For those responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and reporting the status of budget on capital construction projects, their top priority is how to have a trustworthy real-time single version of the truth reports that fulfill this need without the need to wait for months to get what is needed. They need to be able to have this information as reports that they can review, comment, share, and report on.
The first objective of using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) solution like PMWeb is to ensure that the budget management data to be reported on is trustworthy and comprehensive. This will be achieved by automating the different budgets as well as contract management processes needed to manage a capital construction project by defining the input form and submitting, reviewing, and approving workflow for each process. Those processes can be attached with all relevant supporting documents as well as linked with relevant records of other project management processes. The automation of budget and contract management processes will enforce the best practices of transparency and accountability that each project entity seeks to have.
The second objective of using a PMIS like PMWeb is how such a solution can immediately fulfill the project budget monitoring, evaluating, and reporting requirements of the projects’ stakeholders. Using PMWeb ready to use budget and contract management processes and the out-of-the-box stock of forms, reports, and dashboards, the needed reporting will become immediately available. Of course, those forms, reports, and dashboards can be fully customized and altered to fulfill any formatting or branding requirements when needed. Nevertheless, the forms, reports, and dashboards displayed in the article, detail the out of the box stock that comes immediately available to PMWeb users.
The first reporting requirement would be to have a single version of the truth of every single budget on the complete projects’ portfolio that an entity could have. For each project, the information to be displayed would be the project name, original budget, budget changes including adjustments, and revised budget. The report will also include related contract management data such as original commitment, approved changes, pending changes, forecast to complete, anticipated cost, variance, and actual cost.
The PMWeb report reader can drill down from this report, to have more details on the project budget and the projected spending plan is also known as Planned Value (PV). The second report will detail the project budget to the cost breakdown structure (CBS) levels that will be used to control the budget. Those CBS levels can be configured in any format to enable the cost reporting needs for the organization. For example, they can be aligned with the contracts that will be awarded on the project.
The reader of the summary budget report can drill down to a report that will analyze how the budget adjustments and transfers have modified the original baseline budget to the current revised budget. The matrix report will show the cost breakdown structure (CBS) levels associated with each budget request and the number of additions or omissions that have adjusted the CBS level.
The reader can further drill down to each specific budget adjustment to review its particulars including the cost breakdown structure (CBS) affected by the adjustment or transfer. The form will also display the additional fields captured on the budget request as well as all attached documents needed to support the budget adjustment or transfer. Those documents can be downloaded and viewed if needed. In addition, the form will include the details of the review and approval workflow tasks associated with either the budget adjustment or transfer.
The data captured for the budget processes will also become available to be reported on at an executive level using dashboards. For example, the same dashboard used to report on a project’s contract, schedule, quality, health, safety, and environment (HSE) and others can be used to report on the budget.
The dashboard can be designed to include visuals to summarize the performance metrics and include pictures of the site’s progress. Similar to the above reports, the reader can drill down for more information on the project budget by clicking on the “Financial Progress” card.
For those stakeholders who need to monitor, evaluate and report the performance of the complete projects’ portfolio, the PMWeb portfolio dashboard will summarize the data of those projects and group them by Program, Country, or any other data field. The dashboard will summarize the total value of the projected budget, projected cost of awarded contracts, projected profit which is the difference between projected budget and projected cost, baseline project finish date, and current finish date, and issues pending resolution and those resolved.
The project’s portfolio dashboard will also provide an overall summary of the total value of awarded contracts, the total value of work in place, contracts that did not commence, total approved changes, and total revised contracts value.
For projects that have assigned their geospatial location, or Latitude and Longitude values, the dashboard will show those project locations on the world map. The project color flag can be based on one of the key performance measures available for the managed projects.
All PMWeb out-of-the-box forms and reports can be saved in an MS Excel file in addition to other types of file types. This will enable the user to take advantage of the data saved in MS Excel by doing his/her analysis and reporting using business intelligence tools like MS Power BI. Of course, there is the option of reading PMWeb budget and contracts data from the PMWeb database if this is 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 information systems 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.