Article #132 Digital Transform the Documents and Records Filing System on Capital Projects

All capital projects must have a file system created to ensure compliance with the project management requirements set in the project management plan. The project filing system also provides an organized structure to manage and administer project documents and records effectively. Capital project owners usually will have a standard electronic filing and hard copy filing structure that is created as a standard for all projects. The format and subsection organization of both the electronic and the hard copy set of project files reflect the requirements for effective project management. All project documentation shall be filed in the relevant folder or section of the hard copy or electronic project file.

Creating the File Folders and Sub-Folders

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) with a document management system like PMWeb, capital project owners can fulfill the requirements for the electronic project filing using the same web-enabled platform. PMWeb document management repository allows the creation of folders and subfolders to match the hard copy filing system.

Setting the Document Attributes For Each Folder

Each created folder could have its predefined attribute fields to capture details of documents and records that will be uploaded during the project life cycle phases. The attributes could include, for example, bid package number, discipline, category, location, print size, and contractor name, among many others.

Document Folder Access Rights

Access to each folder will be restricted to the project entities and individuals who should be authorized to access the folder. PMWeb allows set who should have complete control, view, manage the folder, upload files, delete uploaded files, and edit the security access permissions set for the folder.

Uploading the Project Documents

The authorized document controllers and other project team members for the different project entities will upload documents into their respective folders. Documents can be uploaded in bulk to expedite the process. The document controllers and project team members need to provide the relevant attribute values for each uploaded document. If documents are uploaded in bulk, a table will be displayed to complete those attribute values quickly.

Although PMWeb permits uploading documents with a file size of 2.5 GigaByte each, it is recommended to set the limit to 250 MB per file. Also, although PMWeb allows uploading all types of files, nevertheless it is highly recommended not to enable executable (.exe) files to be uploaded. In addition, the project owner should have a clear and strict policy to enforce all those organizations uploading files to run a virus security check on their files before uploading them into PMWeb. A field will be added to the attributes list to confirm if a virus check was done or not before uploading the file.

Document Versions

Similar to what is expected from a document management system, PMWeb allows document versions. PMWeb allows showing all versions or only the last version. When this option is enabled, the document controller must first check out the old version document and then check the new version document. It is a must that both documents have the exact file name. Further, for uploaded documents, the PMWeb document management repository will display the image of the uploaded document. Those could be pictures, PDF, MS Word, MS or Excel files, among others.

Subscribing to Project Folders

Project team members also have the option to subscribe to a specific folder so they can receive email or online notifications when documents/revisions are added, when documents are checked in/out, when documents are moved out/deleted, and when documents are downloaded. Notifications can be sent to PMWeb users as well as non-PMWeb users.

About the Authorfounder

Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM, is a Senior Project Management Consultant with over 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 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 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 over 250 articles on project management and project management information systems 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 six 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.


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