One of the proven methods for capturing, accumulating, and sharing knowledge on capital construction projects is to encourage project team members to raise questions on any topic that they need clarification on. The answers to those questions are given by a pool of qualified subject matter experts that an entity assigns to respond to those queries. Those subject matter experts could be employed by the entity, outsourced by third-party consultants, or a combination of both.
Maximizing the value of this knowledge management method requires that all questions are captured regardless of the individual who raised the question and from which project. In addition, it requires formalizing the response to those questions to ensure that the answers are given by those who have the knowledge and experience to respond to each raised question. In addition, when a question is raised or when an answer is given, all referenced documents should be included. Further, questions and answers should be properly categorized to improve access to this captured knowledge.To enable sharing this captured and accumulated knowledge, a report needs to be created that not only share the questions and answers, but also filters and eases searching and locating knowledge that could benefit other project team members. This report should be in real-time reflecting the latest submitted questions and provided answers and can be accessed anytime, anywhere using any device. To avoid congested reports, it is recommended to have separate reports for schedule, cost, quality, health and safety, procurement, risk, contracts, and other possible project management aspects.
Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, the business process to formalize questions and answers on capital construction projects can be implemented. Although there could be a single template to capture questions and answers for all project management aspects, nevertheless, it is highly recommended to have a separate template for each project management aspect.
Having said so, many of the data fields are identical but also there are unique data fields that are relevant to each project management aspect. For example, the common data fields are the project name, question date, raised by who, and answered by who, subject, and status of the record. Excluding the subject, all those data fields are available from a predefined list of values.PMWeb visual custom form builder helps create the “Question and Answer” business process template. The template includes data fields that improve the learning that is shared by all those who have access to the Questions and Answers Repository Report. For example, for contract-related questions, the form should include the data fields for clauses, contract agreement type, revision, category, etc.
Similar to all other business processes managed in PMWeb, supportive documents that are usually associated or required for each Question-and-Answer business process transaction must be attached to the template. It is highly recommended to add details to each attached document to better explain to the reader what is being attached and viewed. In addition, links to other relevant records of other business processes managed in PMWeb can also link to the reported progress.
It is highly recommended that all those supportive documents, regardless of their type or source, get uploaded and stored on the PMWeb document management repository. PMWeb allows creating folders and subfolders to match the physical filing structure used to store hard copies of those documents. Since this business process is accessable across the portfolio of the completed project, it is recommended that the file folder be created as a shared folder and not project-specific.
To ensure that the submit, review, and approve dates of each Question-and-Answer business process transaction submission are captured, assign a workflow to each business process. The assigned workflow maps the submit, review, and approve tasks, roles or roles assigned to each task, task duration, task type, and actions available for the task. In addition, the workflow could be designed to include conditions to enforce the approval authority levels as defined in the Delegation of Authority (DoA) matrix.
When a Question-and-Answer business process transaction is initiated, the workflow tab available on the relevant template captures the planned review and approve workflow tasks for each transaction as well as the actual history of those review and approval tasks. The captured workflow data includes the actual action data and time, done by who, action taken, comments made, and whether team input was requested.