Maybe one of the benefits that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the delivery of capital construction projects is to have meetings that do not need all stakeholders present in the same room. The time wasted on pre-meetings, and post-meetings tasks can prove to be quite costly. For example, the cost of transportation to a meeting or from one session to another might entail many times the cost of travel, lodging, and other associated expenses. Besides, there is the cost of rescheduled or ineffective meetings due to the absence of one of the key stakeholders when they cannot be physically present at a meeting.
The work from the home requirement imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic’s lockdown and social distancing rules has made using meeting applications like Zoom, Teams, Webex, among others, a must for carrying out those meetings. Those applications made it possible for project stakeholders to meet more often with stakeholders located at different parts of the world that were not possible to have at construction sites. Thus, eliminating much of the wasted effort and cost associated with meetings requiring attendees’ physical presence.
Nevertheless, regardless of the meeting purpose, which could be for the design review meeting, value engineering workshops, pre-bid meeting, tender opening meetings, kick-off meeting, progress meetings, technical meetings, contractor meetings, QA/QC meetings, HSE meetings, change management meetings, steering committee meetings, BIM coordination meetings, risk management meetings, interface management meetings, project handover meetings among others. Simultaneously, all discussions made during those meetings need to be documented and shared with the attendees. To take advantage of online meetings, capturing and displaying the discussed business items and whom they have been assigned to for action and when those actions are due during the meeting will eliminate the wasted time in reviewing and approving the meeting minutes.
Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, all meeting minutes can be documented and shared. Like the meeting minutes standard on projects, PMWeb allows capturing the general details of a meeting like a type, date, meeting start and end time, list of attendees, among others, and the business items discussed during the meeting. For each business item that can be captured in a rich text to allow formatting the text, there will be fields for assigned to, due date, category, subject, schedule task that could be impacted by the business items, completion date, notes, and confirmation if the business item was done. To maintain discussions, PMWeb “Create Next” option allows creating the agenda for the next meeting for which all business items labeled as “done” will be removed.
Since it is common when discussing a meeting business item to reference some specific project documents, PMWeb allows attaching those documents to each business item. Documents can be uploaded and attached to the relevant business item or use the PMWeb document management repository to select and attach the documents that might be already uploaded and stored on the PMWeb document management repository. Of course, there is the option to attach documents and link records, and emails to the meeting minutes.
In case there is a need to review and approve the meeting minutes before it is shared with the meeting attendees and other stakeholders, a workflow will be assigned to the meeting minutes. The workflow will identify the workflow steps, duration, responsibility, available action types, and sequence.
The approved meeting minutes can then be shared with the attendees and other stakeholders using the PMWeb transmittal module. From within the meeting minutes, the option to generate the transmittal will be selected. The created transmittal form will have its workflow to share the meeting minutes.
If there is no need to use the transmittal form to distribute the meeting minutes to its intended recipients who might either have or do not have access to the PMWeb platform, the Notification option will be used. This option allows sending a PDF file version of the meeting minutes and the document attachments. Of course, there is also the option to send a hyperlink to the meeting minutes captured in PMWeb. Emails can be sent to PMWeb users as well as non-PMWeb users. All sent email notifications will be recorded in the notification tab showing the date and subject of each sent notification.
The meeting minute output form can be designed to adhere to each organization’s formal project communication branding in any desired form or format. The meeting minutes form will display all required data fields in the desired layout to display the list of documents attached to the meeting minutes. The form could be designed to have hyperlinks to those attached documents.
The register of the history of meeting business items is one of the most important reports that project stakeholders would always wish to have. This report shows the history of all discussions made on meetings business items. The report could include filter options to refine the selection of business items to be displayed.
Another ready-to-use output form available in PMWeb is the reminder letter or dunning letters sent to individuals who have been assigned actions on the meeting business items. Those letters will be sent to overdue business items whose action due date has already elapsed. The letter format can be designed in any desired form and will include the list of those overdue business items.