Article #485 Why We Need to Manage, Monitor, Evaluate and Report on Deliverables Activities as Business Processes While Executing the Project Life Cycle Stages?

Whenever an entity wants to deliver a project including a capital construction project, one of the first documents that get created is the integrated project delivery plan that will map the complete project life cycle stages and the deliverables that need to be created, reviewed, and approved within each stage. The project plan will also include the activities required to assess the readiness to exit a stage-gate and commence the next stage. For capital construction projects, this integrated project delivery plan will eventually become the basis for developing the detailed execution plans which will be developed by the engineering consultants and contractors to detail the activities for schematic design, design development, construction documents, construction contract procurement, and construction to the required control level.

For example, the integrated project delivery plan for the Capital Planning Stage of a capital construction project will include the deliverables for the Business Case, Project Risks Identification, Proposed Solution Analysis, Project Milestone Plan, Cost Estimate Screening, Operating Cost Estimate, Capital Project Funding Source Identification, the initial version of the Building Program Statement and Stage-Gate Exit Deliverables Checklist Verification. Similarly, there will be other deliverable activities for the follow-on stages of Development, Design Services Procurement, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Construction Procurement, Construction, Handover, and Closeout and Operation and Maintenance.

Similar to any other project delivery plan, each deliverable activity within a stage will have the planned duration required to create, submit, review and approve the deliverable. In most cases, the assigned duration will also include some buffer to allow for the additional duration that might be required to incorporate comments should the deliverable was not approved from the first submission. In addition, some stage deliverables could be dependent on the start or finish dates of other deliverables either within the same stage or in different life cycle stages, therefore predecessor and successor relationships will be added to emulate those dependencies. This will become the basis for calculating the start and finish dates for each activity to identify the deliverables that are critical for achieving the target completion date for which the assigned project team members will ensure they are completed as planned.

The integrated project delivery plan will also include the work breakdown structure (WBS) levels to map the project life cycle stages and sub-stages if needed. The plan will also include codes to group deliverables by their project management disciplines such as plan, cost, procurement, risk, and others. Further, the integrated project delivery project plan activities will also include the project team members responsible for completing the deliverables.

Nevertheless, unlike the many other activities like those for design, tender, and construction where the progress complete for the achieved performance can be quantified and reported on, the performance of deliverable activities depends on the status of the deliverable’s creation, review, and approval tasks which will differ from one deliverable to another. Therefore, the successful management of the creation, review, and approval of each project deliverable activity needs three requirements to be implemented. The first of those requirements is for each deliverable to have a predefined template to capture the content of the deliverable, the deliverable creation, review and approval tasks, and finally the output document of the completed and approved deliverable.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, the organization will have a single 100% web-enabled platform for managing, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting the performance of the capital project deliverables that will fulfill those three requirements.

PMWeb comes ready with many of the input forms needed to create project deliverables thus fulfilling the first requirement. One of those ready-to-use forms is the Cost Estimate input form which will be used to create the cost estimate deliverable as well as the operation revenue of the capital planning project life cycle stage.

The cost estimate form comes ready with most if not all the data fields needed to create the cost estimate deliverable. In addition, there is no limit to the number of new user-defined fields that can be added to the Cost Estimate form. The default and user-defined fields data fields are configured to capture text, numeric, currency, Boolean, date, and values from predefined selection lists created in PMWeb.

In addition to the Cost Estimate template, PMWeb comes ready with other ready-to-use templates for the budget, budget transfers, and adjustment, awarded contracts, change orders, interim progress invoices, funding sources, risk register, recourse requirements, and organization chart templates. Similar to the Cost Estimate template, all those ready-to-use templates can be appended with additional user-defined fields to ensure that all data required for each deliverable are captured.

For other deliverables that PMWeb does not have a ready-to-use input template for the project deliverable, PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create those templates. Those could include for example the Project Charter, Stakeholder Analysis, Requirement Management, Communication Management Plan, Responsibility Assignment Matrix, Assumptions Log, Procurement Management Plan, Stakeholder Engagement Plan, and others. Those templates can be created in any language including non-Latin languages like Arabic.

