Organizations, in the public and private sector, who invest in capital programs need to have an informative yet easy to use solution to monitor and report the performance of those programs. Examples of capital investment program include rail and metro, highways, medical cities, universities, parks and green areas, gas pipelines, electricity transmission, retail stores, bank branches, housing community, entertainment cities, logistics cities, sea ports, air ports, sewerage network among many others. Capital investment programs which could usually take between 5 to 10 years if not more to complete, consists of different projects that could be executed using different project delivery methods such design-bid-build, design-bid, build-operate-transfer among others. Programs could include projects that will be delivered within a single country or might be in different countries across the globe.
To have a trusted and effective map centric dashboard solution to monitor and report the performance of those capital investment programs, three applications will be used. The first application will be a Project Management Information System (PMIS) that supports program management like PMWeb. This application will be used to ensure that the reported information on those dashboards are trust-worthy, complete, accountable and real-time. The second application will be ESRI GIS application that will be used to map the boundaries of each project that is part of program to create what is known as “Geojson” maps. The third application will be a business intelligence and visualization solution like MS Power BI which will extract the programs performance information from PMWeb and layout the Geojson file on a map visualization like Mapbox.
PMWeb will be used to digitize all project management processes that are needed to deliver the projects that are part of the capital investment programs. It is crucial that project management processes are standardized across all projects that are part of a program to ensure the consistency, validity and quality of shared information. Those processes which are usually detailed in the responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) chart include the many processes needed to manage the project schedule, cost, quality, communications, risks, contracts, health and safety, sustainability among others.
For each process, PMWeb will provide the input form to ensure transparency, quality and trust-worthiness of captured information. Those input forms could be one of the many ready-to-use forms for cost, engineering forms, schedule and other forms as well as the unlimited number of forms created using PMWeb visual form builder. Those forms will have fields for values, dates, texts among others as well as many of them will need to be populated from predefined list of values. In addition, PMWeb provide the ability to upload, store and attach all supportive documents as well as link relevant records and imported emails for each process transaction ensures that the captured information is complete and not limited to the input form. In addition, PMWeb workflow will enforce accountability in submitting, reviewing and approving submitted information. Finally, the automatically populated registers of each project management process ensure that real-time information is ready to be reported on.
ESRI GIS will be used to create the layout template that will detail the boundaries of the different projects that are part of a program. Those boundaries will be defined using the latitude and longitude points of each project layout. This layout file is usually created as a shapefile which will be then converted into a Geojson file. The conversion from shapefile to Geojson can be done using a software utility called Mapshaper.
Using Mapbox, the geojson files will be used to create what is known at the tilesets which will be used in MS Power BI to display the boundaries for each project that is part of a program. Using Mapbox visual in MS Power BI, the Choropleth section will require having the reference to the created Tileset ID, Tileset layer name and the geojson field name used to uniquely identify each project layout. This would be usually named as Project_ID again to ensure standardization in all displayed layout maps. The same process will be repeated when there is an updated geojson file with new or modified projects boundaries. The Mapbox visual display in MS Power BI can be improved by adding the values to be displayed on the tooltip along with other available options for this visual.
When this is completed, the capital investment programs dashboard will become readily available to be shared with the executive stakeholder as well as other project stakeholders who would need to have access this dashboard. There is no limit to the number of program dashboards to be created as there could be a dashboard to provide an overall summary of all projects within a program, another dashboard for financial details while another for risk, issues among others. In addition, a dashboard can be created to display all programs that the organization has for which projects that belong to each program will be colored differently.
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 in excess of 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 in 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.