Article #301 How to Initiate the Adoption of a Project Management Information System (PMIS) with the Least Impact on an Organization’s On-Going Projects’ Portfolio?

Although the adoption of a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb entails the digital transformation of all project management processes required to deliver a capital construction project, nevertheless, some organizations are reluctant to implement a PMIS on projects that are already being executed. Simply they do not to disrupt what they have in place nor they want to go into the argument of introducing new requirements and the migration of old data.

Whether those organizations are project owners, project management consultants, supervision consultant or contractors, they want the adoption of a PMIS to be done with negligent impact on their current project management activities. In a nutshell, they mainly want the PMIS to digital transform two specific points, storing project documents and issuing the monthly progress report. For project owners and contractors, those two requirements should be implemented on their complete projects’ portfolio. In other words, they need to consider an enterprise PMIS solution. For all those organizations, they also need the scaled down solution to be up and running in a couple of weeks not months with the least cost to implement and maintain.

On construction projects, usually project documents are stored in a digital format using a computer explorer where folders and subfolders are created to align the storage of those documents with their projects’ portfolio and the document filing structure used for each project. Some organizations might also have their digital documents on different document management system applications like MS Sharepoint, Aconex among others. As for the monthly progress report, MS Excel will be usually the tool used by most of those organizations to create this report.

To start with, each project that the organizations wants to digital transform the document management and progress reporting functions, a project will be added to PMWeb. The project input form will be used to capture all needed details about the project including its spatial latitude and longitude attributes, project stakeholders, budget, planned start and finish dates, scope of work among others. There is also the option of add any additional user defined fields if this is needed.

In addition, there will be a need to have a single repository of all companies that are involved in the delivery of projects for the organization. Although this might look like a trivial requirement, nevertheless one of the key issues that face organizations is having wrong entries for companies that they deal with. Those wrong entries can be wrong company name, wrong contacts names, wrong address among others. PMWeb companies module will be used to capture all needed details for each company. To expedite the processes of having the companies register, PMWeb allows importing the companies details into PMWeb database using MS Excel template.

The third step is to create the document management repository folders and subfolders to match the filing structure for each current project unless if they were standardized across the complete projects’ portfolio. PMWeb allows uploading documents, of different file types, in bulk to each folder. Attributes can be added to each folder to capture additional information if needed for the uploaded documents. In addition, access permission rights can be set for each folder or subfolder. In addition, PMWeb users can subscribe to each folder or subfolder to receive notifications when a new document or version of an existing document is uploaded or when documents are downloaded. Further, uploaded documents can be redlined and marked up using PMWeb viewer.

A dashboard can be created to report on the uploaded documents based on the attribute values, category, type and status for those documents. PMWeb allows designing those dashboards in a format that will meet the organization’s own reporting requirements. The dashboard will be designed to allow drilling down to the data source.

The last requirement will be to create an input form for the monthly progress report. The content of the form will be based on the project performance data that need to be reported on. It can basic or extended information. PMWeb custom form builder allows adding all needed fields and tables to capture the required project performance data. The fields could be associated with predefined list of values to allow the user to pick the required values. The progress report will be usually used to capture details on current percent complete, expected finish date, safety incidents, quality issues, non-compliance reports, change orders, progress invoices, progress narrative, risk and issues among others. This form will become available for all projects for their standard monthly progress report. Of course, there is also the option of having different progress report input forms if this is a requirement.

Similar to all other PMWeb modules, progress photographs, documents and other information needed to support what is being reported on, will be attached to the monthly progress report. Those could be uploaded and stored on the document management repository or just directly uploaded to the progress report. In addition, since PMWeb is a 100% web-enabled zero foot print application, the project schedule module can be accessed anytime, anywhere using any smart device. If a smart device like for example iPad which is equipped with a camera, PMWeb will give the user the option to take a photo or video of the current project progress and attach to the monthly progress report.

The data captured in the monthly progress report input form will become the basis for the monthly progress dashboard which again can be designed in any desired form or format. It can also be designed to display the progress photographs attached to the progress report.

For projects that we are equipped with construction site cameras such as time lapse camera, the monthly progress report can be designed with a hyperlink to the camera IP address. When the user clicks on the link, the user will have real time visualization of the project’s progress. Depending on the camera system, the user can also display videos of past periods performance.

For organizations who are using PMWeb as an enterprise solution to capture the documents and progress across their complete projects’ portfolio, PMWeb allows creating a consolidated report of all those projects. If the GIS location attributes were captured for those projects, the portfolio dashboard can be designed to display the location of those projects along with critical progress information for each project as captured in the monthly progress report. The projects’ portfolio dashboard will be designed to allow the user to drilldown to the selected project’s progress dashboard.

About the Authorfounder

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.

Contact us