All deliverables input templates, whether those are available by default in PMWeb or created using the custom form builder, will become one of the organizational assets that can be used across the complete projects’ portfolio managed by the organization.

Since different project team members might be involved in creating the same project deliverable, PMWeb allows assigning access rights to the different fields and tables included in each deliverable input form to restrict what each user can have access to. This will apply to the ready-use input templates as well as those created using PMWeb custom form builder. The access rights can be set as View or Edit a filed. Of course, there are also access rights to be set at the deliverable input template level to restrict access to which project team members can create, view, edit or delete a deliverable record.

When a deliverable is created, it is very common that the team who is creating the deliverable might use third-party documents to support the creation of the project deliverable. Those supportive documents which could be in any file format such as PDF, pictures, MS Excel, MS Word will be attached to their relevant project deliverable input form. In addition, links to other referenced deliverables or even hyperlinks to third-party websites or documents will be also added to the deliverable input form.

It is highly recommended that all documents associated with any of the project deliverables, regardless of their type or source, get uploaded and stored in the PMWeb document management repository. PMWeb allows creating folders and subfolders to match the project life cycle stages and sub-stages. Access rights can be defined to each folder or subfolder to restrict access to only authorized PMWeb users. In addition, users can subscribe to notifications when new documents or revisions of documents were uploaded or documents are being downloaded.

The second requirement for managing deliverables is to map the creation, review, and approval tasks needed to have an approved deliverable. The sequence of the workflow tasks along with the project role or user assigned to a task, task duration, rules for returning and resubmitting the deliverable, and action available to be taken by the user will be defined in the PMWeb workflow module.

Those workflows which could differ from one deliverable to another can also include conditions to create workflow branches to reflect the required Delegation of Authority (DoA) rules associated with each deliverable. The assigned workflow for each deliverable will automatically forward the transaction to the role or user assigned to the next workflow task.

The actual actions taken by each individual who has a role in creating, submitting, reviewing, or approving the deliverable will be captured at the workflow tab. For each workflow task, PMWeb will capture the user 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 were not part of the predefined workflow tasks.

The capturing of workflow tasks for each deliverable will not only enforce the best practices of transparency and accountability but also enable an objective assessment of the progress achieved for each deliverable. The workflow tasks can be considered as interim milestones with predefined percent complete values.

The last requirement for managing project deliverables is to get the output form for each deliverable in the exact required output format. PMWeb Business Intelligence (BI) report writer will allow each entity to design their output forms for each project deliverable displaying all needed information in the desired layout and branding colors.

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For entities who are keen on capturing the actual hours spent by their project team members in creating, reviewing, and approving the project’s deliverables, the PMWeb timesheet module will be used to capture those resource hours. All reported hours will be associated with the integrated project delivery plan activity associated with the project deliverable. The captured hours can be reported as regular working hours, overtime, weekend, or any other type of working hours classifications. Similar to project deliverables, a workflow can be assigned to the timesheet module to formalize the review and approval tasks.

For entities who have a Project Management Office (PMO) or even if there is a need to have an overall view of the status of deliverables within each project life cycle stage then the PMWeb Stage-Gate module will be used to achieve this requirement. For each project stage, the module allows defining the deliverables and linking each deliverable to the deliverable input template. This will automatically capture the workflow status of each deliverable including the revision number if it was returned and resubmitted. In addition, each project life cycle stage and deliverable within each stage will be linked to their relevant integrated project delivery plan activity.

PMWeb Stage-Gate module also allows formalizing the process for assessing the readiness to exit a stage and to commence with the next stage. This will be achieved by defining a scoring template that will have a predefined weight for each scoring item. The scoring template could be based on a “Yes/No” response, scoring points, values, dates, documents among others.

Similar to the project deliverables and timesheets, a workflow can be also assigned to the project life cycle stage gates to formalize the review and approval process to confirm that the stage was completed and status can become approved.

A report can be created for the Stage-Gate module where it will detail the status of the project life cycle stages and the deliverables within each stage. The report can be designed to detail the deliverable’s performance status to the required level of detail.

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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