Article #264 Using Project Management Information Systems to Improve the Management of Capital Projects Adopting Offsite Manufacturing

The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the interest in adopting offsite manufacturing on capital projects or as sometimes called Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA). A method that many organizations are adopting for smarter, quicker and cheaper capital projects delivery. Projects that have adopted offsite manufacturing are reporting considerable project duration time savings, reduction of assembly cost, reduction of the number of site workers and supervision staff, better quality control of project systems, reduction of material waste, improved working conditions during server weather conditions, reduced air pollution, improved testing and coreduction of site safety incidents and improved compliance with Covid-19 social distancing requirement.

This would require managing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting the progress of the different project management processes across all those offsite and onsite locations. This also require having a robust real-time collaboration between individuals at those different offsite locations to provide the same benefits attained from colocation at the same project location. In addition, there is the requirement of having a single repository of all project information and documents that can be securely accessed by authorized individuals from the all offsite and onsite locations.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb will be a must to achieve those requirements. Being 100% web-enabled, individuals located at all offsite and onsite locations will have a single platform to manage all needed processes. Those individuals will be able to access project information and documents from anywhere, anytime using any device. In addition, those individuals will become accountable for all planned actions to be taken or actually taken actions as per the predefined workflow steps as well as ad-hoc workflows that they get invited to participate in.

Single Document Management Repository

PMWeb comes ready with its own document management repository where folders and subfolders will be created to match the physical filing system adopted by each engineering and construction project. Having those folders will allow setting the access permission rights for individuals as well as subscribe to receive notifications when documents are uploaded, downloaded, modified or deleted within each folder. In addition, revisions can be added to uploaded documents with the option to view all versions or only latest version. Further, uploaded documents can be marked up and redlined when they are reviewed with the option to use Bluebeam Revu for advanced document markup and redline features.

Formal and Informal Collaboration

PMWeb allows automating all project management processes needed to manage the engineering, manufacturing and construction project life cycle. For each process, the input form can be of the many default processes that come ready with PMWeb or those created using PMWeb custom form builder. Each submitted form can be attached with supportive documents as well as linked with other relevant records or imported MS Outlook emails.

Each form could have formal or informal collaboration option. The formal collaboration will entail defining the sequence of steps needed to submit, review and approve a process while informal collaboration, also known as ad-hoc workflow, will allow inviting needed individuals to collaborate on a process.

Single Repository for All Project Information and Documents

Having all information and documents captured from the different project management processes and uploaded documents will enable all project stakeholders to have real-time single version of the truth reporting on the performance status of every process as well as the project as an overall. Tabular and graphical reports as well as dashboards can be designed in the desired form and format to provide those stakeholders with the needed information needed to have the insight to make better and faster informed decisions. Those dashboards and reports can be designed to allow drilling down from summary or oversight levels to more detailed levels up to the level of a specific transaction.

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Time Lapse Cameras at Offsite Locations

In addition to the project management information and documents, it is highly recommended to have time-lapse cameras installed at the offsite locations. The location of those cameras needs to be well thought of so they serve their intended purpose. This will provide stakeholders to visualize the actual progress achieved at those locations. PMWeb project center screens can be configured to embed the IP address of those locations so they can be viewed by the stakeholders.

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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