It is given that to ensure that the requirements of transparency, accountability and governance are enforced on capital construction projects delivery, workflow needs to be assigned when communicating any project management process. A workflow will identify the sequence, duration and responsibility for performing the submit, review, kept informed and approve or reject the transaction for each type of project management process. Workflows could also include conditions to enforce compliance with the set approval authority levels. Those workflows will be aligned with the project management plan (PMP) or project execution plan (PEP) for which those workflows are summarized in the responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) section of those plans. Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb will enforce this automation for project management process generated record along with capturing the relevant supportive documents that are attached to the record.
Nevertheless, there will be always the requirement for those involved in executing the tens of thousands generated project management processes’ records to share the details of some of those records with other individuals who are not part of the predefined workflow tasks. Those individuals might need to share the record details with other individuals showing only the designed output form for the process, the documents attached to the process, a report that provide details on the different transactions for that project management process, the project management process transaction itself or simply an email requesting further details on the transaction.
Similar to any other communication that might take place during the delivery of a capital construction project, details of those email communications need to be captured to enable tracking, organizing and documenting them. For all PMWeb out-of-the-box processes as well as new processes created using PMWeb custom form builder, there is a command called “Notification”. This command allows the user to send an email from within PMWeb to other individuals who can be either already defined in PMWeb companies’ module or not. It also allows to Carbon Copy (CC) and Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) selected individuals. In addition, PMWeb allows creating distribution lists where the individuals that need to receive the email communication can be added. This will not only accelerate the communication process but also ensure that the email communication will reach its intended recipients.
PMWeb email communication template comes ready with different predefined fields to improve the quality of the communicated email. Those include the fields of status, notification type, reference, due response date and time, whether the email is a reminder or to confirm that the transaction is completed and the date and time on when it was completed. The status and notification type fields will have predefined list of values that can be defined by the PMWeb administrator to select from. In addition, PMWeb provides the option to include a hyperlink to the record which could be accessed by PMWeb users who have permission to access the relevant project management process module.
The body of the email communication can be designed in a standard format that will be used by all notifications issued from any PMWeb project management process. The body of the email is rich text to allow formatting the fonts and layouts of the email communication. The email template can be designed to include a signature box or email disclaimer.
As detailed above, PMWeb allows creating distribution lists to include the individuals that need to receive the email communication when it is sent. PMWeb Distribution Lists module allows creating those lists for each project by simply drag and drop the individuals names into the distribution list. The companies list layout can be designed in the desired format to improve the process of selecting the individuals who will be part of the distribution lists.
The details of every issued email communication will be captured on the Notification tab of the project management process record. The details of what information to display can be designed in the display layouts where data fields can be selected to be viewed or not. Similar to other PMWeb layouts, the sent email communications data can be grouped by any of the email communication fields.
In addition, all sent PMWeb email communications sent by each user will automatically appear on the PMWeb control screen when each one of those users log into PMWeb. The PMWeb user can drilldown to the PMWeb record to review the details of the record that he or she has communicated.
The recipient of the sent email communications will receive those communications on their email application like for example MS Outlook. The received email message will be in accordance with the email message layout defined in PMWeb. This will help in adding any disclaimer that need to be associated with such email communication. The email will have the attached documents and the hyperlink to the PMWeb record if this option was selected. The recipient of the email can respond to the received email communication.
To enable PMWeb to receive the response on the sent email communications, PMWeb email module needs to be configured to allow this. The setup requires providing the Address Domain (‘@acme.com’), Mail Server (POP3) and Port (POP3).
By having this email setup in place, all incoming and outgoing email communications for each project where the email configuration was done, will be captured and displayed in PMWeb email module. The body of the message content of the sent or received email communication will be displayed as well as attached documents can be opened and viewed.
The incoming email communications that are captured in PMWeb will become available to be linked to any PMWeb records using the attachment tab. By selecting that the type of record to be linked is an email, PMWeb allows the user to browse in the inbox email folder and select the desired email to be linked. The user can select emails from different PMWeb projects if needed by selecting the source of inbox emails.
About the Author
Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with 40-year service record providing project management, project controls services and project management information system to over than 200 projects with a total value in excess of US $100 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment, Hospitality 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 40 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 300 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.