Similar to any other business process needed in managing the execution of capital construction projects, documenting value engineering workshops not only will ensure that the process will be performed by the set best practices but more importantly is that the knowledge gained in performing the process will be captured and becomes available to be shared on other projects. In addition, this captured knowledge will provide the organization with the lessons learned to improve the results of future value engineering workshops. This knowledge could become the data needed by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) platforms for cost optimization of capital construction projects.
The Value Engineering (VE) methodology consists of seven sequential phases. Those are information, function analysis, evaluation, creative, development recommendations, presentation, and finally implementation and follow-up. Each phase has its purpose, objectives, and tasks. For example, the function analysis phase is the phase where the VE team defines the project functions using a two-word active verb/ measurable noun context. The team reviews and analyzes these functions to determine which need improvement, elimination, or creation to meet the project’s goals.
Using Project Management Information System (PMIS) solutions like PMWeb, the different value engineering business processes, as well as value engineering phases checklists, will be managed as well as associated documents with those processes will be uploaded and stored in PMWeb. This will not only ensure that the value engineering processes are performed as required but also enable monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on the results of each value engineering process. The function analysis report is one of those examples.
PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the function analysis form. The form header will include details on the project, value engineering workshop, date, and building system. The form will include the workflow status details such as version, date, and status. Additional fields can be added if required.
The form will also include a table for the selected system function analysis. The table will include the fields for No., Item Description, Function Verb which will be selected from a predefined list of values, Verb Others which will be used to add Verbs that are not currently in the predefined list of values for Verbs, Function Noun which will be selected from a predefined list of values, Noun Others which will be used to add Nouns that are not currently in the predefined list of values for Nouns, Function Type which will be selected from a predefined list of values, Cost of Item, Worth of Item and Remarks. The table will also include two columns that will be automatically calculated for Value Gap which is the difference between Cost and Worth, and Value which Worth/Cost ratio.
PMWeb will be also used to create a checklist for the Function Analysis phase to ensure that all information for this phase had been collected or verified. When using the checklist, the individual completing the checklist needs to provide the status of each item as “Yes” it was done, “No” it was not done, or “NA” for Not Applicable. In addition, remarks can be added if needed.
Similar to all types of business processes created using PMWeb, the Function Analysis form can be also be attached with all supportive documents. Those could include drawings, specifications, equipment catalogs, equipment life cycle costing, pictures among others. In addition, links to PMWeb records for all types of business processes managed in PMWeb can be also added. Those could include for example the cost estimates, commitment, contract agreement, etc.
It is highly recommended that all supportive documents, regardless of their type or source, get uploaded and stored on the PMWeb document management repository. PMWeb allows creating folders and subfolders to match the physical filing structure used to store hard copies of those documents. For example, there could be folders for each value engineering workshop with sub-folders for each Building System for which function analysis was carried out during that value engineering workshop.
Since the Function Analysis form is for any selected building system, the individual who has initiated the Function Analysis can send an email invitation to other individuals to access the form. This would require selecting the record hyperlink as an attachment. Of course, accessing the Function Analysis form itself requires the individual to be a PMWeb user. For those who are not PMWeb users, the individual issuing the invitation can select the option of sending the Function Analysis output form in PDF file format. PMWeb creates pre-defined individual lists to ensure that all those who need to be involved are invited. In addition, PMWeb allows sending invitations to specific individuals whether those were PMWeb users or not.
Should there be a requirement to formally submit, review and approve the function analysis form, a workflow can be used to formalize the submission, review, and approval tasks. The assigned workflow will map the submit, review and approve tasks, roles or roles assigned to each task, task duration, task type, and actions available for the task. In addition, PMWeb allows the setting condition to the workflow tasks to enforce the approval authority levels set by the organization if this was a requirement.
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 systems to over 200 projects with a total value over the 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 on 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 Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (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.