Article #488 Whether we Like it or not, Social Distancing Will Become the New Norm on Capital Construction Projects Delivery

When the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock was photographed kissing a longtime friend that he has recently hired as an advisor, the first sentence in his apology statement was “I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances”.

The new Alpha, Beta, Delta, and maybe other yet-to-be-discovered variants of the Covid-19 pandemic along with the growing trend for Work from Home (WFH) and every day changing travel restrictions will make in-person meetings something to remember and talk about. For managing projects and in particular managing capital construction projects which are based on teamwork, colocation, and collaboration, technology must be used to enable formal and ad-hoc collaboration, anytime and anywhere access of project information and documents, virtual meetings among others.

Using Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb will enable those entities who are involved in delivering capital construction projects to comply with the requirements for Transparency, Accountability, Single Version of the Truth Reporting, and Social Distancing. Being a 100% Web-Enabled Zero-Foot-Print solution, PMWeb can be accessed anywhere, anytime using any device. In addition, the automation of business processes needed to deliver capital construction projects will ensure the trustworthiness of the captured data that be audited and traced to its source. Finally, having all projects data and documents stored on a single secured data source will ensure that all stakeholders are reading the same information.

When an authorized PMWeb user access PMWeb, he/she will have an immediate display of all due actions whether those were from formal communication, ad-hoc collaboration, subscribed notifications, and alerts, or tasks assigned by others. The login portal also allows receiving news feed for the selected news feed source, adding links to websites and other important portals as well as capturing the weather conditions at a location that matters for the project team member.

For those who would like to have a more streamlined startup page for the projects that they are managing, the PMWeb project center screen provides a more user-friendly option. The project center screen allows each user to select the business processes to be displayed on the home screen. PMWeb will provide a count of approved and pending approval transactions of the selected business processes.

Clicking on any of those listed business processes will immediately display the register of all transactions for the selected business process for the projects that the user has been authorized to access. The project center also provides general information on the project with the option the display uploaded pictures that could be for the current on-site project progress.

The login page also allows setting quick links to reports and dashboards that are of interest to the project team member. The selected reports and dashboards will differ from one user to another depending on what is needed to be viewed. The selected reports and dashboards can be emailed, saved, and printed in different file formats.

Links can be also added to third-party applications like for example those for construction site cameras, drones as well as adding hyperlinks to other third-party websites that are of interest to the project team member. This will enable the reader to view other information that is related to the project or projects being managed.

If the user or the organization has created reports and dashboards using business intelligence and data visualization tools like MS Power BI, the login screen can create links to those reports and dashboards for which access will be available if the user is authorized to access those reports and dashboards. This will enable to user to view information that could be from other applications like a list of clashes in a Building Information Model (BIM) among many other types of information.

Of course, access to PMWeb modules that the project team member has been authorized to use will also become available by selecting the module name from the PMWeb modules list. For example, the user might be interested to access one of the many Kanban Activity Boards that he/she is a member of like the one for daily progress details on the project construction site.

In addition, the project team member can have access to documents that were uploaded and stored on PMWeb. Of course, access will be limited to folders and subfolders that the project team member has been authorized access to. This will enable the project team member to view, redline, check in, check out, and download documents when needed.

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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