Article #510 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 3: Ensure Effectiveness of Formal as well as Ad-Hoc Collaboration

Regardless of the project size, type, or whether it was an expansion or remodeling project, collaboration will be always required between the project owner entity’s team members or collaboration between the different entities who have a role in delivering the retail brand project. One has to admit that the constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic on in-person meetings, social distancing, risk of quarantine when traveling among others, made digital-based collaboration a must and not a choice.

PMWeb activity board is an example of how to enable ad-hoc collaboration even in-person meetings are not an option. It allows project team members to create as many as needed activity boards for every type of ad-hoc meeting and invite project team members to report on the tasks assigned to them as well as share comments when needed.

One of those popular use cases for Activity Boards is for capturing weekly progress planning. The project team members will list all tasks that need to be performed but not yet assigned to any of the team members, tasks that had been assigned and are in progress, tasks that are on hold due to issues that need to be resolved, and completed tasks.

Nevertheless, many other business processes need to have a formal collaboration rather than the ad-hoc collaboration used in Activity Boards. As a minimum, every retail brand project whether it was an expansion project or remodeling project requires having the business processes for meeting minutes, submittals for shop drawings, material sample, certificates among others, work inspection requests (WIR), material inspection requests (MIR), non-conformance reports (NCR), request for information (RFI), safety incidents, punch list, handover checklist, lessons learned and daily reports.

Each one of those business processes needs to have a template for which all individuals representing the different entities and who have a role in managing the process will use. PMWeb comes ready with many ready-to-use templates. In addition to those associated with the financial management of a project, PMWeb comes ready with the templates for Request for Information, Safety Incidents, Submittals, Transmittals, Daily Reports, Meeting Minutes, and Safety Incidents. The PMWeb administrator can define the users who have access to those templates including the fields with each template. Each one of those templates has the option to attach all supportive documents as well as assigned a workflow to formalize the collaboration tasks.

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In addition, PMWeb visual custom form builder will be used to create the other templates which are not readily available in PMWeb. These include Non-Conformance Reports (NCR), Work Inspection Requests (WIR), Material Inspection Requests (MIR), Handover Checklist, Lessons Learned, and others. Those forms can be designed in any desired format and would usually include checklists to ensure compliance as well as the use of past accumulated knowledge of carrying out similar tasks.

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For each business process that requires formal communication, an output form will be designed to allow printing and wet-sign the communication or save it in PDF file format so it can be digitally signed. The output form can be designed to include the list of documents that were attached to the transaction as well as a log of the workflow tasks assigned to the business process and their status. PMWeb comes ready with much of the output forms needed for the business processes that are available by default in PMWeb.

Of course, each entity can design its formal communication templates in any desired form or format. Those can differ from one brand to another if needed. What is important to focus on is the captured data for each business process.

Logs or registers can be also designed to automatically generate those registers whenever a new transaction had been issued. Those reports can be also designed in any desired form or format to fulfill the reporting requirements of the entity managing the retail brand projects.

The data of those different format communications can be also consolidated in a dashboard to provide an overall status of those transactions. The sample document management dashboard shown below is an example of a dashboard that provides an overall status of the project’s formal communication. Again, this dashboard can be designed in different forms and formats that each entity desires to have.

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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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