payment method, date, amount, and reference among others.
A report will be generated in the desired form and format to report the status of all progress invoices submitted on the project. The report will summarize the progress invoice amount for each period with the option to drill through to review the complete progress invoice details.
Change Orders Log
PMWeb Change Orders module will be used to capture the details of all change orders whether those are approved, pending, or disputed. The form will include details of the items included in the change order as well as the time, positive or negative, that this change has on the project’s completion date. Similar to all other PMWeb modules, the attachment tab will be used to attach all supportive documents as well as link relevant PMWeb records and imported MS Outlook emails.
Permitting Authorities’ No Objection Certificates (NOCs)
PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create a report that will capture the details of all permits and no-objection certificates issued by the permitting authorities like water and electricity authorities, telephone companies, roads, and transportation authorities, civil defense, and environmental protection agencies among many others. The report will detail the status of those permits, their start, and expiry date and other needed information to be reported on.
Other Reports That Can Be Part of the Monthly Progress Report
Many other reports could be required in the monthly progress report. For example, those could be the logs for a request for information (RFI), site work instructions (SWI), confirmation of verbal instructions (CVI), risk register, issues log, pending meeting business items, insurance, and bonds status among many others. All those processes can be managed in PMWeb and the output report can be designed in the desired form and format.
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 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, 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), an Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE), and a Green Project Management (GPM).
Bassam holds a Master’s in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – from Kuwait University, Kuwait, and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, and London Business School, London, UK.