One of the key challenges that face those involved in capital construction projects is how fast they can become alerted of any event that could lead to a change in the project scope, schedule and cost. Whether you are a capital project owner or a contractor, having a process to capture all types of potential change events, will enable you to better review and analyze those events and their impact on the project’s scope, schedule and cost to decide what response actions need to be made to avoid, mitigate or accept those changes.
You need to have a process that can be accessed anywhere, anytime using any device by every single individual who is formally obliged by the contract agreement to report those change events as soon as he or she become aware of. Those potential change events would usually include Early Warning Notification, Engineer’s Instruction, Extension of Time Request, Claim Notice, Request for Change, Value Engineering Proposal among others. The process needs to enable the individuals submitting the potential change request to upload and attach all relevant supportive documents as well as provide the information needed for each type of change event. The process should identify the sequence of workflow steps needed to review and approve or reject the potential change request for which it could differ depending on the type of change event. The cost data associated with those potential change events should become immediately to report on as well as detail their impact on relevant awarded commitment contracts.
Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, the process for potential changes is one of the many ready to use cost management processes that are available by default in PMWeb. Being a 100% web enable, responsive zero foot print application, PMWeb can be accessed anywhere, anytime using any device. Unlike other cost management modules in PMWeb where a FULL NAMED license is needed, the potential change requests module needs a GUEST use license which could be NAMED or CONCURRENT. This means that giving access to project individuals to submit potential change requests has negligible financial implication on the PMWeb investment.
For project individuals who have been authorized to access PMWeb potential change order module, need to provide the project name (in case they have access to more than one project), commitment contract affected by the potential change (in case they have access to more than one contract within a project) which will automatically pick the company name, type of potential change event (EWN, EOT, EI, RFC, Claim, VEP), title, date, cost details each linked to its relevant cost account as per the approved cost breakdown structure (CBS), number of delay days among others. If the reason for the potential change event was a known risk that has been already identified in PMWeb Risk Analysis module, then it is recommended to link the risk analysis record to the potential change event.
For each type of potential change event, there will be additional details that are specific for each type of change that needs to be provided by the individual submitting the change event. PMWeb specifications or user defined fields, allows creating the additional fields to capture this information. Those fields could be text, currency, date, value from a predefined list, Boolean and number. Those user defined fields will be grouped by the type of potential change event they belong to.
All supportive documents for the potential change event including drawings, pictures, videos, specifications among others can be uploaded direct on the form or uploaded on PMWeb document management repository before they are attached to the form. Of course, links to other PMWeb forms as well as imported MS Outlook emails can be also done.
The last step for the individual submitting the potential change event is to click on the “Submit” button to formally start the process of reviewing and approving or rejecting this request. The PMWeb workflow will include conditions that are aligned with data submitted in the potential change event such as the category filed which could have the values of EWN, EOT, EI, RFC, Claim among others. Those conditions and others will automatically channel the workflow review steps to the assigned project team member. The workflow steps will become the basis for changing the change event status from draft to approved or rejected.
For potential change events that found to have merit and approved to become a change order (CO), variation order (VO) or approved variation instruction (AVI), the “Generate” button will be used to create this change record. A record that will have new fields and new workflow to reviewing and approving or rejecting the change. It is highly that multiple potential change events are not grouped into a single change order (CO), variation order (VO) or approved variation instruction (AVI). In other words, there should be one-to-one relationship between potential change events (EOT, RFC, EI, VEP, EWN, Claim) and change orders (CO, VO or AVI).
The captured potential change events data will become the basis of generating a real-time single version of the truth register of all early warning notifications (EWN), request for changes (RFC), engineer’s instructions (EI), extension of time requests (EOT), claim notices (Claim), value engineering proposals (VEP) among others. The report will provide a real-time alert of all potential change events even for those who are not part of the assigned workflow process who will be automatically notified when a potential change event is submitted. The report can be designed to include the visuals that can best analyze and report on the captured change events data with the option to drilldown to each specific potential change event.
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.