Article #471 Using Agile Project Management Techniques to Maintain Level 5 Project Schedule on Capital Construction Projects

I remember those days in the early 1980s when we had to present the two-week lookahead schedule during the weekly progress review meetings. The two-week lookahead schedule which was based on the latest updated level 4 schedule required the Contractor to detail the activities that are planned for the upcoming two weeks. The first week would list all confirmed activities that will be either started, progressed, or completed whereas the second week would list all tentative activities to be started, progressed, or completed. For each activity, there was a need to assign the project team member who will be responsible for the activity as well as the expected completion date. During the meeting, the assigned project team members will confirm if there are any obstacles or approvals that could impact the progress of the confirmed activities. The two-week look ahead report will also list all activities during the elapsed week.

Using Project Management Information System (PMIS) that has both Scheduling and Kanban Activity Board capabilities like PMWeb would have a great positive impact on the weekly progress review meetings. PMWeb will digitally transform this process to improve the collaboration and visualization of tasks that need to be performed. This is even more demanding nowadays with the constraints on meetings in-person imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic which might become the standard practice in doing business.

Although its highly recommended that Contractors develop their integrated project schedules at level 5 instead of the common practice of level 4 schedules, PMWeb allows importing the updated project schedule regardless if it was level 4 or level 5. This will enable generating the two-week lookahead report which will include the date filters to select the activities that are either planned to start, complete on continuing progress in the next two weeks. The report will also the activities that have progressed or were completed in the past two weeks period.

Those activities will be used to update the PMWeb activity board by moving completed tasks to the “Completed” group as well as additional activities that are confirmed to progress in the next week in the “Confirmed” group while those are planned to progress in the second week to the “Tentative” group. Each activity will be assigned a responsibility to complete and complete the due date.

To maintain track of what is discussed in each progress meeting, the Activity Board manager will copy the last week’s board and update it with the new activities as well as move completed activities to the “Completed” group. All this will be done by dragging and dropping the activity card to the intended group. The activity board will also have a group called “Planned” which will include a copy of the two-week look ahead report generated from the PMWeb Schedule module.

To improve the visualization of the tasks included in the two-week lookahead activity board, color tags will be assigned to each activity. Those will be Green for activities with float, yellow for near-critical activities, and red for critical activities. In addition, a color tag will be also added to identify the progress status of each activity where Blue will be for activity in progress and purple for completed activities. It is also recommended to attach a progress photo of each activity either in progress or completed to provide those who have access to the two-week activity board with a better understanding of the site progress.

Detailed description can be added to each activity that needs to be executed including the option to break down each activity into sub-tasks with assigned responsibility and completion due date. In addition, comments by added on each task by the project team members who have access to the Activity Board. Documents including drawings, pictures, videos among others can be attached to the task. In addition, links to other related PMWeb business processes like work inspection requests (WIR), permits to work, non-compliance reports (NCR), submittals, and others can be added to each task. Project team members can like comments made, documents attached, links added as well as the task overall.

The Activity Board manager can invite the team members who need to be part of the two-week lookahead progress reporting. PMWeb will be used to create an invitation email to be sent to those project team members. The email invitation has a few settings that the Activity Board manager can define. These include, for example, Give Users Edit Right, Subscribe Users to be Alerted when Activities or Tasks happen on the Activity Board, Send Email Notification with or without a hyperlink to the Activity Board.

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 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.


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