There is a growing trend among organizations in the public and private sectors that are involved in delivering capital; project investments to establish Project Management Offices (PMO) to ensure the successful delivery of those investments. The performance reporting expected from the PMO goes beyond monitoring the project’s schedule, cost, quality, safety, and other performance requirements of a capital project. The PMO performance reporting is more related to how the approved capital project investments are helping the organization to achieve its strategic objectives while ensuring the project governance compliance, enforcing transparency, capturing knowledge, and attaining stakeholders’ satisfaction.
Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb not only will enable the organization to manage, monitor, evaluate and report the performance of the everyday project management processes that need to be implemented during the capital project life cycle stages, but also will provide the PMO with the integrated platform to manage, monitor, evaluate and report on the performance metrics that the PMO is expected to provide.
The PMO has an important role in ensuring that the organization’s strategic initiatives are implemented and the desired benefits had been realized. Those strategic initiatives are also known as programs for which they will be decomposed into investments that need be to formally analyzed and assessed to determine their viability. The PMO needs to ensure that there is a single repository of all those investment requests to detail their alignment with the organization’s strategic objectives as well as their status. PMWeb Program module will be used to capture all those strategic initiatives and all requested project investments. This will help the PMO to report on how many of those investment requests had been received and their current status.
One of the proven methods to ensure that the requested investments are aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives is to identify and quantify the benefits that the investment will contribute to the targeted strategic objectives. Using PMWeb Form Builder, a benefits realization form will be created to capture the benefits associated with each investment. This will enable the PMO to report on the achievement of the benefits anticipated from executing the approved projects’ portfolio.
The PMO should refrain from getting involved in the daily project management operations needed to execute the capital project. Nevertheless, the PMO should ensure that the set deliverables for each life cycle stage of the capital project had been delivered and formally reviewed and approved before proceeding with the next stage. Using the PMWeb Stage Gate module, the PMO can define the project life cycle stages and the deliverables within each stage. The stage gate module will be also used to define the checklist that needs to be assessed and scored before the project can proceed into the next stage. This will enable the PMO to report on the completed deliverables for each stage and whether they were completed as planned or were delayed.
To ensure that the capital projects’ execution is by the policies and procedures set by the PMO, PMWeb Form Builder will be used to create the Capital Project Audit checklist which will have nine (9) categories with thirty (30) audit objectives. Those categories are governance, procurement, reporting, financial, risk, communication, schedule, quality, and closeout. Each one of those nine categories will include its relevant objectives that need to be assessed at the end of each assessment period to ensure the required compliance. This will enable the PMO to report on compliance with the set project management policies and processes for each project.
One of the key benefits of implementing a project management information system (PMIS) like PMWeb is to enable the entities involved in the capital projects’ delivery to capture the information of the everyday project management processes implemented during the project life cycle stages. This information is the basis for having a real-time single version of the truth of how each project is performing. The PMO needs to define the dashboard that will automatically capture this performance information across the complete project portfolio of the organization. The dashboard will usually include details on project schedule, cost, quality, safety, and other key performance metrics. This information could be presented in different tabular and graphical formats. This will enable the PMO to monitor, evaluate and report on the overall project’s portfolio performance.
The PMO should also ensure that there is a proactive issue resolution process that is implemented and adopted across the complete project’s portfolio. PMWeb Form Builder will be used to create the “Issue Resolution” form which will include fields for issue type, category, criticality, issue description, issues raised by an issue owner, needed issue resolution date, and which project schedule activity it first impact. The issue form will also include the fields for issue impact and severity which will automatically calculate issue severity. The form will also include fields for issue resolution actions and a description of the attached documents. In general, the form should be detailed to the level that eliminates ambiguities and miss-communication of the reported project issue to avoid any undesirable impacts on the project’s delivery. This will enable the PMO to monitor, evaluate and report on all issues that could have an impact on the organization’s project delivery.
The PMO should ensure that the knowledge gained from delivering the organization’s capital project investments is captured as soon as it becomes apparent as well as make it available for the organization’s project team members. PMWeb Form Builder will be used to create a form that will allow each project team member to share the knowledge gained from delivering capital projects. The form will include predefined fields with a predefined list of values to improve and expedite the process of sharing knowledge. This will enable the PMO to capture and share the knowledge gained in delivering capital projects across the organization’s projects portfolio.
In addition, the PMO should ensure a formal post-project review is carried out for each project before it can be closed out. PMWeb Form Builder will be used to create the Pre-Workshop Questionnaire form which will be designed to encourage project participants to think about the significant issues of a project before the PPR workshop. This will enable the PMO to better report on the issues that have been encountered during the project delivery and how those can be avoided on future projects as well as the lessons learned from delivering the project.
The PMO should ensure that all complaints raised by stakeholders as they relate to the capital projects’ delivery are captured and resolved as soon as they become known. PMWeb Form Builder will be used to create the form that the Stakeholder can use directly to file a complaint or used by the project team to capture and manage those complaints. The form will detail how, and when the method of 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 who and when the investigation results of what has caused the complaint and the measures to be taken to prevent the recurrence of those causes. This will enable the PMO to keep track of all complaints raised by stakeholders and ensure that they are addressed and resolved promptly.
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, 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.