There is a growing interest among investors, banks, financial institutions and other entities who are either investing or providing finance for capital construction projects to have their independent monitoring and evaluation of those projects’ performance. This service which is usually known as Project Management Oversight (PMO) does not substitute the need for having a professional project management team to manage project’s execution. A PMO will usually focus on monitoring, evaluating and reporting the project’s risk, schedule, budget, change orders and interim payment certificates and closeout. A PMO will not be involved in the daily activities needed in managing capital construction projects whether project management is provided in-house or by a project management consultant.
The PMO representative involvement on a construction project tends to be on monthly basis. Therefore, having real-time, trust-worthy, traceable and auditable information is a must for the PMO representative to provide the required PMO service deliverables. In addition, the PMO representative needs to be able to access this information anytime, anywhere using any device to provide the needed information when needed.
Implementing Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb will provide the PMO representative with a web-enabled integrated solution to monitor, evaluate and report on the project’s risk, schedule, budget, change orders, interim payment certificates and closeout. PMWeb must be used by the different project entities, as a minimum, to manage and capture the data from the different project management processes required to provide the needed PMO monitoring and evaluation information. PMWeb document management repository will be used to upload, store and attach all supportive documents for every project record captured in PMWeb as well as PMWeb workflow will ensure that the submit, review and approve tasks for each record are assigned to the accountable project team member and details of delayed actions are available to be reported on. In addition, PMWeb data visualization capabilities and business intelligence capabilities will be used to present the captured information in the desired form and format.
Monitoring, Evaluating and Reporting Project Risks
PMWeb risk analysis module will be used to capture, analyze and respond to identified project’s risks. It is recommended to create a separate register for each risk category to ensure that the right project team members are assigned to each list. For each risk register, the project management team will identify the risk probability and impact, proposed mitigation action and post-mitigation probability and impact.
Monitoring, Evaluating and Reporting Project Schedule
On monthly basis, the project management team needs to upload the updated schedule into PMWeb scheduling module. This will enable the PMO representative to monitor, evaluate and report on the project’s key milestone dates as well as compare schedule updates to identify any schedule slippage.
Monitoring, Evaluating and Reporting the Project Budget
The project baseline budget must be aligned with the approved funding sources provided by the investor, bank and financial institution that are investing or financing the project. PMWeb budget module will be used to manage the project budget, which can be generated from the approved cost estimate if it is available, and the budget planned spending projection.
All adjustments to the approved baseline budget will be captured using PMWeb budget request module. Those could include new, additional or omitted scope of work as well as transfers from one cost account to another, for example, transfer funds from contingency to concrete works.
Monitoring, Evaluating and Reporting Awarded Contracts
For each awarded contract agreement, PMWeb commitment module will be used to capture the details of those agreements. In addition, potential change orders as well as change orders whether approved, pending approval or disputed will be captured using PMWeb potential change order and change order modules. Interim Payment Certificates (IPC) details will be captured using PMWeb progress invoices module while actual payments made against approved IPC will be captured using PMWeb accounts payable (A/P) payment module.
The cost data captured in PMWeb budget, budget requests, commitments, potential change orders, change orders and progress invoices will become readily available to be reported on using PMWeb cost worksheet module. This will provide the PMO representative with a single version of the truth when reporting the project’s financial status.
Monthly Progress Report
The PMO representative needs to review, analyze and explain the reported project information to provide the project investors, banks and financial institutions with a better and faster insight on the project’s performance status. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the input form that the PMO representative will use to provide the needed progress narrative and issues listing.
Monitoring, Evaluating and Reporting Project Closeout
PMWeb punch list module will be used to capture all pending work items that need to be completed before proceeding with the project’s handover and closeout. Additional closeout processes might be needed to be created using PMWeb custom form builder to have a comprehensive project closeout.
Maintain All Important Project Documents
It is very important that all contract documents and revisions to those documents, important project’s communications, supportive documents for the different project management oversight processes among others are properly stored and saved. PMWeb document management repository will be used to upload and store all project documents and records as well as attach those documents and records to the related PMO processes.
Workflow to Enforce Accountability in Submitting, Reviewing and Approving PMO Processes
The different transactions generated from the above detailed project management processes, need to be assigned workflow to map the tasks needed to submit, review and approve those processes. PMWeb workflow module will be used to map those workflow steps along with needed approval authority levels.
Report, Monitor and Evaluate Project Performance
There should be a standard monthly progress report or dashboard that will be use to report, monitor and evaluate each project’s performance. The report or dashboard will include the key performance indicators that will be extracted from the above project management oversight processes. The report or dashboard will have built in links to detailed project information to enable the report reader to drilldown and view this information when needed.
PMWeb reporting tool will be used to design the dashboard in the form and format required by each investor, bank or financial institution. In addition, there is the option to present this information using data visualization and business intelligence tools like MS Power BI, Tableau, Qlik among others.
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