Article #755 The Need for Instituting Grievance Management on the Delivery of Capital Construction Projects

The study titled “Grievance Management and Project Performance: A case of the Second Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project” by Barbara Nakayenze; Michael Peters Galukande-Kiganda and Gerald K. Karyeija of the Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda Management Institute details the direct positive relation between instituting grievance management and capital construction project performance (Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Science, Volume 9, Issue 12 (2021) pages 01-07).

The study defines grievance management as managing complaints or dissatisfaction through a formal grievance-handling system. The process of grievance management involves the identification or receiving of complaints, investigation of grievances, and addressing or resolving grievances or complaints.

For successful grievance management, the study has identified the need for a transparent system for recording grievances received. There should be a transparent investigation process and resolution mechanisms for which responsibilities be assigned for each step and for management oversight to ensure transparency. Those actions need to be performed by teams composed of competent and experienced members dedicated to resolving grievances. The grievance management committees must be established in time, right at the start of the project, because grievances arise very early in the project cycle. The study also called for a budget specific to grievance redress on the project.

Further, the study has revealed that the poor performance of most construction projects was attributed to project managers being unaware of the grievances, leading to the failure of these projects in terms of delays in completing the tasks, poor quality of output, and high project costs overrun.

The PMWeb Project Management Information System (PMIS) used to digitalize the hundred-plus project management processes needed to manage the delivery and performance of capital construction projects is also a perfect solution to digitalize the grievance management process. In other words, managing grievances using the same project management information system will address the issue of project managers being unaware of the grievances, as similar to other project management functions, the project managers will now have access to a real-time dashboard for grievance management specific to the project they are managing.

Like other project management processes, a template for Grievance Management will be created using the PMWeb form builder. The template will include the data fields for the Grievance numbers, date received, from who and type (whether it was an individual who works on the project, external individual, community, company, or others), complaint against which entity by name (Project Owner, Contractor, etc.), issue category (Land, Water, Noise, Compensation, Pollution, Waste, Access to Project Benefits, Heavy Traffic, etc.), complaint impact (Relatively Minor, Relatively Minor but Repetitive, Significant or Significant and Repetitive), Status (Receive and Acknowledge, Evaluate and Investigate, Propose Resolution, Implement Resolution, Monitor, Appeals Committee or Closed) and overall satisfaction with the resolution which will be on a scale of 5 (1 Completely Unsatisfied, 2 Unsatisfied, 3 Indifferent, 4 Satisfied or 5 Completely Satisfied).

The Grievance template will include Responded On, Resolution Date, and Date Closed dates. In addition, the template will consist of a field if the grievance has resulted in Project Stoppage, Duration of Stoppage, Cost of Stoppage, and Cost of the Grievance Resolution.

All supporting documents for a received grievance record must be attached to the template. Those documents must be uploaded and stored on the PMWeb document management repository, which will include folders and subfolders to ensure proper filing. In addition, links to other PMWeb records and imported emails can also be added to the template.

A workflow will be assigned to the template to formalize the actions for acknowledging, evaluating, investigating, and proposing the resolution. The workflow can include the different decision branches and scenarios affecting the evaluation and investigation tasks. The PMWeb workflow will ensure the automation of those tasks and the distribution of each received grievance.

In addition, the PMWeb cost breakdown structure will also include an account number for Grievance Resolution. This account number will be used in the PMWeb project budget template to capture the amount of budget approved to fund the resolution of grievances submitted on the project.

The cost of resolving grievances will be captured in the PMWeb miscellaneous invoices module. Those actual costs are recorded in PMWeb as non-commitment costs. A workflow will be assigned to the miscellaneous invoices module to ensure the proper reviews and approvals of the cost of the resolution of grievances.

About the Authorfounder

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, 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 frequently speaks 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 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 co-founded 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.


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