Article #527 Is There a Way to Improve the Quality of “Gut Instinct” Decisions Made by Stakeholders on Capital Construction Projects?

Gut instinct is an instinctive feeling, as opposed to an opinion or idea based on facts. Gut instinct also known as hunch or sixth-sense which is each project stakeholder primal wisdom. Humans in general have a strong addiction to their own capabilities, developed over their many years of experience in doing right and wrong decisions. For many of us, we trust our gut instincts as they do not overlook past lessons like our minds does. Nevertheless, for those stakeholders who can have access to real-time, trust-worthy, quality data, this data can either reinforce their gut instinct decisions or cause them to revisit it.

Data should not be limited to the data captured and extracted from the tens of thousands of records and documents that get exchanged on each capital construction project that an entity could have. Captured data should also be extended to capture the details of all “Gut Instinct” decisions made by all stakeholders across the complete portfolio of projects that the entity has. Documenting those “Gut Instinct” decisions not only it is critical for enforcing governance but they provide great wealth of information that improves the knowledge of stakeholders to provide them with the insight to do more informed, confident, better and faster “Gut Instinct” decisions.

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A Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb enables entities to manage their tens of thousands of records and documents generated from more than one hundred business processes that are usually needed to successfully manage the delivery of capital construction projects. In addition, PMWeb can be used to create a template to record the details of all taken “Gut Instinct” decisions on each managed project by each stakeholder. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create a template that captures the situation that led for the “Gut Instinct” decision and the taken decision. Using “Speech-to-Text” technology available today on most mobile devices, those stakeholders can complete those fields by simply talking to the device for which it will transform into text to complete those fields.

To improve the useability of the data captured in the “Gut Instinct” decisions template, those decisions need to be classified with the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for the scope of work impacted by the decision. The form will also include an assessment of the cost implications and schedule implications that the decision would have on a scale of five where a score of “1” stands for very low and a score of “5” is very high. Those two values will the basis to calculate the field for “Decision Exposure” which will vary “1” very low exposure to “25” very high exposure.

The template will also include a field to identify if the stakeholder was faced with the same situations, would the stakeholder take this same decision again as is, with some changes or never take this decision again. An explanation of the selected action will be also needed to provide the insight on why the stakeholder believes so. Other data fields can be also added to better classify those decisions as eventually they will be used to enrich the machine learning platform when implemented.

For each “Gut Instinct” decision, there could be the requirement to attach supporting documents that were relevant to the taken decision. Those documents could include pictures, videos, documents among many others. The attachment tab for the “Gut Instinct” decision will be used to attach all those supportive documents. It is also highly recommended to add comments to each attached document to provide better understanding of what was the document for.

The attachment tab also allows the user to link other records for business processes implemented in PMWeb as well as associate URL hyperlinks with websites or documents that are not stored in PMWeb document management repository.

To enforce accountability for each taken “Gut Instinct” decision, PMWeb workflow module will be used to create a workflow to formalize the review and approval tasks of the “Gut Instinct” decision business process. The workflow will map the sequence of the review and approval tasks along with the role or user assigned to the task, duration allotted for the tasks and available for each task. In addition, the workflow could be designed to include conditions to enforce the authority approval levels as defined in the Delegation of Authority (DoA) matrix.

When a “Gut Instinct” decision is made and submitted, the workflow tab available on the template will capture the planned review and approve workflow tasks for each transaction as well as the actual history of those review and approval tasks. PMWeb will capture the actual action data and time, done by who, action taken, comments made and whether team input was requested.

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 system to over than 200 projects with a total value in excess of 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 in 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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