Managing capital construction projects in no different than managing other type of business. The manager of a business unit or a project, will be always held responsible for all reports shared with senior management and other executive stakeholders that detail how their operation or project is performing regardless on who have prepared the report. Delegating project responsibilities does not give the business unit manager or project manager an excuse when wrong or false performance information is shared.
On capital construction projects, the project manager will be always the one who will have the ultimate responsibility for the correctness and validity of the reported project performance. It is the project manager duty to implement the needed measures to ensure the trust-worthiness, traceability and auditability of the information provided to report the project’s performance. Nevertheless, it makes no sense that the project spends his/her time in reviewing and checking the validity and correctness of his/her team work that they are set accountable for. Instead, the project manager should enforce the right and effective measures required to ensure that his/her project team are set accountable for the different tasks that they are responsible to perform.
Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb will provide the project manager with the tools to ensure enforcing the three requirements of information trust-worthiness, traceability and auditability when it comes to managing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting project management processes including project performance reporting.
Enforcing trust worthiness requires having the right input forms for every project management process that will be managed during the project life cycle stages. By having a unique input form for each process, the project manager can ensures that all needed data fields for each process are captured in the desired format and in accordance with the set parameters for those fields. Since it is very common that more than one project team member could be responsible for providing the data for each process form, PMWeb allows setting access rights for the fields within each form to restrict access to the authorized individuals only. Of course, access to each project management process will be restricted to only those project team members who have a role in managing the process. Those roles are usually defined and established in the project’s responsibility assignment matrix (RAM).
PMWeb comes ready with the input forms for most of the common processes needed on construction projects like RFI, Submittal, Safety Incidents, Daily Report, Change Order, Potential Change Order, Progress Invoice among many others. To make those ready to use input forms adaptable to the different requirements of all types and categories of construction projects, PMWeb allows adding all needed user defined fields to those forms.
In addition, PMWeb visual form builder allows creating all other forms that are not readily available in PMWeb. Those forms can be designed with all needed fields and tables required for each process. In addition, those custom forms can be created in any desired language including non-Latin languages like Arabic. Similar to the ready to use forms, visual custom forms allows assigning the access rights for fields and tables in accordance with the responsibility assigned to each project team member regardless of the entity that he/she represents.
The trust-worthiness of the reported information for each process might also require providing all supportive documents to what will be communicated in each process. Documents such as drawings, pictures, specifications, certificates among others can be attached to all types of input forms directly or by first uploading and storing those documents on PMWeb document management repository and then attaching the documents. The later is the recommended approach as it enforces trust-worthiness. In addition, records from other project management processes as well as imported MS Outlook emails can be linked to the input form.
Enforcing the second requirement of traceability requires tracing the history of every project management process transaction from the time it was submitted to the time that it was approved or rejected. This requires having complete documentation of the actual review steps that took place on each specific transaction.
PMWeb allows assigning unique workflows for each process to map the responsibilities, durations, available actions to be taken and sequence for the tasks. In addition, PMWeb allows setting the approval authority levels that could be part of some of the procurement, commercial and site management processes. For each performed workflow task, PMWeb will capture the actual dates and times, comments and actions taken by each team member who was part of the process workflow.
Enforcing the third requirement of auditability requires having all transactions for all processes executed during the project life cycle available to be reviewed, analyzed and reported on in any desired form and format. PMWeb by default maintain records all those transactions available to be accessed, reviewed, analyzed and reported online or on in any desired form and format.
In addition, by using business intelligence and data visualization tools like MS Power BI, the project manager can query the information captured for each process to provide answers to needed questions. In addition, visuals can be created to provide the insight into the captured information in a format that can help the project manager to audit the provided information.
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 400 projects with a total value in excess of US$ 400 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 400 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and South America. He has written more than 400 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He was 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.