Article #740 Setting the Project Control System (PCS) Communication Management: Interface Agreements

For construction projects where the procurement strategy involves having multiple prime contractors deliver the different project’s bid packages, there will be a need to manage the interfaces between the scope of work of those packages. Although the risk of interfaces between those contractually independent work packages will remain between the contractors, the Project Owner needs to ensure that those interfaces are planned, managed, and completed as stated in the contract agreements for those bid packages.

The project control system (PCS) deployed on the project must enable managing, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on the different types of interface agreements. This needs to be done regardless of whether the PCS was managed by the Project Owner or Contractor.

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All interface points must be included in the project’s integrated baseline schedule as a best practice. The PMWeb schedule import will be used to maintain an updated register of all interface points for which they have a code to differentiate them from other project schedule activities.

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Next, the PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the interface agreement (IA) template. The contractors will use this template to manage interface agreements associated with the identified interface points. The interface agreement template will capture the names of the two contractors involved in the interface agreement and who will be responsible for the completed works handed over formally as per the project requirements. These are usually known as the ‘Originating Party’ and the ‘Responding Party.’

The interface agreement template will have a field to capture the interface point activity that is part of the imported project schedule. This template can also be designed to meet each project’s specific requirements for managing these interfaces. Like all PMWeb modules, documents associated with the interface agreement will be attached to the interface agreement record. In addition, records of relevant business processes managed in PMWeb will be linked to the interface agreement transaction.

The workflow assigned to the interface agreement will map the tasks for reviewing and approving those interface agreements as per the set approval authority levels. In addition, PMWeb rules for creating multiple scenarios for the workflow will be used to map the review and approval tasks and conditions that could vary depending on the interface agreement type and category. This will ensure that each interface agreement is automatically shared and distributed to its intended recipients.

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The data captured in the Interface Agreement transaction becomes the basis for maintaining the interface agreement report. This report usually includes visuals to summarize actions by status, originating party, responding party, WBS level, system, priority, phase, or any other attribute used in the interface agreement form. It will also include a log of all interface agreements carried out on the project and have selection filters for status, originating party, responding party, WBS level, system, priority, phase, etc.

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