After completing the digital transformation for the Document Management and Transmittal Management processes as detailed in “Digitize Document Management and Transmittal Management Processes”, and the digital transformation for the Monthly Progress Performance Reporting as detailed in “Digitize the Monthly Progress Performance Reporting Process” the organization can now proceed with the third digital transformation step and that is to digitize the most used communications templates and registers currently in use.

Almost every organization that is involved in the delivery of capital construction projects has created templates and registers to manage the different processes needed to deliver those projects. On average, on a medium-sized construction project, there are at least fifty forms that are used to create requests for information, safety incidents, shop drawing submittal, confirmation of verbal instruction, site work instruction among others. Those templates are usually created using MS Excel and MS Word. The purpose of the template is to complete the form, print it, wet-sign and stamp it, and finally, transmit the form to the recipient of the form who might distribute it internally to seek their project team review and comments. Excluding the possible use of MS Outlook email to provide an advance submission of the form which will be saved in PDF file format along with all supportive documents and the distribution of the form for internal review and comments, all other steps will be performed manually.

PMWeb 7 Forms Document Forms

The objective of the next digital transformation step is not to digital transform those process as is assumed that the organization is not yet ready for this major step. Nevertheless, the main objective of this step is to digitally transform the preparation of those templates by creating input forms that exactly match the layout of the current output form. This will ensure immediate adoption of this step as all that is being done is to replace the MS Excel or MS Word with a new input form. The benefits of this step are many and include ensuring that all projects are using the latest version of the input form, ensure the quality of captured data as many of the fields will have a pre-defined list of value, calendars, and other values to select from, maintain track of all submitted templates, capture the data from all templates in a single data source among many others.

Nevertheless, the greatest benefit of all is that all logs and registers for those communications that are usually manually created using MS Excel will become readily available. Since the details of all transactions for every project communication are digitally captured, tabular and graphical reports will become immediately available to be viewed. Of course, since the input forms have much more data than what usually a log created in MS Excel will be used to capture, the new logs and registers can include many details than the current logs and registers.

Logs and registers

Using PMWeb which was the Project Management Information System (PMIS) platform used to digitize the document management transmittal management and monthly progress report processes, the digitization of the project communication templates can be also achieved. PMWeb Visual Form Builder allows the organization to duplicate their communication templates to ensure that there will be no disruption to what the project team members are used to do. Of course, if there is an option to improve the form, then this could be considered and implemented on the digitized form version if approved. In addition, the organization might consider adding new fields to those forms that were not possible to have when they are manually completed. For example, those forms could include fields for Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), project schedule activity, location of work among others.

PMWeb 7 Toolbox for creating digital Registers

Accordingly, one of the most widely used project communication forms that will be digitized is the Non-Compliance Report (NCR). Most fields in the current MS Word template will be used as is except for the “Corrective Action Implemented” field. It is recommended for this field to define it as a list field with the predefined values of “Yes and No” instead of having two Boolean fields for “Yes” or “No”. By having this value as a selection list, the NCR transactions can be filtered by that field.

PMWeb 7 Assets Forms for creating digital Registers

The first step in creating the digital version of the form is to ensure that all fields and tables that are required for the form are defined in PMWeb. Those data fields could be integer numeric, decimal numeric, currency, date, text, Boolean as well as it could be a value that needs to be selected from a pre-defined list of values. For each defined field, the width of the field needs to be provided as well as whether it is a required field or not. PMWeb also allows creating calculated fields for the integer and decimal number fields. Further, PMWeb allows defining default values for those fields if needed.

PMWeb 7 Tools Form Builder

The next step is to create the form layout where PMWeb allows adding column and row cells of different sizes and colors. Those cells will be mapped with the custom form of user-defined fields created earlier. It is also possible to import pre-defined templates as HTML files. With the availability of different formatting options that can be easily implemented, the NCR template will be upgraded with some colors instead of the dull MS Word template.

PMWeb 7 Tools Form Builder Table Wizard

Now, this form has fields that need to be completed by the Consultant and the Contractor, it is recommended to define the permissions for the fields that the Consultant and Contractor will have access to. This is a requirement to enforce the trustworthiness and accountability of the completed form. The permission can be defined by Role, that is Project Owner, Project Management Consultant, Consultant, and Contractor or by a specific username who has access to PMWeb.

PMWeb 7 Tools Form Builder

Now the form is the NCR is ready to use by the organization across all of their projects by all authorized users. To ease the access to the NCR form as well as any other communication forms, the NCR will be added to the PMWeb project center screen for those who are authorized to use it. This will automatically display approved and pending NCRs if the status field was included in the form.

PMWeb 7 Home Project Center Registers

This will enable authorized users to create as well as respond to the NCR form in accordance with the set access and field permission rights. For date and list fields, the user will be able to select values from a predefined list or calendar when selecting those fields.

PMWeb 7 Assets Forms NCR Non Conformance Report Registers

One of the key advantages of having a 100% web-enabled zero foot-print application like PMWeb that all those forms will be accessible anytime, anywhere using any smart device. This will enable the consultant who is issuing the NCR to take pictures or videos using the iPad or any other smart mobile device and attach it to the NCR. Of course, there is also the option to attach other documents such as drawings, specifications among others. Of course, all those documents can be uploaded directly into the NCR form or uploaded and stored in the PMWeb document management repository and then attach to the NCR.

PMWeb 7 Schedules

Since PMWeb is mainly used to generate the project communications templates and digital transform those processes, the PMWeb workflow module will not be used for those processes. Nevertheless, the user has the option to share the NCR with other PMWeb users as well as non PMWeb users using the Notification option. An email will be sent to those users as well as PMWeb will maintain a log of sent email Notifications.

PMWeb 7 Assets Forms NCR Conformance Report

PMWeb business intelligence reporting tool will be used to create the output for those communications in the exact required form and format. The output forms will have the log or logos as per the project communication requirements set in the project management plan (PMP) or project execution plan (PEP). Those forms can be generated in PDF file format as well as printed so they can be wet-signed and stamped. The PDF file format can be attached to a transmittal if this is needed.

PMWeb 7 Forms, Confirmation of Verbal Advice, Daily Consultant Extra Time Request, Request for Night Work Registers

Similarly, the PMWeb business intelligence reporting tool will be also used to create the output reports and registers for each digitized communication template. The information captured in those tabular and visual reports will be automatically extracted from the data captured in those forms. This is a major time-saving effort.

PMWeb 7 Forms, Document Submittal, RFI Log, Material Submittal Logsheet Registers

Finally, by having this wealth of trust-worthy data captured across the different projects managed by the organization, using third-party business intelligence and data visualization tools like MS Power BI, the organization can identify trends, causes, active measures, contractor performance history among many others by analyzing and studying the captured data. In addition, data from different communication process types can be associated to provide analysis of the possible correlations between the performance of different processes.

It should be noted that much of the data used in such analysis were usually wasted when the communication forms are completed in a manual manner and for which it all depends on who will extract the information from those form to populate the MS Excel file for each communication process and project.

PMWeb 7 Compliance Report (NCR) Status Registers


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