With more public sector entities that are involved in managing the delivery of capital construction projects approving the adoption of the work-from-home practice, there is also a growing requirement among those entities to ensure that the efficiency of their individuals and the departments they belong to are not affected by this practice. Those entities need to monitor and evaluate the performance efficiency of those individuals when it comes to performing their assigned tasks for managing the different project management processes.
Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb will enable those entities to digital transform the different tasks that need to be performed by all individuals involved in delivering capital construction projects including those working from home. Using PMWeb, all project management processes will be assigned a workflow to map the many tasks needed to submit, review, consult, approve, reject and be kept informed. In addition, the workflow could include conditions needed to enforce approval authority levels as well as other conditions that might entail having different reviewers for a given process depending on its content. This will ensure that all tasks assigned to individuals deployed on capital construction projects can be monitored and evaluated.
To start with, PMWeb workflow module allows defining the roles that the different individuals will have for submitting, reviewing, being consulted, approving, rejecting or need to be kept informed when it comes to managing the different project management processes. For each user who have access to PMWeb, he or she will be assigned one of those project management roles. PMWeb also allows assigning multiple roles for the same user if needed as well as allows the same roles be used more than once in the same workflow. In addition, PMWeb allows individuals who need to delegate their tasks to other individuals during their vacation or holiday periods. It also allows to permanently delegate the tasks assigned to individuals to other individuals when their employment on the project has ended or been terminated.
The next requirement is to define the rules or conditions that are needed to enforce approval authority levels defined in the project management plan. In addition, there is also the need for selecting the individuals who need to be involved in the reviewing, being consulted, approving, rejecting or need to be kept informed on selected processes depending on the category or type codes values assigned to the project management processes.
For example, a condition can be assigned to the change order module where all change orders that have a value that exceeds US$ 50,000 and for additional work that was not in the project’s original scope of work. This condition will be used to create a branch in the workflow assigned to change order module to enforce the approval authority levels tasks for those change orders. Another condition can be added to the Request for Information (RFI) module where multiple conditions will be created for each RFI category which could be Structural, Mechanical, Architectural among others. This condition eliminates the possible mistakes and delays in assigning the right individuals for reviewing, being consulted, approving, rejecting or need to be kept informed a project management process.
The workflow tasks, duration of each task, actions available for each task, instructions and the sequence for performing those tasks will be mapped into PMWeb workflow. In addition, PMWeb allows defining the rules for returning or resubmitting a workflow task when comments made need to incorporated and resubmit the transaction rather than rejecting it which will result in ending the workflow process. The workflow also allows defining the workflow branches that will be launched when the condition assigned to the workflow becomes valid or true.
PMWeb also allows defining the number of days for which an alert email or onscreen notification will be automatically sent if the workflow is delayed or due to end by certain number of days. PMWeb allows selecting to whom this alert to be sent to.
Workflow tasks and alerts email notifications can be customized in the desired format that the entity wants. It can be also configured to attach the form output, project management process log report or any other form or report designed for the process. In addition, it allows attaching the supportive documents which were originally assigned to the project management process transaction. PMWeb allows designing different email notification templates depending on the action taken on the workflow task as well as the project management process the workflow assigned to. In addition, it allows to assign approval and rejection buttons to the email to enable what is known as approve or reject on the fly.
Of course, there is also the option to receive workflow notifications on the PMWeb control screen which will automatically appear when a user login into PMWeb. The workflow inbox will detail the workflow tasks that are assigned to the user as per the workflow tasks assigned to each project management process.
PMWeb also includes a ready to use report of all workflow tasks due as well as completed tasks. The workflow tasks can be grouped by user, project, project management process and status. Of course, there is no restriction on designing the workflow tasks report in any desired format including having the option to add visuals to summarize and analyze the workflow tasks as well as color code delayed and due workflow tasks.
The workflow inbox report can be designed to allow the report reader to drilldown to the project management process transaction associated with the workflow task. The project management process output form can be designed to display the original workflow tasks assigned to the process with its due dates as well as display the details of the actual dates and time when those workflow tasks were performed by their assigned user. This will immediately identify the individuals who could have contributed to the reported delays in reviewing, approving or rejecting a transaction.
In addition to monitoring and evaluating the performance of the review, approve or reject workflow tasks, PMWeb audit trail module captures the details of all PMWeb access and usage made by the authorized users. The audit trail information also shows the entity the time spent by their individuals in performing the different project management processes that are being managed using PMWeb. For each login session, the audit trail report will show the user name, date and time, action type, project location, record or project management process type, record ID, record tab accessed and which grid.
Most public sector entities as well as private sector entities require secured access to the PMWeb database to ensure data confidentiality. Those entities usually have the requirement to host applications like PMWeb to be hosted on premise on their own web-servers. Access to PMWeb will be restricted to only those users who have authorized VPN access where the entity’s IT department can monitor the access transactions made to PMWeb using the IP address of the device used by the user to access PMWeb. For those entities who have the requirement for hosting PMWeb at their own trusted and controlled web servers, PMWeb allows 2-Tier and 3-Tier installation options to comply with the entity’s cybersecurity compliance requirements.
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.