Regardless of the size, type of location of a capital construction project, the project owner will always have the authority approval levels set for each project which could vary depending on project size, category, or type. Those approvals are mainly related to cost, procurement, and commercial-related business processes that could have an impact on the project’s investment or CAPEX value. The Delegation of Authority (DoA) matrix is used to detail those approval levels along with their associated business processes. An example of business processes that will be usually covered in the DoA document includes Cost Estimate, Budget, Contract Letter of Award, Change Orders, Interim Payment Certificates, and others.
Many threats could occur when a manual process is used to manage and log the status of those business processes. For example, a transaction could be wrongly shared with non-authorized individuals, a transaction could be wrongly approved by an unauthorized individual, delays in reviewing and approving the process are difficult to be escalated as alerts, absence of an audit trail of when and by who the transaction was reviewed and/or approved, delayed reporting on the current status of required reviews and approvals among others.
Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb all business processes needed to manage the delivery of a capital construction project can be digitally transformed. Those will include the business processes of the cost estimate, budget, budget adjustments and transfers, qualified consultant and contractor, contract agreement, letter of award, change orders, claims, interim progress invoices, final account, and other business processes that require compliance with pre-defined delegation of authority (DoA) rules.
The input forms for all these business processes will capture the data fields that the delegation of authority rules will be associated with. For example, this could be change order value, contract value, interim payment certificate value, cost estimate value along with other types of values.
Those values will become the basis for defining the conditions that will be embedded in the workflow for each business process. For example, one of the rules that will be applied on the contract’s change order process is those change orders that have a value that exceeds US$ 50,000 AND the change order description contains the text “Increase Scope”. Those rules can become quite complex depending on the delegation of authority (DoA) that the project owner wants to implement on their capital projects’ delivery.
That delegation of authority (DoA) rules can be also applied to another type of business process that is managed in PMWeb. For example, it can be used with the Transmittal business process where depending on the category of what is being transmitted, a predefined workflow will be selected to share the transmittal transaction with those who had been pre-authorized to be part of the review and approval process. Another example would be used if the Request for Information (RFI) business process was used. The DoA rule will be associated with the Discipline field which has predefined values as Architectural, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, HVAC, Conveying, and another type of building systems disciplines.
Those conditions will be used in PMWeb workflow to create the branches to reflect the required Delegation of Authority (DQ) rule. The assigned workflow for each business process type will automatically forward the transaction to the role or user assigned to the next workflow task.
The actual actions taken by each user will be captured on its related transaction of the business process will be captured at the workflow tab. For each workflow task, PMWeb will capture the reviewer details including the date and time on when the action was taken. The workflow log will also detail comments made and whether the input was requested from other individuals who are not part of the predefined workflow tasks.
Similar to other managed business processes in PMWeb, supportive documents that better explain what is being transmitted can be attached to each business process transaction. Those documents could be in any file format such as PDF, pictures, MS Excel, MS Word, Autodesk Drawing, and others.
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. Access rights can be defined to each folder or subfolder to restrict access to authorized PMWeb users. In addition, users can subscribe to notifications when new documents or revisions of documents were uploaded or documents are being downloaded.
To enable the formal communication of transactions of business processes that have contractual implications, PMWeb allows designing the output form in the exact desired format along with entity color branding. The output form will include a list of attachment documents as well as the workflow actions with the option to display a visual signature next to each as well as the option to add a digital signature next to each name who was part of the review and approval process.
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.