Article #218 Using Common Sense to Attain the Great Value of Managing Project Documents for Capital Projects Delivery

When it comes to the delivery of capital projects, there will be always a massive volume of documents that will be produced by the different entities involved in delivering the project’s scope of work. Those could be documents that are created by the engineering consultant to enable issuing the project’s tender documents as well as the documents that are created by the contractor to enable constructing the project and handing over the project upon completion.

For example, those documents could include design drawings, issued for construction drawings, shop drawings, as-built drawings, specifications, method statements, manuals, photographs, bill of quantities and schedule of values, a program of works, reports, and warranties among many others. In addition, those documents could cover different disciplines such as architectural, structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, HVAC, fire alarm, fire protection, interior finishes, lighting, elevators, external works, landscaping, signage among others.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, all those documents can be uploaded and stored into the PMWeb Document Management module to enable reviewing, sharing, and marking those documents. PMWeb Document Management module will be used to create a separate folder for the construction phase and sub-folders for each bid package. Those folders are usually designed to match the physical filing structure that each project would have. Each folder will have predefined attribute fields to capture details of uploaded documents such as bid package, discipline, category, location, print size, contractor name among others.

It should be noted that additional sub-folders can be created for each building system if needed. For example, for the service’s systems, sub-folders for mechanical, electrical, fire alarm, fire protection, HVAC, communications, BMS, and others can be created. This will be a recommended approach if the contractor has a different document controller responsible for each services system.

In addition, having a well-thought document filing structure is very important as this will be of great value when the uploaded project documents are archived when the project is turned over to the project owner. PMWeb archive module will extract and export all documents in a structured format similar to the designed document filing structure. Those folders and files within each folder can be saved on external disk storage and handed over to the project owner.

Access to each folder will be limited to those who need to have access to the uploaded and stored documents. By setting the right access rights, the organization can also create a folder that could include confidential communications for which access rights will be limited to only those authorized to access those documents.

The authorized document controller of each entity involved in the project delivery will be responsible to upload the documents to be stored in their respective folder. Similar to all applications, documents can be uploaded in bulk to expedite the process. For each uploaded document, the document controller needs to provide the relevant attribute values. If documents were uploaded in bulk, a table will be displayed to complete those attribute values quickly.

Similar to what is expected from a document management system, PMWeb allows document versions. When this option is enabled, the document controller must first checkout the old version document and then check in the new version document. It is a must that both documents have the exact file name. PMWeb allows showing all versions or only the last version. 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 Excel files among others.

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.

Finally, PMWeb allows assigning workflow for the Document Management module where uploaded documents can be submitted for review and approval using the predefined workflow steps. PMWeb Workflow module will be used to define workflow steps, duration of each step, actions available for each step, sequence for performing the steps among others are established. The workflow could also include approval authority levels which are usually associated with processes that have financial data. In addition, conditions can be added to determine who should be involved in reviewing the process depending on the process category values.

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 over the 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 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 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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