When it comes to real-time, single version of the truth reporting of due actions and performance status on capital construction projects, there are six layers of reports that could exist starting from the report used by individuals performing a project management process all the way to the projects’ portfolio performance report required by executive stakeholders. Failing to have a robust solution to achieve this requirement brings the high risk of information deterioration and latency as well as the risk of being misinformed which will drastically impact the quality and validity of decisions made and actions taken during the project life cycle stages.
The delivery of a capital construction project might require having more than one hundred processes to manage the project’s deliverables and requirements. Those would include processes for managing the project’s schedule, cost, quality, safety, communications, resources, risks, procurement, contracts, sustainability and claims. Many of those processes will be performed by different individuals representing the different entities involved in delivering the projects which would usually include the project owner, project management consultant, design consultant, supervision consultant, contractors, subcontractors and vendors.
The project responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) is usually the document used on capital construction projects to map those processes showing the entities and individuals who could be either responsible for performing, reviewing, approving of kept informed on those processes. This will enable the project management team to detail each process into the template form and workflow tasks needed to execute the process. This information will become the basis for developing what is known as the project management procedures manual.
Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb all identified project management processes will be automated by providing the input form and workflow tasks required to execute the process. The input form could be one of PMWeb ready to use forms or created using PMWeb form builder. PMWeb workflow module will be used to map the workflow tasks and the sequence for performing those tasks. The workflow could include conditions to map the approval authority levels that could be a requirement for some of the processes.
This automation will enable all individuals from the different entities involved in executing the capital construction projects in accessing the processes that they have been given access to use and to provide the needed data for the specific fields assigned to them within each process form. Supportive documents can be attached to each process as well as links to other related records and imported MS Outlook emails can be added. The assigned workflow will channel the due actions for each process to their assigned individuals by either sending them an email or receive notifications while they are using PMWeb. When an action is taken, PMWeb will automatically send a notification to the next individual or individuals on the assigned workflow until the process is either approved or rejected/ withdrawn.
The information captured in those processes and their workflow tasks will become the basis for reporting due actions and performance to the project stakeholders. The first layer of reports that is required on a capital construction project is what actions are due from each individual, regardless of the entity he or she represents. Those are the actions captured from the workflow assigned to each project management process. The report will provide details of all due and delayed actions to be taken by the individual.
The second layer of reports which are usually required by those stakeholders who need to be kept informed on the status of the different process as well as the manager or supervisor that the individuals who are part of a process needs to report to. For examples, those could include the registers for RFI, NCR, WIR, SWI, CVI, shop drawings submittals, material samples submittal, change orders among others. The reader of this report can drilldown to each process transaction to have details of actions taken, attached documents, linked records and provided data.
The third layer of reports will be for the project stakeholder assigned to manage a specific project discipline. Those could include for example the cost manager, planning manager, HSE manager, quality manager, procurement manager, commercial manager, construction manager, site manager, sustainability manager among others. For those stakeholders, the performance report that they need to have will consolidate the key performance indicators of the different processes needed to manage their discipline. For example, those could be the dashboards for cost, schedule, quality, HSE, procurement, contracts among others. The reader of those dashboards can drilldown to the register report of each managed discipline process as well as drilldown to each process register and even transaction listed in the register.
The fourth layer of reports will be the project dashboard for which the project manager and other executive stakeholders would need to have access to understand the current project performance status. The dashboard will summarize the key performance information for the different disciplines needed to execute the project. For example, the dashboard could include information on the project’s schedule, cost, procurement, quality, safety, sustainability among others.
For each reported project management discipline, the project dashboard will include summary performance of key processes. For example, for health and safety, the project dashboard will report the number if safety incidents reported and the current value of Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) whereas for the schedule, it will report the forecast project finish date compared to what was planned as well as the actual physical progress percent complete earned compared to what was planned.
The reader of the project dashboard can drilldown to each specific discipline dashboard to better understand the performance of those disciplines as well as drilldown to each process register and even transaction listed in the register.
The fifth layer of reports could be for program managers who are responsible for managing multiple interrelated projects or a manager responsible for projects within a specific country or region. The dashboard for this layer will aggregate key performance information from the different projects’ portfolio being executed. This will enable those managers to compare, analyze and report the performance of those projects to identify trends and lessons learned that can be used to improve the delivery of current and future projects. Program dashboards might include visual maps or layouts to detail the location of those projects. The reader of the program dashboard can drilldown to each specific project dashboard to have more details on the project’s performance as well as drilldown to the project management discipline dashboard to better understand the performance of those disciplines as well as drilldown to each process register and even transaction listed in the register.
The sixth and last layer will be intended for senior executive stakeholders who need to view the performance across their complete projects’ and programs portfolio. Those dashboards will include the key performance indicators for the project’s schedule, cost, quality, safety and sustainable development indicators and a line chart to display the overall performance trend for the past three months. Those dashboards would usually include a map to detail the locations of reported projects. In addition, and similar to all other reports and dashboards, they would include filters to select the portfolio or projects to be reported on.
The reader of the executive projects’ dashboard can drilldown to each specific program or project dashboard to have more details on the project’s performance as well as drilldown to the project management discipline dashboard to better understand the performance of those disciplines as well as drilldown to each process register and even transaction listed in the register.
What is important to note that the six layers of reports and dashboards detailed above are all consuming the same projects data source captured in PMWeb. This data was generated from the project management processes implemented in PMWeb to enforce the best practices of transparency, accountability and real-time reporting. This will ensure that the reported data at each report or dashboard layer is trust-worthy, traceable and auditable.
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.