Article #479 Using Kanban Activity Boards to Stop Paper Blaming Due to Lack of Coordination of Daily Activities Carried Out on Construction Sites

One of the possible uses of Kanban Activity Boards on capital construction projects is using those boards to enable day-to-day transparency of works to be done by establishing a coordination room at the Construction site. This room will use the Kanban Activity Board to showcase the different activities that need to be carried out that require coordination between the different team members who could be from the same entity or other entities involved in delivering the project. This room will help in stopping the current practice of casual verbal coordination that usually ends by paper blaming each other for lack of coordination. Having such an Activity Board will require from the project team members less than an hour every day to review the tasks listed on the board, update their assigned tasks, and ensure that those tasks are coordinated with other planned or in-progress tasks.

Nevertheless, with the current constraints on in-person meetings either because of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions on travel and gatherings or because of the growing trend to work from home (WFH), those individuals involved in the daily coordination meetings need to have the option of accessing their assigned activity boards regardless where they could be located whether it was on-site or off-site. In addition, since there will be different project teams on each project, it will be impossible to have enough meeting rooms for all team members to meet in. Therefore, having Activity Boards that are web-enabled coupled with an online meeting application is the only viable option that can accommodate all those daily coordination meetings and the constraints for having them.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb which combines the agile solution of Kanban Activity Boards with the access to all records generated from the hundred-plus business processes needed to manage capital construction projects as well as the hundreds of thousands of documents linked or not linked to those records, will provide those project team members with all information needed to make the best of the daily coordination meetings. In addition, being 100% web-enabled, using PMWeb will enable overcoming the constraints of not being able to meet in person.

PMWeb Activity Board module will be used to create separate activity boards or coordination rooms that will be assigned for each project team. Each board will have its manager who can invite individuals from any entity to be part of the Activity Board. Those boards will be live boards that will be updated anytime by any project team member for activities that need to be done, are being done, cannot be done because of issues, or have been done. Each activity will have a proper description and will be assigned to a project team member with a due date. Tasks will be color-coded to flag their status, work category as well as to identify if there are issues in completing the tasks.

To provide better visibility and understanding for each task, links to the relevant PMWeb records as well as all supportive documents will be attached. Being a Zero-Foot Print solution, PMWeb allows accessing the Activity Boards from anywhere including the construction sites using any device. This enables taking pictures or videos and attaching them to their relevant tasks for which pictures can be selected to be displayed as the task cover.

The team member can break down the assigned task into sub-tasks and assign other team members to complete it within the set due date. In addition, comments can be added on each task by the project team members who have access to the Activity Board. Project team members can like comments made, documents attached, links added as well as the task overall.

The Activity Board manager can invite individuals who need to be part of the Project Activity Coordination Board. PMWeb will be used to create an invitation email to be sent to those individuals who could be from any entity on the project. 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 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.


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