Article #541 The Emerging Role of Digital Reporting Engineers on Capital Construction Projects

The growing adoption of Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb in managing the massive volume of the daily transactions of the business processes needed to deliver capital constructions projects, have created a wealth of information that need to be communicated to all stakeholders who might be directly or indirectly involved in the delivery of those projects. The project control team who usually reports directly to the project manager will be assigned the responsibility for the generation and distribution of reports and dashboards to those project stakeholders. To ensure the proper execution of this task, this requires creating the role of the Digital Reporting Engineer who will be one of the project control team but responsible for delivering the project reports, including developing various report formats, dashboards, presentations and others, as required by the different project team members and stakeholders.

The Digital Reporting Engineer will be responsible for developing and maintaining the reports and dashboards that will be used to report on the information from the captured details of transactions relevant to each business process managed on the project. Those could include Request for Information (RFI), Technical Submittals including Shop Drawings, As-Built Drawings, Method Statements, etc., Transmittals, Safety Incidents, Non-Compliance Reports, Work Inspection Requests, Budget, Budget Adjustments, Potential Change Orders, Change Orders, Interim Progress Invoices, Bonds and Insurance Certificates, Risk Register, Issues and others. Those reports will be standardized for each project and will become the reports to be used by all consultants, contractors and all other entities who might have a role in the project delivery.

In addition, the Digital Reporting Engineer will be responsible for coordinating with project stakeholders and developing the dashboards for schedule, cost, risk, contract, quality, health and safety and other management dashboards. Further, the Digital Reporting Engineer will be responsible for developing the project, program and projects’ portfolio dashboards.

For developing the required reports and dashboards, the Digital Reporting Engineer needs to coordinate with the technical resources who will be usually assigned the responsibility for creating those reports and dashboards. Those technical resources can be part of the project control team or outsourced resources.

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The Digital Reporting Engineer needs to plan and coordinate with project stakeholders on when those reports and dashboards need to be distributed unless they need to be available in real-time format. For those reports and dashboards that need to be shared and distributed electronically, the Digital Reporting Engineer will ensure that the Project Management Information System (PMIS), for example PMWeb, is configured to generate and share those reports and dashboards in PDF file formats. Emails will be sent to the assigned stakeholders on the assigned date with the required reports and dashboards as file attachments.

The growing use of business intelligence and data visualization tools like MS Power BI added the requirement for the Digital Reporting Engineer to create reports and dashboards using such applications. Those reports and dashboards can be designed to include interactive maps, Building Information Model (BIM) objects as well as many other types of visuals to improve the visualization of projects’ information. Those reports and dashboards will be configured and modeled to read the same PMWeb database used for all other reports and dashboards.

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For projects that use construction cameras such as time lapse cameras to document the projects’ on-site as well as off-site progress, the Digital Reporting Engineer will be responsible for capturing the URL address of those construction cameras and incorporate in the projects’ reports and dashboards. It should be noted that managing those cameras and their content will not be part of the Digital Reporting Engineer responsibilities.

The Digital Reporting Engineer might also assist the project control team and other project team members in creating reports to analyze the captured project information. Using visuals for analysis algorithms, the Digital Reporting Engineer will help in creating correlation reports that will analyze the relationships that might exist between different business processes. Although the Digital Reporting Engineer will not be responsible for analyzing or reporting on the correlation analysis, nevertheless, his/her duties include developing the reports in a format that can be used by the project stakeholders.

For some countries where there is a requirement to provide reports and dashboards in the official country language in non-English speaking countries, the Digital Reporting Engineer will be responsible for providing those reports and dashboards. For example, for many countries in the Middle East region in general and in the Gulf Corporate Council (GCC) countries in particular, there is a requirement to provide some of the reports and dashboards in both English and Arabic language. This will enable the project stakeholder to select the desired language of the same report or dashboard. The Digital Reporting Engineer needs to ensure that the translation provided for the English content is accurate, correct and meaningful. This will require creating templates in the PMIS solution to capture those translations and associated review and approval of content. The content of those templates will be the basis for the bi-lingual reports and dashboards.

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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 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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