Article # 353 Why the Sustainable Development Key Performance Indicator is Missed by Project Owners When It Comes to Reporting Capital Projects Performance?

When it comes to reporting capital construction projects, programs and projects’ portfolio performance for project owners, the four most common key performance indicators that will exist on all overall performance dashboards will be Schedule, Cost, Quality and Safety. Surprisingly, they miss the fifth most important performance indicator being Sustainable Development. Most of the current performance dashboards fail to detail whether those massive investments in capital construction projects are contributing to the country’s goals to achieve sustainable development. Actually, unlike the four common key performance indicators of Schedule, Cost, Quality and Safety, the Sustainable Development performance indicator will be of interest to wider spectrum of stakeholders.

Similar to reporting schedule, cost, quality and safety performance on capital construction projects, reporting the performance of sustainable development requires setting objectives with target values to be achieved. Although those objectives could be standard for most projects nevertheless some countries might have their own objectives to be achieved. For example, for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the sustainable development objectives would include for example the percentage of employed local resources from total employed, percentage of employed women resources from total employed, percentage of employed resources with special needs from total employed, percentage of employed newly graduated local resources from total employed, percentage of outsourced contracts to small and medium enterprises (SME) from total awarded contracts, number of entrepreneurship entities (food trucks, training, etc.) being deployed on the project, number of non-government organizations (NGOs) being supported, number of funded social non-profit events among others.

For each measure, the project’s sustainability development plan should identify the target value to be achieved each month. This will enable comparing what was actually achieved to what was planned. In addition, a weight value out of 100 points needs to be provided for each objective. This will enable to consolidate all those objectives for each project into a single sustainable development key performance indicator.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, managing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting sustainable development performance will be achieved. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the input form needed to ensure transparency and accountability in reporting the sustainable development performance. The form will be design to allow capturing the baseline and actual achievement of the sustainable development objectives for each year and each month within the year.

The form will include a table that will have all sustainable development objectives listed along with their weight value. For the baseline version, those tables will be completed with the planned achievement values for each objective for each fiscal year. For the updates, the actual achieved values for each particular month will be added. For the next period, a copy will be made from the last period and provide the actual values for the current period. This will ensure traceability and auditability of provided performance values.

Each monthly sustainable development performance form will be attached with all supportive documents used to report the actual values for which those documents will be uploaded and stored in their relevant folder or subfolder in PMWeb document management repository. In addition, links to other relevant PMWeb records and imported MS outlook emails will be added to the sustainable development performance form.

To enforce the required transparency and accountability in completing, reviewing and approving the achieved sustainable development performance values, a workflow will be assigned to the form. The workflow will detail the review and approval tasks for the sustainable development performance form along with the duration for each task and the sequence for performing the tasks. The workflow will also include the approval authority levels associated with this process if needed.

Reporting the sustainable development performance will be based on diving the actual achieved performance to date by what was planned multiplied by 100%. If the value is in the range of 100% to 70%, it will be considered as favorable. On the other hand, a value that is in range of 69% to 50% it will be considered as alarming whereas a value that is less than 50% will be considered as unfavorable. For scorecards and gauges, the favorable range will be colored in Green, alarming range in yellow and unfavorable range in Red.

The sustainability development performance report displayed below details the achieved versus planned performance for each sustainability development objective for the selected fiscal year, being 2020. The scorecard shows the status of each reported performance as favorable (green icon), alarming (yellow icon) and unfavorable (red icon). In addition, the report includes a line chart for the overall weighted sustainability development performance for the same year. The report also shows the sustainability development performance indicator gauge for the current month, being December 2020. When reporting the overall project performance, the sustainability development gauge will be displayed along with the performance gauges for Schedule, Cost, Quality and Safety.

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 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.


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