One of the key requirements for any project including capital construction projects is the timey distribution of performance and status reports to their intended recipients. The project communication plan is used to identify those reports and all related information. This plan is one of the management plans that need to prepared along with the project management plan. On capital construction projects, there could be more than one hundred reports that need to be shared with different stakeholders that could be located at different parts of the world.
To ensure the successful compliance with the project communication plan, there are a number of requirements. The first requirement is to ensure that the data needed for those reports are captured in a real-time trust worthy format to ensure the validity and correctness of the communicated information. The second requirement is to ensure that there is a single data repository for storing all captured project’s data. Some of the reports to be shared could require combining and consolidating the data captured from different project management processes. The third requirement is to be to able to produce the reports in any desired form and format. Reports that are generated on construction projects could include tabular and graphical presentation of the captured data as well as might require to filter, group and sort the data in different forms and format. Another requirement is to be ability to disseminate those reports on the set dates to their recipients as defined in the project’s communication plan.
Project Management Information System (PMIS) solutions like PMWeb provides a solution to fulfill those requirements using a 100% web-enabled platform. PMWeb allows automating all project management processes to ensure that the data included in those processes are captured in a real-time trust worthy format and are stored on a single database. This will ensure that the first two requirements for capturing real-time, trust-worthy data for all project management processes is achieved.
PMWeb comes ready with most of the project management processes needed for capital construction projects as well as it allows creating other project management processes using PMWeb custom form builder. For each input form needed for those project management processes, a workflow will be assigned to ensure that the tasks for submitting, reviewing and approving are executed in accordance with the project management plan.
For example, the project communication plan is an example of an input form that is created using PMWeb custom form builder. The form will be used to list all reports that need to be communicated to the project stakeholders. For each report, the communication plan will also details the method for communicating the report as well as the frequency for communicating the report.
Similar to other project management input forms, a workflow can be assigned to the project communication plan to map the tasks for submitting, reviewing and approving the communication plan. Similar to what is expected in a workflow, durations can be assigned to each task along with the responsibility for performing the task. Approval authority levels can be also added to the workflow can be added when needed.
The next step will be to use PMWeb report writer to create the reports and dashboards that need to be communicated to the project stakeholders. Those could be reports that might display information from a single project management process like Issues Resolution for example, or a report that will share information on different interrelated processes like the cost management report or even a report that displays the weekly or monthly status of a project performance. Although PMWeb comes ready with more than 150 reports and dashboards, organizations can also create their own reports and dashboards in the desired form and format.
For each report created in PMWeb, the project team can specify on how the report will be communicated to the project stakeholders whether they have access to PMWeb or not. The frequency for communicating each report can be daily, weekly or monthly.
For example, if the option of weekly frequency was selected, then PMWeb also allows setting the day of the week on when the report will be sent. In addition, PMWeb allows setting the period from issuing the scheduled reports by setting the form and to dates. Also, PMWeb also allows defining the file format for the created report which could be PDF, CSV, Excel, Work, TIFF, XML and MHTML. The next step would be the select the project stakeholders who will receive the reports. Those could be either PMWeb users, non-PMWeb users but defined as contacts in the companies directory and non-PMWeb users and not defined in the companies directory.
Project stakeholders will automatically receive the PMWeb reports that had been scheduled for them via email. Most project stakeholders would usually require those reports to be sent in PDF file format as this will enable them to view them by only having the PDF viewer. They can also add notes and comments to those PDF files when needed. Nevertheless, what is more important when the file is sent in a PDF file format, is that the content of the report or dashboard will remain intact.
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.