The growing need of project stakeholders to know what is going on in their projects had increased the demand for having trust-worthy real-time data that can be consumed to provide this information. Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic with the growing requirements to work from home (WFH), social distancing, among other constraints, made this need for data more pressing than ever. Also, the availability of business intelligence and data visualization tools like MS Power BI made many stakeholders demanding more data than they can consume to do their query, audit, and analysis of how their projects are performing. This unprecedented growing demand for data consumption makes it necessary to have a platform to enable capturing the data of all processes needed to manage the delivery of their capital construction projects.
The selection of a project management information system (PMIS) platform is not the only investment an entity has to make to meet the demand for data consumption. Still, the investment for the culture change from capturing data in a loose and uncontrolled process to capturing data using controlled methods that embrace transparency and accountability. Nevertheless, selecting the wrong PMIS platform will make achieving this culture change impossible to achieve. Therefore, each entity has to carry out its due diligence before choosing the PMIS platform that best suits its needs.
A built-in connected platform.
Construction projects involve many different people and processes. Project management best practices have identified the areas that need to be managed in construction projects. These include scope, time, cost, quality, communications, human resources, risks, procurement, contracts, claims, health and safety, and document management. A PMIS like PMWeb that enables managing all of those processes among others across the complete project life cycle stages eliminates the risk of having data silos, which makes it impossible to share information across the entire project.
A platform that delivers real-time information. Entities need to have a 100% web-enabled platform that enables capturing real-time data from the many processes required to manage projects to deliver real-time information to project stakeholders anywhere, anytime using any device. Nevertheless, having a 100% web-enabled platform does not mean violating regulations for self-hosting the captured data. For example, although PMWeb is a 100% web-enabled, zero-foot-print solution nevertheless, it provides entities with the option of the public cloud, also known as SaaS or private cloud, by self-hosting the solution.
A platform that offers appropriate admin controls to enable sharing only the right information with the right people. One of the challenges when it comes to delivering capital construction projects is that access permission rights are not only limited to the individuals from the entity managing the PMIS but also the other entities involved in delivering the project, which could include the project management consultant, design consultants, supervision consultants, contractors, supplies among others. As a minimum, a PMIS should enable setting access permission rights to authorize users to access projects, project management processes, fields within each project management process, and folders in the document management repository. In addition to those access permission rights, PMWeb allows setting conditional security based on contracts and other factors.
A platform that can integrates with other tools. When it comes to managing capital construction projects, dedicated planning and scheduling tools like Primavera P6 and MS Project are very common. A PMIS like PMWeb enables importing the schedule data from those applications. It is also prevalent to use MS Excel to capture technical and drawings submittals and cost estimates, among others. PMWeb allows importing this information in their intended modules.
In addition, PMWeb provides the API integration tools to integrate PMWeb with ERP applications, property management systems, and third-party document management systems. This enables bi-directional data to eliminate data input redundancy and provide an integrated visualization of projects’ performance.
A platform that is easy to use — for everyone. A PMIS like PMWeb comes ready with most of the input forms needed for project management processes, and the form builder allows creating the other forms required. All those forms have the fields that are common to all those individuals involving in managing construction projects. Nevertheless, PMWeb allows creating a pre-defined list of values to fill those forms to eliminate wrong entry chances.
A platform that comes ready with business intelligence and reporting tool. A PMIS like PMWeb comes ready with Microsoft SSRS reporting tools to create the output reports and dashboards in the desired form and format. Those reports and dashboards will have the drill-down functionality to enable the reader to drill down to review additional details on reported information for easy data consumption.
In addition, using business intelligence and data visualization tools like MS Power BI, direct access to the PMWeb database can be established to enable stakeholders to consume PMWeb data. Those tools would allow stakeholders to query, audit, and analyze the projects’ data in an interactive format.
Another advantage of using applications like MS Power BI is associating PMIS data, say PMWeb, with other data sources and applications. For example, the PMIS data can be related to maps, Building Information Model (BIM) models. Unlike data integration, data association requires only to ensure that the data from the different data sources have a common field between the two data sources. Those could include project number, WBS level, project schedule activity, cost breakdown structure, building system object, building asset, location, and GIS spatial coordinates.
A platform that enables the localization of captured data. Although the English language is the common language used when delivering capital construction projects, many countries have requirements to capture data in its official language. In addition to Latin languages, many other countries use non-Latin languages like Arabic. PMWeb allows capturing data in any local language and changes the solution interface to the same language to enable non-English speaking individuals to use the PMIS.