Article #228 How Can a Project Management Information System (PMIS) Helps PMOs to Jump Strat the Implementation of the Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Processes?

Regardless of the projects’ types that an organization could be involved in delivering, the Project Management Office (PMO) at those organizations would usually have the requirement to implement the generic project management processes identified in the Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®). This requires having forms and reports to support the implementation of those processes by the PMO team members. The “A Project Manager’s Book of Forms”, third edition by Cynthia Snyder Dionisio, which is a companion to the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition provides an example of more than 60 possible generic forms that can be used by PMOs. Of course, those forms can be modified to comply with each PMO project management needs.

The advantage of having a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb is that an organization can use PMWeb to implement the detailed project management processes that are specific for each project type that they have like capital and re-capitalization projects, shutdown projects among others as well as implement the generic PMBOK® generic forms. This will not only ensure having a standard application that the different organization’s stakeholder can learn and use but most important is that there will be a single data source to ensure consolidated, real-time, single version of the truth projects’ performance reporting.

PMWeb Visual Form Builder will be used to jump start the creation of the needed PMBOK® forms in the desired layout. In addition, PMWeb Document Management Repository will be used to create the folders to match the filing structure needed to upload and store all supportive documents for those processes as well as set the needed access rights for each folder. PMWeb Workflow module will be used to add the submit, review and approval steps for forms that require having such workflows. Finally, the information captured in the PMBOK® forms and workflows will become the basis for creating the desired project and projects portfolio dashboards.

For example, the Assumptions Log form will include a header that details the project name, form number and date created as well as the status of the form which could be manually added or automatically extracted from the assigned workflow. The form will also include a table to capture the details of the different assumptions made on the project. There are many other forms that will have similar layout like the Stakeholder Register, Stakeholder Analysis among many others. It should be noted that the type of fields in each table could be numeric, text, currency, date, values to be selected from predefined list of values and Boolean.

In addition, there could be forms that require having more than a single table like the Project Management Plan form. PMWeb allows setting access rights for each table so that different team members can be assigned to each table. Those tables can be aligned with the workflow steps to ensure the desired sequence in completing the PMBOK® form.

Further, there could be forms that require using less tables but also have many different fields to capture the needed information of the PMBOK® process. The Project Charter is an example of a form that uses many unique fields as well as tables to capture the needed information to generate the Project Charter. PMWeb allows assigning different access rights for the defined fields as well as tables to ensure that the right project team member is providing the needed information. Those fields and tables can be aligned with the workflow steps to ensure the desired sequence in completing the PMBOK® form. It should be also noted that for numeric and currency fields, PMWeb allows adding formulas to calculate the values of other related fields in the same form.

In addition, PMWeb allows attaching all supportive documents for each PMBOK® form. Those documents are usually uploaded into PMWeb Document Management repository under the folder specific for each process. In addition, links to other relevant PMWeb records and imported MS Outlook emails can be also added. This will ensure complete transparency into the content of each formal project communication.

A workflow will be assigned to each PMBOK® form to ensure that responsibility for submitting, reviewing and approving the different PMBOK® processes are formally implemented. The workflow will identify all needed steps, the duration for each step, responsibility for each step, actions that can be taken for each step and sequence for performing those steps. PMWeb also allows adding conditions to the workflow steps to incorporate the approval authority levels.

The out-of-the-box Workflow Inbox report generated by PMWeb Project Management Information System (PMIS) is an important report to detail the status of all workflow review and approval steps or tasks. This report can be further improved by coloring delayed tasks in red, due tasks in cyan and yet to be due tasks in green. The report can also be modified to include additional data fields should the PMO has this requirement.

The data captured in the different PMBOK® forms will become the basis for creating the different reports as well as dashboards needed to share and communicate the projects’ information. Those reports and dashboards can be specific for a single project or for a portfolio of projects. In addition, they can be specific to one of PMBOK® knowledge arears like risk or covers all. The layout and format of those will be customized to meet each PMO reporting requirements.

For dashboards that are used to report the performance of projects’ portfolio, it is highly recommended to have a map to display the locations of those projects. Those locations will be based on the latitude and longitude values for each project which are captured in PMWeb Project module.

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 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.


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