When it comes to monitoring and evaluating the performance of capital construction projects, one of the common methods to communicate this information is by providing stakeholders with reports and dashboards that details the current achieved performance, reported issues, proposed recovery actions among other vital information. The growing use of interactive business intelligence and data visualization applications like MS Power BI among others, stakeholders can be provided with high-quality interactive reports and dashboards that can show and tell the current performance of their projects. Nevertheless, most of those reports and dashboard fail to provide stakeholders with the complete information to tell the true story of how each process has performed and what were the particulars of this performance.
Unless the culture of data-driven management and decision-making is embraced on capital construction projects delivery, stakeholders will never have access to traceable trust-worthy data needed for the storytelling reports and dashboards. For example, stakeholders who are keen to understand how Request for Information (RFI) or Technical Queries (TQ) issued by contractors had an impact on the project budget and completion date, those stakeholders need to have access to the RFIs or TQs information in a format that can be analyzed by period, reason, impact type, issuer among others. Those stakeholders want to be able to filter the reported by information by any of those data fields by simply clicking on the relevant visual.
In addition, those stakeholders need to be able to trace selected RFIs or TQs to have more details on what was asked, answered, affected project schedule activity, attached documents, linked records and emails, details of the review and approval tasks among others. What is also important is that those stakeholders want to be able to do this analysis and fact finding on their own, anytime and from anywhere.
Using MS Excel as the data source to capture the complete data and supportive documents for each process to be managed on a project, the least to say it is not practical if it not impossible. Not only the volume of transactions and workflow data for the hundred plus management processes needed for projects is massive, but verifying the quality and correctness of captured data that will be stored on data silos is time consuming and have high risk of errors. In addition, the work-from-home imposed by Covid-19 pandemic makes this task a true mission impossible.
To overcome this challenge, project management information systems (PMIS) like PMWeb need to be the only trusted platform to manage the project processes to enable capturing the data for each transaction, attached documents and workflow tasks details. This data will become the real-time single version of the truth data source for all reports and dashboards that stakeholders can access whenever it is needed. To enable traceability of reported information, those reports and dashboards would usually include a table that summarizes the transactions for the reported process. Each displayed transaction will be hyperlinked to the process output form in PMWeb which represents how the transaction was communicated on the project.
If the stakeholder wants to have more details on the displayed transaction, clicking the transaction record ID will display the transaction details in PMWeb. The displayed input form could be one of the many PMWeb ready to use forms or one the newly created processes using PMWeb custom form builder. The input form will display all data captured for the transaction by the assigned project team members.
Should the stakeholder be interested in reviewing and viewing the attached supportive documents or linked relevant records or imported MS Outlook emails, the attachment tab will provide all of the information. Clicking on any of the documents will download a copy of the document so it can be reviewed while clicking the linked records or emails will display those records.
If the stakeholder has the requirement to review the details of the submit, review, approve or reject workflow tasks along with the comments made and provided team input, then clicking on the workflow tab will provide those details. PMWeb workflow log will report on the complete history of the submit, review and approval tasks including planned and actual review dates and time as well as comments made by the reviewers. The stakeholder can select to display the names of those of involved in the workflow rather than roles if needed.
In addition to the workflow tasks, if the stakeholder is curious to know who else was aware of the transaction under review although they were not part of the workflow assigned to the process, the process notification tab will provide this information. By clicking on the notification tab, it will display all emails sent to share the transaction. If the stakeholder clicks on any of the sent notifications, the sent email along with all details will be displayed.
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.