Organizations who are involved in delivering projects, and in particular engineering and construction projects continue to have the challenge of wasted everyday data from the different project management processes including but not limited to meeting minutes, RFI, submittals, daily reports, safety incidents, correspondence, request for inspections, snag lists, project schedule updates, potential change orders, change orders, progress invoices, timesheets, site incidents, emails, permits, risk registers, issues among many others. This is largely attributed to the manual or semi-manual processes of using paper-based document templates for which some of its content will be loaded into MS Excel spreadsheets for which not only it has the high risk of having wrong and old data stored in multiple silos as well as the wasted effort in inputting, validating and configuring the data but also the high risk of lack of transparency and accountability for who have provided the data.
The Knowledge Pyramid
Organizations who are keen on getting the maximum value of their everyday projects data need to digitally transform their current project management processes to enforce the best practices of capturing the right project’s data in the right format by the right team member at the right time. This will provide the organization with the real-time time information that will provide them with single version of the truth knowledge to have the wisdom to make better and faster informed decisions. The knowledge pyramid also known as the wisdom hierarchy explains the structural relationships between data, information, knowledge, and wisdom that those organization must adopt.
PMWeb Project Management Information System provides projects’ centric organizations with a single platform to digital transform the project management processes while fulfilling the needs of the knowledge pyramid. From one aspect, PMWeb will be the information management system that will focus on collecting, processing, disseminating, storing, displaying and protecting everyday projects’ data as well as the knowledge management system that will focus on creating, organizing, applying and transferring knowledge to the project team members and other stakeholders.
PMWeb comes ready with most of the document templates needed to manage a project and in particular engineering and construction projects. In addition, the PMWeb custom form builder allows the organization to create additional document templates that PMWeb did not have. Those forms can be in any language to fulfill the contractual needs of the project being managed.
Supportive documents for each document template which are usually stored in PMWeb document management repository can be attached to the PMWeb record. In addition, PMWeb allows linking other PMWeb records that could be relevant to this particular record as well as email communications that will be imported to PMWeb email inbox repository.
The document template along with the attached supportive documents and records will then be formally submitted to be reviewed and approved using PMWeb workflow. The workflow could include branches and conditions to incorporate the approval levels and other authorities in the workflow steps. Project team members who are part of a workflow will receive email notifications when they have a workflow step to respond to.
This project management processes automation will ensure that the right projects data will be captured in the right format by the right project team member at the right time. The captured data for the complete project life cycle stages, for all projects regardless of their status will be stored on a single database to provide the needed real-time information.
The captured data needs to be structured and presented in any desired format to provide the real-time information needed by the project team. Tabular logs and registers as well as graphical reports need to be designed in the needed form and format for each project management process. Those reports could include RFI Log, Submittal Log, Change Order Register, Risk Register, Issues Log, Awarded Contracts Register, Earned Value Chart, Pending Meeting Business Items, Project Directory, Insurance and Bonds Register, Non-Conformance Report Log, Request for Inspection Log among many others.
The reported information for each project management process will be used to analyze trends in transactions growth, response time, frequency of reasons and other attributes that are relevant for each process. For example, the change order analysis report will be used to identify the reasons why change orders were issued and the impact they had on the project’s cost and schedule. Other business intelligence reports can be similarly created for Request for Information, Safety Incidents, Issues raised, NCR issued Quality of Completed Works among others.
Dashboards can be created to analyze the knowledge gained from the different project management processes that are interrelated to each other. For example, the cost management dashboard will integrate and relate the data captured from the project budget, budget adjustments, awarded contracts, potential change orders, approved, pending and disputed change orders, progress invoices for work in place, other progress invoices, actual payments made against approved progress invoices and maybe other cost related data to provide the decision maker with a complete understanding of the project’s cost performance. This dashboard will provide the decision maker with the insight to make better faster and better-informed decisions that could impact the project cost.
Similar dashboards can be created for project’s schedule, risk and issues, health, safety and environment, resources utilization, procurement of contracts, quality assurance and control, sustainability among others. All of this knowledge can be aggregated in a single project dashboard to provide project’s stakeholders with a single version of the truth on how the project is performing.
Since most organizations would have different projects to deliver, the single version of the truth project performance and status reporting can be extended to report on the complete portfolio of projects or any selected group of projects or a program of projects.
In summary, power used to be expressed through the control of things, but now it’s expressed through the control of information. Projects centric organizations who continue to waste everyday projects information are not only losing the power to be in control but also wasting great knowledge that will improve their projects delivery.