Monitoring and Evaluating Progress of PPP Projects

Monitoring and evaluating financial progress for PPP project as presented in the previous article, is crucial but not enough. In addition to financial aspects, a successful PPP project delivery requires monitoring and evaluating physical, schedule, risk, issues among other aspects of a project. PMWeb project management information system (PMIS) will provide the two parties of the project finance agreement with a real-time single version of the truth platform to monitor and evaluate all project management processes. PMWeb will help the two parties of the contract to implement the best practices of project management like those of the Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

Project Life Cycle

PPP projects might take 5 to 20 years to repay its project finance. This requires having complete understanding of the asset life cycle covering the period to build the asset and the period to collect the lease rentals. Using the PMWeb Stage Gate module, the two parties of agreement can agree on the stages, deliverables for each stage, and the success scoring criteria for assessing the completion of each stage among others.

Scope Management

A well-defined project scope will reduce the likelihood of incurring the risk of “scope creep” and other risks associated with incomplete and improper scope definition. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) will be used to decompose the project scope to the desired level of control. PMWeb will be used to create or import the WBS levels so they can be used with the different project management processes. In addition, the WBS Dictionary document template will be used to identify the exact scope of work including the requirements that are included or excluded from each WBS level.

Schedule Management

With the WBS levels well defined, the project detailed integrated schedule can be developed using Oracle Primavera P6 for which the baseline schedule and all subsequent updates will be maintained. The schedule will be resource loaded as well as include all activities for technical submittals, procurement, interface points, authorities’ approvals, testing and commission among others. To ensure that time-sensitive project management processes are aligned with the current project schedule, the schedule activities will be imported to PMWeb. The imported schedule % complete will be also used to calculating the earned value for completed works which will be the basis for determining the monthly progress invoice for awarded contracts.

In addition, PMWeb will be used to create forms to formally review and analyze the baseline schedule and periodical updates, capture delay events and their impact on the project schedule along with available options to accelerate to recover those delays, report on the project the milestones status among others. The objective is to ensure that all needed project management measures are taken to ensure on-time project completion to enable the repayment of the project finance loan as it was originally planned.

Value for Money (Vfm)

Achieving value for money is a key requirement when a PPP project is selected. This concept should never end when the PPP project is awarded but should continue during the complete project life cycle. The objective should be to reduce the project life cycle cost as this will help in making more funds available to repay the project loan or even increase the profit for the PPP shareholders. Value engineering is a proven practice that needs to be implemented during the engineering and construction stage of the project. PMWeb will be used to capture all ideas generated and their evaluation as well as value engineering proposals.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC)

The project asset should be designed and built to the standards set in the PPP not only to comply with the contractual obligations set in the PPP agreement but also to eliminate the high cost of maintaining low quality products which will affect the borrower ability to repay the loan. QA/QC should start as early as when the design is being developed by conducting formal design reviews and coordination workshops to cleanse the construction documents, eliminate ambiguities and ensure that building systems are well coordinated. Technical material and shop drawings submittal should be reviewed thoroughly and approved in a timely manner to avoid project delays.

Site inspections should be performed for all key project systems and elements. Non-conformance reports for work to be rectified should be completed without delay. Snag list needs to be implemented during the project’s construction and not to wait until the project’s handover. There should be a strategy to handover the project in phases where a snag list will be used to ensure that the completed work is in accordance to what was specified and agreed on.

Health and Safety Management

By principle, no organization should allow accidents, fatal or not, to occur on their project sites. Those involved in the project construction should implement all measures to ensure site and labor safety. Should any accident do occur, the details should be captured and reported on. This will help in identifying the causes of those accidents and what measures should be taken to avoid repeating such accidents. PMWeb accident report will be used to capture the details of all accidents to make it available to report on. PMWeb meeting minutes modules will be used to document all safety meetings and actions taken during those meetings. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create Safety Audit Checklists, Permits and other related safety management communication.

Human Resources Management

The sustainability of the key resources assigned to manage the project asset delivery is a key performance indicator when it comes to delivering PPP projects. Good resources quit a project due to lack of leadership, role mismatch, responsibility ambiguity, lack of appraisal among many others. Managing project resources require having organization charts that details the authority and reporting lines during each stage of the project delivery stages. For each position, PMWeb will be used to create role template to capture the purpose, key responsibilities, key relationships, key competencies and skills among others. The project manager will be responsible for conducting periodic appraisals of the project team members against the skills and responsibilities assigned to each as per the job description. Those appraisals will help the project manager and the organization in identifying issues that relate to the key project resources.

Communication Management

There are many types of formal communications that take place between the different parties of a PPP project. Some of those communications are usually captured in pre-defined document templates such as transmittals, request for information, site work instruction, meeting minutes, notice to proceed, substantial completion among many others. All those document templates are either available as out of the box forms in PMWeb or can be created using the custom form builder. For each document templates, the workflow for submitting, reviewing, approving or rejecting the communication is usually pre-defined for each project. The workflow will also include conditions and branches to enforce compliance with the set authorities and responsibilities assigned for each project role. Documents can be attached to those document templates to provide the recipient with complete details on the project communication.

