Article #378 Why Planning and Scheduling Engineers Should Have Access to Project Management Information Systems Implemented on Capital Construction Projects?

For capital construction projects who have opted to implement a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, the team responsible for planning and scheduling scope of work should be also given access to use the PMIS. They will use PMIS in addition to the other dedicated applications used for developing and maintaining the resource and cost loaded schedules as well as those needed to simulate project risks using Monte Carlo simulation technique among others if needed.

Similar to the other project team members involved in managing the project site activities, design development, quality, health and safety, risks, procurement, commercial among other activities, a PMIS like PMWeb will enable the planning and scheduling engineers to better manage, monitor, evaluate and report on the many other processes that they are responsible to perform.

The information generated from those processes and other data imported into PMWeb will become the basis for having a real-time single version of the truth schedule performance dashboard. The planning and scheduling engineers can drilldown to review more details on the processes that they are responsible to manage, monitor and report on. The layouts of those dashboards will depend on the needs of the project planning and scheduling team.

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To start with, PMWeb provides the planning and scheduling engineers with access to a document management repository that enables them to upload and store all documents used in developing and maintaining the integrated project schedule as well as delays and time impact analysis reports. In addition, the repository will allow them to upload and store progress photographs and videos used to document the actual project progress. All uploaded documents and pictures can be attached to any process that will be managed by the planning and scheduling engineers using PMWeb.

PMWeb document management repository allows creating folders and sub-folders to enable the planning and scheduling engineers to better organize the documents that they need to upload, store and eventually use. In addition, access permission rights can be added to those folders to restrict access to only authorized project team members. Further, notifications can be configured for each folder to enable the planning and scheduling engineers to receive email notifications when new documents or revisions to existing documents are added, when documents are checked in or out, when documents are moved out or deleted and/or when documents are downloaded.

In addition, PMWeb allows the planning and scheduling engineers to maintain copies of all integrated project schedule revisions and updates created in Primavera P6 or MS Project. Although this is not intended to replace the planning and scheduling software used to create and maintain the project schedule, but this will allow sharing the project schedule information with other stakeholders who need to receive this information. For example, many of the executive holders want to receive schedule reports that will only need to report the status of milestone dates while others might prefer to have summary schedules but without the need to use the dedicated planning and scheduling software tool. PMWeb allows generating tabular and Gantt chart reports from the imported project schedule data.

PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the different review checklists that the planning and scheduling engineers might need. For example, checklists of the baseline schedule, schedule revisions and periodical updates can be created to standardize the review process. The great value of having those checklists is that they are designed to capture the knowledge from past-experience as well as ensure compliance with the contract’s specification requirements when it comes to preparing those submissions as well as reviewing and approving them. This would mean less delays and arguments when it comes to approving those contractual submissions.

In addition, PMWeb custom form builder can be also used to implement the processes that the planning and scheduling engineers will be responsible to perform. Those includes for example Time Impact Analysis (TIA), Extension of Time (EOT) Requests, Update Schedule Narrative Report among others. By using PMWeb to manage those processes and capture their relevant data, the planning and scheduling engineers can create reports to monitor, evaluate and report on the performance of those processes.

Similar to other PMWeb managed processes, a workflow can be assigned to the Time Impact Analysis (TIA), Extension of Time (EOT) requests, Baseline Review Checklist, Schedule Revision Review Checklist, Periodical Update Checklist and other processes to map the sequence of submit, review and approve tasks for each process. The workflow will identify the role or individuals responsible to perform each task, task duration, instructions and actions available. The workflow could also include the approval authority levels needed for a process when needed.

In addition, all schedule related meetings like those for creating the schedule, progress review, delay analysis among others can be captured in PMWeb meetings module. For each meeting minute created in PMWeb, all discussed business items will be captured to enable assigning the individual or individuals responsible for taking action, the due date of this action and when it was actually completed will be also captured. Those actions can be also associated with the relevant project schedule task the could be impacted if the action was not completed by the set due date. This will enable the planning and scheduling team to identify all pending business items and act on the same.

PMWeb will also provide the planning and scheduling engineers with access to the daily report module that captures the details of actual resource hours spent on the project and idle resource hours. In addition, the daily reports will provide details of activities and volume of work achieved for the different project trades. The captured resources and activities details can be assigned with their relevant project schedule tasks. This will enable the planning and scheduling engineers to use this information to assess the resources loss of efficiency due to disruption events, constructive acceleration among others. In addition, daily reports will provide the planning and scheduling engineers with the wealth of progress photos taken to capture the actual achieved progress on construction site as well as disruption events.

In addition, the planning and scheduling team will have access to other project management processes that could either have a direct impact on the project schedule or be part of the information that they need to report on. Those would usually include the Request for Information (RFI), Submittals, Work Inspection Requests (WIR), Non-Compliance Reports (NCR), Disruption Events, Claims, Change Orders among others. For those processes, the workflow could include a condition where if any transaction has time impact, the planning and scheduling engineers will be notified. In addition, reports can be prepared to filter those transactions that have time impact.

Another advantage of using a PMIS, is that the planning and scheduling performance information will become readily available when issuing the project’s monthly progress performance report or dashboard. The report reader can drilldown to view additional information on reported performance including those of the planning and scheduling processes. All those reports including the scheduling and planning reports generated using PMWeb can be accessed and viewed anywhere, anytime using any device.

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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 200 projects with a total value in excess of US $100 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 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and South America. He has written more than 300 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is 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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