The ChatGPT application (chat.openai.com/chat) is an open artificial intelligence platform that has been used by many in trying the get the content for many of the questions that they need an answer to. Similar to other industries, the construction industry could be benefiting from ChatGPT. For example, it can be used by the project team members to prompt them for topics that they need to cover when trying to perform one of the hundreds of processes and actions needed on construction projects.
For example, when I submitted the request for “I need the cost breakdown structure for a building project”, ChatGPT gave eight areas that the cost breakdown structure (CBS) should cover. Although this is not a breakdown structure that I was anticipating getting, nevertheless, it is a good start for someone that wants to have input on what should be included in the cost breakdown structure.
One of the items included in the ChatGPT response was “Site Preparation”. Therefore, my second question was “For the site preparation of a building project, what details it should include?”. Again, ChatGPT came with the proposed second level of detail which included nine items to be covered.
Of course, one could have continued to ask more questions to further expand the cost breakdown structure levels to the level of detail that the project cost needs to be controlled at, instead, ChatGPT was asked what the project contingency allowance should consider. The ChatGPT gave nine contingency-related items when the question “What are the items that need to be covered in the Contingency cost of a building project?” was asked.
The information provided by ChatGPT will be used by the project team to create the cost breakdown structure (CBS) that will be used in the cost estimate, budget, commitments, revenue contract, invoices, timesheets, and other cost management processes needed on a construction project. For example, using PMWeb Project Management Information System (PMIS) cost code module will be used to capture those details in a properly structured format.
Of course, the use of ChatGPT on a construction project is not limited to the cost management-related processes but it could cover any other project management perspectives such as schedule, quality, health, safety, security, and environment (HSSE), sustainability, and communications among others. For example, when the question “what should I inspect for roof waterproofing on a building?”, ChatGPT gave eight items that the inspection should cover.
Using the same PMWeb Project Management Information System (PMIS), the project team can create a Work Inspection Request (WIR) for the “07 24 00 Thermal and Moisture Protection Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems” listing items that need to be verified when inspecting those works. Similar work inspection requests could be created and customized for each building system. Of course, those inspection checklists need to be verified to what has been stated in the specification documents which are an integral part of the project’s contract documents.
About the Author
Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM, is a Senior Project Management Consultant with over 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value of over US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education, and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, Telecommunication, and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in 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 Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 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 250 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 over six years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), an accredited Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), an Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE), and a Green Project Management (GPM).
Bassam holds a Master’s in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation from George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – from Kuwait University, Kuwait, and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, and London Business School, London, UK.