Article #508 Using Technology to Enable a 360-Solution to Manage, Monitor, Evaluate and Report the Performance of Retail Brands Expansion and Remodeling Programs and Projects – Step 1: Ensure that you have a Single Version of the Truth Visibility of Your Complete Projects’ Portfolio for Each Retail Brand

Whether it is a luxury or casual goods or cloths, family dining or fast-food restaurants, coffee shop or donut outlet, cinemas, family or kids’ entertainment, electronic products, furniture or household stores, or any other type of retail product or service, the original brand owner and their local or regional franchisee, always have the requirement to grow their presence to capture a larger share of the market as well as grow their satisfied customer base. This would mean adding new standalone outlets or outlets within shopping malls or retail areas. In addition, this would also require remodeling and upgrading existing outlets.

The retail brand’s expansion and remodeling are no different than any other type of capital construction project. They all need to go through the life cycle stages of planning, design, tender, construction, and handover. In addition, they also need to manage their schedule, cost, quality, communications, health and safety, risk, procurement, and contracts. Further, they might involve different entities for the design, construction, and project management scope of work.

Finally, all those projects will encounter threats that will impact their success. Nevertheless, most of the time, the impact severity of those threats could be very high as they might result in losing loyal customers, losing being ready for a sale season, major revenue loss, additional operating costs due to idle sales, and operations staff just to list a few.

That is why using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb becomes a must requirement for any entity that is responsible for managing the retail brand’s expansion and remodeling programs. To start with a unique program should be created for each retail brand that will be managed by the entity. The program will capture all approved expansion and remodeling projects as well as projects that are either still under review, projects that are on hold, terminated projects as well as completed projects. This will enable the entity to have a comprehensive report on the complete projects’ portfolio that each retail brand might have.

For each expansion or remodeling project within a program, the entity needs to capture all relevant of its relevant details. For example, is the project a new project or a remodeling project, location of the project including the geospatial coordinates, estimated budget, planned start, and finish dates, key stakeholders, etc.

In addition, the project form should include the particulars of the outlet which are usually specific for each brand. For example, those could include usable outlet area, number of cinema seats, number of restaurant chairs, and any other details that can better describe the outlet when it is completed.

The details of all stakeholders including the design consultants, contractors, suppliers, and other entities who will have a role in the expansion or remodeling projects will be added to the companies’ directory. This directory will be common to all brands and projects within each brand managed by the entity. The addresses, points of contact, labor resources, commercial registration, insurances, and other details that belong to each entity will be also captured.

The details of those entities can be either added directly to PMWeb companies’ directory or added using the PMWeb vendor prequalification module to enable all entities to register their details online. This will enable the entity responsible for managing the expansion and remodeling projects to apply their qualification scoring criteria to select only those qualified entities to be part of the companies’ directory. The entity’s registration validity can be set to be renewed annually if needed.

Some entities might require having a “Project Charter” for each project that could be considered by the senior management to be approved or not. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create this template detailing the information needed which could differ from one entity to another as well as from one brand to another.

The approval of any expansion or remodeling project requires at least two additional project management documents to be provided. The first is a summary schedule showing the master schedule activities for the project’s main phases, constraints, key approvals, decision points, and milestone dates. The second will be a high-level or concept cost estimate of the proposed project. PMWeb scheduling will be used to create the master schedule including details of the predecessor and successors for the listed activities and milestones. This schedule will be subject to revisions and updates when required.

PMWeb cost estimate module will be used to create the project’s concept estimate. Although there are many options for creating the cost estimate including using the cost database created in PMWeb or importing estimates from MS Excel, nevertheless proposed approach will be to use the predefined cost estimate templates or assemblies created for each brand listing all the components required for either building or remodeling an outlet. There is no limit to the number of assemblies that can be created. PMWeb cost estimate module allows having multi-currency at cost estimate line items as well as associating each cost estimate with its relevant project schedule activity.

For all those templates detailed above, PMWeb allows attaching all types of documents that are needed or associated with the provided information. Attributes, comments, and user-defined fields can be added to those documents if needed. In addition, PMWeb allows checking in and checking out documents in case there is a need to maintain the revision history of a document. The attachment tab available for each PMWeb template also allows linking other PMWeb records to the current transaction as well as associate URL hyperlinks with websites or documents that are not stored in the PMWeb document management repository.

It is highly recommended that all attached documents are stored in the PMWeb document management repository which enables creating folders and subfolders to match the entity’s filing structure. Permission rights can be set to each folder to restrict access to those folders to only authorized users.

In addition, users can subscribe to alerts so they can be automatically notified when new documents or revisions of documents are uploaded, downloaded, or even deleted. Those notifications can be sent via email or when accessing PMWeb.

Many of the business processes that need to be managed during the project’s life cycle stages like those of project charter, cost estimate, schedule, and many others need to be formally reviewed and approved by the individuals assigned to do so and by the Delegation of Authority (DoA) matrix.

PMWeb allows assigning unique workflows to each business process to map the review and approval tasks, to whom they are assigned, time allocated to each task, available actions for the reviewer, what will happen for the record was returned to be resubmitted and what are the approval authority levels assigned to the individual.

For each business process that has been assigned a workflow, the actual date and time of each workflow task along with the comments made and input from individuals who were invited to the workflow will be captured on the relevant transaction.

This critical data that drives timely actions on the different business processes that need to be carried out of each managed project will become available to be reported on in any desired form or format. The report below which is one of PMWeb 150 plus ready-to-use forms, reports, and dashboards provides the project management team with immediate visualization of the status of all due and delayed workflow tasks.

The report can be grouped by the project within each program, business processes within a program, project team members as well as others. The report could be modified to highly delayed workflow tasks in red as well as show all completed workflow tasks in green while those due but not delayed in yellow. The report could be also designed to include donut visuals to summarize and group workflow tasks by their status, assigned individual, business process type to list a view.

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The report can be also configured to allow the reader to drill down to the business process record associated with the workflow task. The business process record output form can be also designed to display the history of the workflow tasks associated with the transaction. The sample form for safety incidents shown below is an example where workflow tasks, documents attached to the transaction will be also listed along with other information that might be needed by the entity managing the expansion and remodeling projects for each brand.

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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 500 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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