In addition, to document templates, formal communications also include letters or correspondence which are used as formal communication on as-needed basis. PMWeb allows the organization to create letter templates that has the right legal content to ensure proper formal communication. Similarly, all supportive documents can be attached to those letter communications. The importance of having all project document templates and letters created, submitted, reviewed and approved in PMWeb is that the organization can track all those communications to avoid delays to the project milestone dates.

Project Document Management

Delivering PPP projects will result in massive volume of project documents including drawings, specifications, operations and maintenance manuals, catalogues among many others. Most projects until now, at least in the MENA region requires maintaining hardcopies of documents that could have legal and financial implications. PMWeb document management repository enables the project team members to map the filing structure into folders and subfolders to upload an electronic copy of all those documents. Attributes and other important details of each document need to be added to those uploaded documents to improve the search and location of those documents when needed. The document management repository allows keeping versions of all documents, redline and add comments as well as view those documents.

Project Interface Management

PPP projects has many internal and external interface points. Interface management is the control and oversight of interactions and information flow between the major contracting parties on the PPP project. Effective management of the interfaces will facilitate good communication and transparency across these boundaries and allow each party to request, offer or exchange data and technical information in the best interest of the Project.

Each interface point could include a number of interface agreements (IA) which contain interface information and “Need Date” by which the interface data to be made available for resolution. The IA shall be the only recognized document for the sharing the interface information between all parties. Interface Agreements will be used to document and track the exchange of information and deliverables between contractors that are part to an interface. Interface Agreements are created and tied to an Interface Point.

Project Risk Management

Risks are part of every PPP project delivery. Risks identification, analysis, response, monitoring and control should be an on-going process until the conclusion of the PPP project. Not only this will help in mitigating the negative impacts of risks on project’s budget and completion date, but will also help in creating knowledge database of all those unknowns uncovered during the PPP project delivery. A knowledge database that will benefit the current PPP project as well as other PPP projects. PMWeb will be used to capture, analyze and respond to project risks. The risk register will be a real-time report to monitor and control the project’s risk exposure. In addition, issues management will be implemented to respond to those risks that were accepted as is without a formal response action. This will help in limiting the negative impacts of those risks.

Project Issue Management

An issue is a problem that is currently occurring. An issue must be resolved as soon as possible, otherwise it will have detrimental effects on the project budget, schedule and scope. Each project, including PPP projects should have a documented process for managing issues details who does what, the detailed procedures, forms, workflow, etc., protocols for levels of authority and how to communicate and promote the process and its importance to all participants. PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create the customized issue form along with the workflow to submit, review, close or escalate an issue. This will enable having a real-time visualization of all issues that could harm the PPP project.

Stakeholder Management

Although stakeholder management is one of the requirements for managing projects, but in PPP projects this is even far more important than other projects. PPP project involves stakeholders that are not common to other non-PPP projects. For example, a PPP project could include the media (social, TV, Radio, Newspaper, etc.), community, labor unions among others. Stakeholder management requires identifying and assessing the influence and the interest that those stakeholders have in the PPP projects and how to engage them to get them migrate them from the current interest level to the desired interest level. Those requires running campaigns, improve communication and other actions to achieve the desired state.

Monitoring and Evaluating the PPP Project Performance

Having a single web-integrated platform like PMWeb means that all projects data captured from the different project management processes will become available for the authorized project team members to report on. This could be a tabular or graphical report to report on the status, performance trends, transactions volume growth and other details that are specific for a single project management process like issues log, risk register, change orders log among others. In addition, data for interrelated project management processes can be aggregated to provide a complete understanding of how that perspective is performing. For example, the financial perspective will aggregate data from project budget, budget adjustments, funding, contracts, potential change orders, change orders, progress invoices and revenue contracts. The same would apply to the quality, schedule, risk, safety, procurement, communication and other dashboards. Finally, the same data used in the logs and the perspective dashboards will be the data source for the PPP project dashboard. A dashboard that will provide a real-time single version of the truth of the PPP health and performance status. Of course, it is very common to create different PPP dashboards depending on the party visualizing the dashboard, nevertheless, all dashboards are based on the same PMWeb data source.

Conclusion

Monitoring and evaluating financial progress for PPP project is crucial but not enough. In addition to financial aspects, a successful PPP project delivery requires monitoring and evaluating physical, schedule, risk, issues among other aspects of a project. Having an integrated project management information system (PMIS) platform like PMWeb not only provides the real-time single version of the truth reporting of project’s performance and health but the insight to trust worthy real-time data to make better and faster informed decisions to keep the project on track. Further, the data and document transactions granularity captured in PMWeb, provides the transparency and accountability needed for internal and external audit.