How To Assess and Report The Efficiency of Professional Services Resources on Capital Projects?

Organizations involved in delivering capital projects are always keen on ensuring that their estimated effort and cost for managing those projects are inline to what was originally estimated. Regardless of the role of organization whether it is the project owner, project management consultant, engineering consultant, contractor or any other entity, the need to find out if the actual cost of professional resources employed to deliver their assigned scope of work was in accordance to what was originally planned or not.

What Resources to be Managed

One of the functions of a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb is to provide executive management with this information. The first step should be defining the resources, labor and non-labor resources that the organization will be interested to manage. For Labor resources, they will include all roles that are usually part of each capital project delivery. As for non-labor, those could include site offices, staff cars, CAD stations among others. PMWeb allows capturing all possible details of each labor resource including date of hire, contacts, default working hours among many others.

For non-labor resources, again PMWeb allows capturing all possible details for those details including the GIS location should there be a need to track the locations of those resources. Of course, the default attachment tab allows uploading all catalogues, brochures, certificates among others.

PMWeb allows defining the cost rates for those resources. The rates could vary between regular, overtime, premium and other type of possible resource charges. The rates will be assigned for type of resource classification defined by the organization.

What Cost Centers Resources Will Be Charged Against

One of the key objectives of managing the professional resources cost is to determine their impact on the project’s performance budget. Therefore, it is highly recommended to define the cost breakdown structures that will be assigned to those resources which could vary depending on the type of work performed by the resource as well as the project life cycle stage where this work performed. The multi-level cost breakdown structure (CBS) will be part of the project overall CBS and it should be aligned to the CBS used by the organization on other applications.

Determining the Resources Required to Deliver The Capital Project

The project schedule will be used to define the project life cycle stages and the tasks that details what activities the professional services team will be assigned to deliver. The level of details of those tasks depends on the level of control that the organization wants to exert on managing those professional services resources. PMWeb scheduling module will be used to create this work plan.

The organization can also assign the resources required for each task. Those assignments will not be used to manage the resources but just to provide an overall understanding of what resources are needed for each task. The assigned resources will include both labor and non-labor resources.

Mapping the Line of Authorities

The organization chart for managing the capital project could vary depending on the project life cycle stage. There could be an organization chart for the initiation stage, design stage which could also change between the concept and schematic phases and the detailed design development phases, procurement, construction and defects liability stage. PMWeb Organization Chart module will be used to define the organization chart for each stage showing the line of authorities for the needed resources for each stage.

Formal Appointment of The Required Resources

The next step is to book and assign the resources needed for each project management task within each phase as defined in the project schedule. Of course, there is also an option to book the resources for each type of PMWeb process, for example Budget or Budget adjustments. Nevertheless, this is not recommended as can prove to be very complicated to manage. For each task, PMWeb resource requirement will allow defining the resources, labor and non-labor, along with the start and finish dates for each resource and the number of hours needed per day. Those hours can be assigned as regular, overtime or premium type of hours. This will become the basis for calculating the estimated cost of resources.

Capturing Actual Resource Hours

During the project execution, the actual resource hours spent against each project management task within each stage will be captured using PMWeb timesheet module. Actual reported hours can be reported as regular hours, overtime, premium or any other type of defined hours category. This is important as the actual cost of those consumed resources will be determined using the rate for each type of hour charge. The CBS level for each resource charge should be also selected. Similar to all other PMWeb modules, a workflow can be assigned to the timesheet to formalize the submit, review and approve steps.

Reporting the Estimated and Actual Resources Cost

PMWeb cost ledger will automatically capture the estimated cost of booked resources done using the resource requirement module and the actual cost of spent resources using the timesheet module. This cost data will become available for the cost worksheet module where the organization can define a worksheet that details the estimated, actual and actual cost of resources employed on the project. PMWeb cost worksheet allows defining formulas to do the needed variances and key performance metrics.

The organization can define unlimited number of cost worksheets to display the project cost information in any desired format. The cost worksheet could be for a single project or multiple projects. The cost worksheet can be exported in MS XLS format to enable the organization to further analyze and report on the captured resources data.

Assessing the Performance of Booked Resources

PMWeb provides the organization with the option to score each booked resources’ assignment. The scoring could be related to the quality of work delivered by the assigned resources for the scope of work assigned, meeting the target completion date, estimated hours versus actual hours, among others. The scoring is very diverse and could be based on Yes/No, values, dates, selection from pre-defined list of values among others. In addition, each score could have a weight value to enable having an overall weighted performance score.

The same scoring is also available for the organization chart, nevertheless, the scoring criteria and values could differ or could be the same. It all depends on how the organization wants to score the actual performance of the assigned professional services resources. The scoring list of questions and weights could be pre-defined to become standard that the organization can use across all projects they are managing or involved with.

If the organization is interested in appraising the performance of each specific labor resource, then PMWeb custom form builder can be used to create the resource appraisal template. The template will list the score points available for each appraisal question. The weight factor for each appraisal question can be also be part of the custom form.

The data captured in the custom form and similar to the data captured in all other PMWeb forms will become available for the organization to report on and analyze the results. For example, the report below details how each resource has scored against the appraisal questions with color indicators for those who have achieved good or bad results.

Reporting the Resources Performance

The trust-worthy data captured from the different forms used in planning and managing the labor and non-labor resources assigned to deliver the professional services that are part of the organization scope of work, will become available for creating the needed performance analysis reports and dashboards. Those reports and dashboards will provide the organization with immediate alert of undesired performance trends as it relates to planned productivity rates and budget cost.