For project owners, engineering and supervision consultants, project management consultants, contractors, subcontractors, and other entities that are part of the delivery of capital construction projects, many need to issue letters addressing the different obligations and entitlements of their signed contract agreements. Those letters’ content and wording are critical and need to be correctly drafted to protect the issuing party’s contractual rights while respecting the receiving party’s contractual rights. Many of those entities have created templates for those contractual letters to be used by their project management team across their projects’ portfolio when needed. Those letters will include a reference to the contract agreement clauses, for example, the FIDIC contract clauses, that they relate to. Of course, those letters would have several fields that need to be completed before they can be formally issued. Some of those fields are common to all letters, such as project reference, contract reference, contacts of the issuer and the recipient, date, and reference number. Besides, some fields could be specific to each specific letter. Further, they will include details of the circumstances that made it necessary to issue those letters. Finally, those letters usually need to be formally reviewed and approved by individuals who might not part of the project team.
Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, each letter type will become one of the project management processes to be managed. PMWeb, a custom form builder, will capture all the standard and unique fields needed for each letter type. It will also include a checklist of all items that need to be reviewed, verified, and approved before the letter can be issued. Access permission to those fields and checklists can be restricted to their intended, authorized individuals. Although the letter’s body will be incorporated in the input letter form, the final output will be created using the PMWeb report writer.
The contractual letter form attachment tab will be used to attach all supportive project documents and records related to the issued letter. Those documents could include drawings, specifications, contract agreements, pictures, videos, among others. Those documents will be uploaded and stored on the PMWeb document management repository. Besides, links to relevant PMWeb records and imported MS Outlook emails will also be included in the attachment tab.
Many of those contractual letters, which will be issued by the project manager, need to be reviewed and approved by different individuals from the entity giving the letter. For example, the letter might need input from the site team to verify the events that lead to issuing the letter, the planning team to verify the correctness of claimed time adjustment, the commercial team to verify the accuracy of the claimed cost, the contract, and legal team to confirm adherence to the contract agreement among others.
PMWeb workflow will be used to define the workflow tasks for each letter template type. The workflow will detail the responsibilities for performing those tasks, duration allotted to complete each task, available actions to be taken, to which task a process should be returned to if there is a need to resubmit, the sequence for performing those tasks, and all conditions required for enforcing approval authority levels which are usually detailed in the project management plan.
Since some of the individuals who are part of the review and approval workflow process might not be located at the project site, which is growing due to the work-from-home (WFH) requirement, PMWeb workflow notifications can be sent to those individuals via email. The email templates can be configured in any desired form or format and can be configured to send attachments. Those attachments could be the supportive letter documents, letter output templates, among others. The email templates can be configured to have buttons to perform what is known as “Approve on the Fly” or “Reject on the Fly.”
The final output of the letter will be designed using PMWeb report writer, for which the output letter format will be in the final layout to be printed and issued. The letter template will include the entity branding and other standard details to other letters communicated on the project. The letter template output can be designed to include links to the documents that were attached to the letter input form. The output firm can be saved in PDF file format to be digitally signed or printed to be wet-signed and stamped.It should be noted that those contractual letters input and output letter input forms and output templates can be in any language, including non-Latin Languages like Arabic. It is also possible to combine the two languages in the same letter template, which is usually needed for some contractual letters.