How Can Technology Support Effective Project Disclosure and Reporting?

Organizations who are keen on enforcing the best practice of projects governance understands that one of the requirements to achieve this governance is to fulfill the disclosure and reporting requirements on their projects performance. Those entities need to have timely, relevant and reliable reporting on their projects progress status, forecast to complete the remaining project scope, projects risk exposure, issues that could impact projects’ success and quantification of the realized benefits whether financial or in achieving their set objectives. Those entities need also to ensure the quality of the disclosed and reported projects information as well as fulfilling the requirements of the stakeholders who need to share this information with.

Without having a project management information system (PMIS) like PMWeb, fulfilling those requirements in a timely, relevant and reliable format would be almost impossible. PMWeb PMIS will ensure the quality of the disclosed and reported projects information as well as fulfilling the reporting requirements of the stakeholders who need this information.

Quality of the disclosed and reported projects information

Programs and Projects

PMWeb allows the organization to maintain all of their programs and projects on a single repository. Programs are the strategic initiatives that the organization has identified to achieve their strategic goals and ultimately their desired vision. Projects are the investments that the organizations have identified as needed to deliver the target benefits of each program. Some of those projects could be just an idea that still needs management approval, others could be projects in progress or completed, while others could be on hold or cancelled.

Project Life Cycle

Projects are implemented to transform ideas and needs to products and services that will generate the target benefits. Depending on the project type, size among others, organizations usually define the phases that a project need to go through from initiation to closeout. For example, engineering and construction projects life cycle include the phases of initiation, concept, schematic, design development, construction documents, tender, construction, defects liability and closeout. The output of each phase, which is also known as deliverables, need to be formally reviewed and approved before a phase is considered complete.

Organizations who are keen on enforcing project governance, will enforce the stage gate process. In addition to the formal acceptance of project deliverables, the organization would need to verify if the project is still aligned with their strategic objectives, if funding is still available for the project, if the latest risk assessment along with the anticipated ROI is still acceptable among others. PMWeb Stage Gate Scoring allows the organization to define detailed list of all those variables that could impact the organization’s Go/No Go decision.

Project Management Processes

Managing a project require implementing many processes to manage the project scope, schedule, cost and financials, quality, resources, communications, risks and issues, procurement of contracts, stakeholders, safety, environment among others. The project management procedures manual will detail those processes by defining the document template that will be used to capture the data for that process, defining those project team members will be involved in performing the process using the responsibility assignment matrix and the workflow to detail the steps and sequence for submitting, reviewing, sharing and approving the process.

PMWeb comes ready with the document templates needed for most project management processes like RFI, meeting minutes, daily reports, submittals, transmittals, snag list, safety incident, cost estimate, budget, budget adjustments, commitments, change orders, progress invoices, timesheets, risk register among many others.

In addition, PMWeb custom form builder is used to create the additional document templates that are not readily available in PMWeb. Those could be document templates to capture the Project Manager Progress Narrative, checklists as well as any other type of document template that could be specific for this particular organization.

PMWeb document management repository will be used to upload and store all documents that are usually needed to be attached for the document templates. For example, the change order document template might include the drawings, specification sections and site photos as attachments to explain the change order reasons and scope of work.

In addition, there could be a need to link other project records and communications to the record, in this case the change order. PMWeb allows linking other PMWeb records to the PMWeb record being reviewed. Those could be meeting minutes, request for information (RFI), daily reports, submittals, transmittals among other. In addition, it allows linking project email communications that were imported to PMWeb to the same record as well as create hyperlinks with records and websites on the web.

To ensure that the right data captured in the right document templates are submitted, reviewed shared and approved by the right project team member, a workflow needs to be created for each document template to map those workflow steps with the right sequence for performing them. PMWeb will enable creating those workflows which could include conditions to enforce the authorities and approval limits set for the project’s team members for each type of document template.

Fulfilling the reporting requirements of the stakeholders who need projects information

Identifying All Stakeholders

It is critical that organizations maintain a details list of all possible stakeholders that could influence or impact a project as well as those stakeholders that are responsible for delivering the project’s scope of work. Many of those stakeholders are common to many projects whether active or completed. PMWeb companies’ directory will be used to capture the details of all those stakeholders.

Stakeholder Analysis

For each specific project, the project team will perform the stakeholder analysis for each stakeholder who could have an impact or influence on the project. The assessment will identify the current impact and influence of each stakeholder and the desired impact and influence. The analysis will identify what is important to the stakeholder, how could the stakeholder contribute to the project, how could the stakeholder block the project, strategy for engaging the stakeholder and who from the project management team will be responsible for managing the stakeholder.

Tabular and Graphical Reports

Managing stakeholders requires sharing with them project information in their desired format and timing. The real-time data captured by PMWeb can be presented in tabular and graphical reports to share project information in the needed format. Tabular reports can be designed to show the needed fields, grouped and sorted by specific fields as well as limit the display to the filters set for each field.

As for graphical reports, data be displayed as histograms, line charts, pie charts among others. Those reports can be designed to present the selected fields and values in the desired graphical formats. One of those most common graphical reports is the Earned Value report which details planned, earned and actual progress for each period of the project’s duration.

Dashboards

The information captured from the different project management processes will become the basis for calculating the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to report on the projects’ critical success factors. Traditionally, projects’ KPIs will report on projects’ schedule, cost, quality and safety performance. Nevertheless, there are emerging projects’ KPIs that will report on risk, disputes, sustainability, stakeholder satisfaction among others. Those KPIs are usually grouped into a single page dashboard to provide the stakeholder with a single version of the truth of what is being reported. For example, a stakeholder who is interested in the project’s financial status might require a dashboard that has details on the approved project budget, budget adjustments, awarded contracts, approved, pending and disputed change orders, progress invoices for approved work in place and other related financial data. The same applies for other stakeholders that might need details on the project schedule, risk and issues, quality, safety among others.

On the other hands, there are other stakeholders who might be interested in having a dashboard that provides a single version of the truth about the overall project’s performance. This could include financial, schedule, risk, issues, quality, safety among others. Sometimes there could be more than one project dashboard layout depending on the stakeholder requirements and some could be even in different language like for example be in Arabic.

In addition, there could be stakeholder who are interested in having a single version of the truth for the complete projects portfolio executed by the organization or maybe projects that are part of specific program or strategic initiative. Again, the layout of this enterprise dashboard can be designed in any form and format.

Stakeholders who are at senior management levels, projects information represent part of the information that they need to know. They might have interest in the information available from their ERP and financial management system, HR and talent management system, spatial GIS management system, computerized maintenance management system, strategy performance management system and other systems. In addition, those stakeholders could be interested in visualizing this multi-data source information on their enterprise data visualization and business intelligence applications like Tableau, Qlik, MicroStrategy, MS Power BI among many others. Those applications allows the organizations to extract, transfer, load, associate, blend and visualize the information is their desired dashboard layout.

For organizations that have the requirement to report their projects performance to the public who are also projects stakeholders, the organization will usually create a website portal that will include the information that can be shared with the public. The website portal can be designed in the form and format that best suited for those stakeholders which could vary from one country to another as well as from one organizations to another. The ADAA or “Performance” website portal developed for public projects in Saudi Arabia is an example of such portals that can provide the public community with the updated projects’ performance information in an easy and interactive format.

In summary, a PMIS like PMWeb is crucial for organizations who are keen on disclosing and reporting their projects performance. PMWeb PMIS will ensure the quality of the disclosed and reported projects information as well as fulfilling the reporting requirements of the stakeholders who need this information.