For a trust-worthy, credible and traceable performance reporting on capital construction projects, the reporting should be bottom-up where Level 4 Record Reporting of each transaction of each business process managed on a project will be reported on and consolidated in the Detailed Reporting or Level 3 provides the necessary input for Level 2 Project Management Reporting which in turns provide the input to Level 1 Executive Reporting which provides the performance status as an overall. For senior executives who need a performance report for the complete projects’ portfolio that the organization is managing, Level 1 Executive Reporting will provide the reporting input for Level 0 Senior Executive Reporting.
The input data for Level 4 Record Reporting will be the data captured in each transaction and documents generated from the hundred plus business processes needed to manage the capital construction project delivery. Those business processes include the business processes needed to manage the project’s schedule, cost, quality, health, safety and environment (HSE), communications, site activities, risks, procurement, contract, sustainability and claim management. For each business process there will be a predefined template to capture all data required to enable managing the business process in accordance with the approved project management plan (PMP).
The PM Handbook for EPC by Frank-Peter Ritsche https://project-team.org/ has detailed many of those business processes as well as provided a list of some of the most critical reports that need to be made be available at the detailed level. Each organization can decide on whether to digitize all of the business processes required to deliver the capital construction project or not. The benefits of digitizing those business processes will first ensure the transparency, accountability, validity, traceability and security of the captured data while the second is making this data available to automatically provide the information needed for the five levels of the performance reporting.
A Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb is designed to manage, monitor, evaluate, report and capture the data from each business processes transaction needed for a capital construction project delivery. This will be achieved through the digitization of the hundred plus business processes by providing the input template to capture the needed data and the workflow to enforce formal collaboration as defined in the project management plan while incorporating the authority approval levels associated with each business process.
All the data and associated documents used in generating the required information will be captured and stored on a single database repository for the complete projects’ portfolio across the complete globe. The captured data will provide the real-time feed of information to be used for all reports needed for the five levels of performance reporting. Those reports which can be designed in any form or format to fulfill the reporting and branding requirement of every single organization and even a program or a project allows presenting the business processes information in tabular and graphical visuals to address the needs of what to be shared and in what format.
Starting with the Record Reporting or Level 4, PMWeb can be used to create the output template for every business process. Nevertheless, this is a given fact and maybe the only important value of those output forms is that they are needed for formal communications that are required on every capital construction project.
Nevertheless, the value that digitizing the business processes will bring is the ability to review the record details on a more meaningful format. For example, for the Long Lead Procurement Report which is a Level 3 Detailed Report, the reader can drilldown to view the details of every equipment or material procured for the project. The Level 4 Record Report can include a map to track the actual shipment status of the equipment or material.
The Level 3 Detailed Reporting will provide and consolidated report of all long lead procurement items which is based on the same data source used for Level 4 Record Reporting. Adding the map visual and other visuals to the Long Lead Procurement report provides the project stakeholder with a better insight on how this business process is performing.
Many times, for Level 3 Detailed Reporting to be meaningful, it will require combining data from different business processes. For example, when it comes to cost reporting using the Earned Value Management (EVM) method, the report would need to capture the data from the Budget, Forecast and Progress Invoices as a minimum. Another example is when a detailed report is generated to provide details of the labor resources productivity rate for completed work in plan.
Combining data is not limited to combining data from different business processes managed in PMWeb but might also include associating PMWeb data with data from other data sources. Those data sources could be documents that are managed in a document management system other than PMWeb like for example Aconex. Having reports that combines data from different data sources does not always require integration between those applications. It is adequate to have common data fields between those applications like Project No., Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), etc. to associate, blend and report on the combined data.
Another example of combining data from multiple applications data sources is the associate of PMWeb business processes data with a Building Information Model (BIM) data and visual. This requires that PMWeb business processes have a user defined field for the BIM object ID generated from the BIM authoring tool. The BIM object ID will become the basis for associating and visualizing the PMWeb data on the BIM model.
Lever 2 Reporting or Project Management Reporting will consolidate the data captured in all transactions for each business process that belongs to a project management function. For example, there could be dashboards for Cost, Time, Risk, Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Procurement, Contract, Communications, Sustainable Development and other areas. The reader of a Level 2 Project Management Reporting will be to drilldown to any of the detailed business process reports that are part of the Level 3 Detailed Reporting. Of course, the reader can also drilldown to any specific record included in the detailed report which is defined as Level 4 Record Reporting.
The data captured in all transactions of all business processes will be also the source of information for Level 1 Project Reporting. The project dashboard will be usually designed to detail the performance of key business processes to provide what is known as Key Performance Indicators (KPI). The reader of the project performance dashboard can drilldown to any Level 2 Project Management Report to have more insight on the performance of that perspective which could be cost, time, quality, HSE, procurement, contract, risk or others.
Finally, is Level 0 Portfolio Reporting for which stakeholders are keen to have an overall preview of how each project in their projects’ portfolio is performing. Those reports would usually include a map showing the locations of the organization’s projects along with the key performance indicators values. Progress pictures can be also added as well as other visuals to provide more meaningful reporting.
Level 0 or Portfolio Reporting could be also designed to report the performance of specific project management or business process. For example, a portfolio performance report can be created to report on the performance of each contractor who have worked or working with the organization. Other example could be for portfolio reporting for projects’ cost, quality, risk, procurement, contract, health and safety, sustainable development and others.
Finally, having access to the great wealth of trust-worthy, valid and real-time data is that it gives the project management team the ability to investigate the captured to identify performance trends and correlation between different business processes. For example, the correlation logarithm will automatically identify the degree of correlation between different business processes at a project level or the complete projects portfolio. This type of analysis is one the machine learning (ML) logarithms that are needed for deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) that would have positive impacts on the delivery of capital construction projects.
About the Author
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 300 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.