The execution of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Projects goes through several stages known as the PPP Project Life Cycle Stages. For example, those could include the stages of Identify & Screen, Appraise & Prepare, Structure & Draft, Procurement, and Operation & Hand Back.
Although in general through stages are identical to all PPP projects, nevertheless some governments tend to modify those stages to reflect the sequence of approvals that need to be secured before the PPP project proceeds into the delivery stage. For example, the PPP project life cycle stages adopted by the Saudi Arabia National Center for Privatization (NCP) runs the stage of Appraise & Prepare and the stage of Structure & Draft in parallel for which they will be divided into three stages known as the 1st File, 2nd File, and 3rd File. Although the table of content of those files is the same, nevertheless each file provides more details than the preceding version. Of course, the requirement and decisions of the approval for each file differ.
For each PPP project life cycle stage, there are several tasks and deliverables to be completed to achieve the set objectives for the stage. This requires a clear definition of the assigned responsibilities for performing those tasks and producing the deliverables. For example, the Saudi Arabia National Center for Privatization (NCP) defined the needed tasks and deliverables for the Identify and Screen stage as Identify List of Potential PPP Projects, Pre-Feasibility Scoping Study, Economic Analysis (Cost-Benefit Analysis), Select Best Technical Solution and Screen for PPP projects. Most, if not all of the deliverable documents, would usually need to follow a predefined format to ensure consistency and be comprehensive. The templates for those deliverable documents will be specific for each government entity and will be aligned with their established Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for managing the execution of PPP projects.
To enforce an effective monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of the performance of PPP projects, there should be a Project Information Management System (PIMS) platform that will allow managing the different PPP project life cycle stages including their deliverables and the approval decision to exit the stage and proceed with the next stage.
To start with, PMWeb allows defining of all PPP projects that the Government could have regardless of the project life cycle stage that those projects are at. For each PPP project, the PMWeb project template will allow capturing the data associated with the project including associating it with the assets that will be created by the project as well as the program or type of PPP project. Of course, there is no limit on the number and type of data fields to be added to the project template.
In addition, PMWeb comes ready with a companies’ directory to allow capturing the details of all entities and individuals of those entities that will be associated with the PPP projects. Those would usually include the Government Entity, Guarantor, and the private party or the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company including their Debt Financiers, Equity Partners, Design Consultants and Construction Contractors, and Operation and Facility Management Contractors.
Having an electronic document management system is crucial for any project including PPP projects. The PMWeb document management repository will be used to create the folders and sub-folders used by the Government to physically store project records and documents. PMWeb allows defining the access right for each folder and sub-folder as well as defining the attributes that need to be provided for documents that will be uploaded and stored on the PMWeb document management repository. Similar to other document management systems, PMWeb allows maintain versions of uploaded documents, The uploaded documents will become available to be attached to any record of any process managed using PMWeb.
One of the core benefits of having a PIMS platform like PMWeb is to digitalize the development of the deliverables needed at each PPP project life cycle stage. To achieve this, there are two important requirements. The first is that each deliverable needs to have a pre-defined template for data collection that also allows attaching all supporting documents.
PMWeb comes ready with templates that are common to PPP project deliverables. For example, PMWeb comes ready with the templates needed for cost estimates, budgets, budget adjustments, commitments, change orders, potential change orders, progress invoices, accounts payable payment, revenue contracts, change orders, requisitions, accounts receivable funding, miscellaneous invoices, and project funding. prequalification, and the risk register, among others.
PMWeb also allows the creation of other templates that are usually needed on PPP projects and for which they could be unique for each government agency. For example, The PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) checklist template will be used to identify the likely significant environmental effects of the proposed PPP project during the initial identity and screening stage. The content of the checklist included in the form is an example of what such a form could include but project owners need to create their own depending on the requirements for preparing the environmental assessment report.
The second requirement for digitalizing the submission, review, approval, and final approval of deliverables and associated supporting documents. The PMWeb workflow module will be used to digitalize those tasks and assign the right individuals to execute each task along with the allotted duration and actions available for returning and resubmitting the record as well as the types of actions available for the individual.
The PMWeb workflow module allows embedding the approval authority levels as defined in the delegation of authority (DoA) matrix. This will ensure that transactions for processes and in particular those associated with financial processes be reviewed and approved or rejected by the authorized individuals.
The PMWeb workflow also allows setting alerting rules to allow notifying selected project team members of delayed workflow tasks. In addition, the PMWeb workflow also allows replacing and delegating workflow tasks if the assigned individuals are temporarily or permanently not available on the PPP project.
The created workflows can be assigned to their selected deliverables. This will ensure the automatic distribution and sharing of each deliverable. The workflow tab for each deliverable template will display the planned workflow tasks as well as the actual status of those tasks along with any comments or team input associated with each performed task.
The digitalizing of the PPP project life cycle stages deliverables will enable the government entity to have real-time reports of the data captured in each deliverable template. For example, A report which also can be the required deliverable document can be designed to capture the results of the Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) checklist response. The report will summarize the responses for the ten categories by Yes, No, and Uncertain as well as provide the total number of questions answered as Yes, No, and Uncertain. The report will also include a table of all questions answered as “Yes” or “? Or Uncertain” to detail the response to the “Which Characteristics of the Project Environment Could be Affected and How?” and “Is the Effect Likely be Significant? Why?”. The report layout and format can be of course designed in any desired form and format.
The same process will be done for all other deliverables required for each PPP project life cycle stage. Those deliverables will be added to the relevant stage as defined in the PMWeb Stage Gate module. This will automatically display the status of those deliverables which will be based on the workflow tasks assigned to each deliverable template. In addition, there is the option of linking each deliverable with the relevant project schedule task and work breakdown structure (WBS) level.
Each project life cycle stage will have a pre-defined scoring template which will be the basis for determining if the project life cycle stage can be approved to exit and commence the following stage. The Stage-Gate Score tab will detail all items that need to be checked and verified by the assigned team members. It provides the option to provide a unique weight and score point for each item. In addition, it provides the option the specify the “Answer” type for each item. Those could be text, the values from a predefined list of values, amount, and date among others. A workflow can be assigned to the stage gate template to formalize the review and approval of the stage gate.
For some government organizations, the formal acceptance of a PPP project life cycle stage might require having a unique process to manage the completion of each stage. This requires using the PMWeb custom form builder to create those customized templates. The deliverables of each stage will be linked to its relevant stage gate approval template. Similarly, other supporting documents relevant to the stage will be also attached. Finally, a unique workflow will be created for each stage gate approval template to map the required submission, review, approval, and final approval tasks.
The data captured in the PMWeb stage gate module and other stage gate-related processes will become the basis for generating the stage-gate status report. This report will provide the government organization with real-time information to monitor, evaluate and report the performance of each project life cycle stage deliverables. The form can be designed in the desired form and format to meet the government organization’s reporting requirements.
About the Author
Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with a 40-year service record providing project management, project controls services, and project management information systems to over 200 projects with a total value of over 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 on 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), an Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and Green Project Management (GPM). He is the author of two books – “Let’s Transform: Enabling Digital Transformation of Capital Construction Projects using PMWeb” and “Project Control System 4.0”.
Bassam holds a Master’s in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, from George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 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.