The tender phase for construction contracts is one of the critical capital projects life cycle phases that needs to be managed by the project owner. The conclusion of this phase will result in a major financial commitment on part of the project owner being the awarded construction contract value, which usually represent 90% of the capital investment needed to build the assets. For projects where the procurement strategy is based on multiple bid packages, the tender related processes for procuring a contract will be repeated for each bid package. In general, the tender processes would usually include Issuing Expression of Interest (EOI), Issuing Pre-Qualification Document (PQQ), Receive Response on Pre-Qualification Document (PQQ), Assess and Select Qualified Tenderers, Invitation for Tender Issued, Tendering Duration and Tender Opening, Technical Assessment To Shortlist Tenderers, Financial Evaluation and Negotiations Completed, Provide Recommendation Comments to Award Submitted, Get Authority Approval to Award, Finance Department/Authority Approval, Letter of Intent (LoI) Issued, Letter of Award (LoA) Issued, Contract Agreement Executed and Notice to Proceed (NTP) Issued.
Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) for capital construction projects like PMWeb, project owners can have a single web-enabled solution to manage all construction tender processes as well as to monitor, evaluate and report on the performance of the overall construction tender phase along with other project life cycle phases. This will be achieved in two steps. The first is to digital transform the management of each tender phase either by using PMWeb default modules if available or creating the process using PMWeb custom form builder. The second requirement is to create or import the integrated project schedule using PMWeb scheduling module that will include the tasks for all tender phase processes and for each bid package to be awarded.
Digital Transform the Tender Processes
PMWeb comes ready with many of the processes needed for the design and construction contracts tender phases. Those include the default modules for vendor prequalification, bid packaging, procurement, online bid modules and pre-bid meetings. In addition, custom forms will be used to create all other remaining tender phase processes like those for bid queries, internal approvals, recommendation to award (shown below as an example) among others. In addition, PMWeb correspondence module will be used to create the letter templates for Expression of Interest (EOI), Letter of Intent (LoI), Letter of Award (LoA) and Notice to Proceed (NTP). Each tender phase process that will be managed in PMWeb will include a field for the project schedule task. The value for this field will be the relevant task included in the integrated project schedule. Access rights for the tender phase processes will be aligned with the roles identified in the responsibility assignment matrix (RAM).
For each tender process managed in PMWeb, supportive documents can be either attached directly to the process or uploaded into PMWeb document management repository and then attached to the relevant tender process. The latter is the recommended approach. In addition, links to other PMWeb records as well as imported MS Outlook emails can be added to each process.
In addition, for tender processes that need to have a workflow to formalize the taken actions on the process, a workflow will be assigned to map the submit, review, approve or reject steps. The workflow will define the duration and sequence of tasks to be performed by the different project team members as well as review actions permitted at each workflow step. The workflow could include conditions to ensure that the approval authority levels are adhered to. In addition, the workflow could define alerts level for delayed workflow steps. PMWeb also allows assigning ad-hoc workflow to enable collaboration on a selected process but without following a predefined sequence for performing the tasks.
PMWeb default project center page can be configured specifically for each PMWeb user who has an involvement in the construction phase tender. The tender management processes can be selected to be displayed on the project center page to provide immediate access to completed, pending and new processes to commence.
Tender Phase Schedule
To ensure that the construction tender processes for each bid package is completed within the allotted duration to avoid delaying the project’s completion date, each process will be added as an activity in the integrated project schedule. The activity duration for each tender process will indicate the planned duration for completing the required deliverables for the process. The relationship between the tender processes’ activities will be based on the approach identified by the procurement team, although it will be mainly the default relationship finish-to-start (FS). The successor activity for the last activity in the tender phase schedule, Notice to Proceed (NTP) Issued will be planned construction contract agreement duration as defined in the integrated project schedule. Of course, each bid package to be tendered will have its own construction activity to be linked to the relevant Notice to Proceed (NTP) Issued activity. If the integrated project schedule was created in Oracle Primavera P6 or MS Project, this can be imported to PMWeb scheduling module where the tender processes dates and other related information will be extracted from the imported schedule. PMWeb allows maintaining all versions of each project schedules including those for the baseline, revision and updates.
Monitoring, Evaluating and Reporting the Tender Phase Performance
The data captured in the updated project schedule that will be imported into PMWeb will become the basis for the tender management status report. The report will display the status of each tender process for each planned work package. The report will also provide visuals to summary the overall performance of the tender phase. The report can be configured to allow drilldown to a detailed log that will show the tender management performance across every single bid package with hyperlinks to each tender process performed.
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.