The capacity to collect, process, and draw relevant conclusions from different data sources is vital for project managers to have the insight for making better and faster informed decisions on capital construction projects. Whether those decisions are complex or straightforward, good decision-making requires useful data and good data analysis. Unlike other types of projects, which tend to be internal to the same organization, decisions on capital construction projects usually involve multiple entities who have a role in delivering a project. Those decisions are not mere opinions. Project managers will be held accountable for the decisions they make. Decisions need to respect the entitlements and obligations of contract agreements between those entities. Otherwise, they could result in claims and disputes for additional time and cost, as well as criminal accusations for frauds and corruption.
To enable data collection and analysis, capital construction projects should deploy a platform to manage all types of communications generated from the hundred-plus processes needed to address those projects’ delivery. A platform that can capture the data and the documents generated from the thousands of formal communications between all entities involved in delivering a capital construction project. Also, all oral or verbal communications should be formally documented as soon as they occur. The platform should be 100% web-enabled to allow communications between individuals who are not co-located at the same place. Nevertheless, being web-enabled should not violate compliance with data security requirements that projects should adhere to. This requires having the option of self-hosting the platform if this is a requirement.
Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) that can comply with all those requirements like PMWeb will become the platform that entities delivering a capital construction project will use for all communications types. Those include communications for site work, procurement, commercial, quality, health and safety, testing and commissioning, risk, and issues. PMWeb comes ready with the input templates needed to capture the data for most of the processes required to manage capital construction projects. Besides, PMWeb form builder allows creating the input forms for all other methods also needed to manage those projects’ delivery, including the form for “Confirmation of Verbal Instruction” or CVI. To ensure that CVIs are captured as soon as they occur, it is highly recommended to design the input form to be accessed from a smart mobile device.
‘Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion’, W. Edwards Deming
In addition, all project communications that make reference to documents such as drawings, specifications, contract agreements, among others, or pictures or videos, those documents need to be attached to the communication. In addition, if a project communication is associated with another project communication, including email communications, those also need to be linked to the communication. PMWeb allows uploading and storing those documents as well as directly upload documents and attach them to the project communication. The same applies to linking other PMWeb communications as well as imported MS Outlook emails.
Although many of the project management processes that need to be executed during the project delivery might not involve the project manager when it comes to reviewing and approving those processes nevertheless, the project manager might need to be made aware of those tasks. PMWeb workflow is used to define the workflow tasks for each project management process for which it will detail the responsibilities for performing those tasks, duration allotted to perform 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. The project manager might select the option to be carbon copied (CC) on any of the workflow tasks so he or she can receive an email notification when the workflow task is due for action.
In addition, project managers might elect to receive reports of the different project management processes to present the captured data’s needed information. Reports can include visuals to analyze the data captured in those processes to provide the project manager with the insight to make faster and better-informed decisions.
For decisions that require data captured from different but related project management processes, reports can be also created to present this information. Those reports will usually include scorecards and visuals that combine the data from the different processes to provide the insight to make faster and better-informed decisions. For example, a report can be created to provide information on the project’s financial status. It would need data from budget, adjustments and transfers, awarded contracts, approved and pending change orders, progress invoices, etc.