Are you a Capital Construction Program Owner? If so, have you experienced any cost overruns, schedule delays, and unexpected claims and couldn't quite pinpoint what happened? It might be time to do a project management risk assessment of your organization, processes, people, and technology used to manage your capital construction projects.
Below is a great 15 minute video outlining some of the steps to evaluate the risks and challenges in your organization and some ideal solutions that can be implemented to turn things around.
Here is a preview of some of these steps. Maybe you've already done some of these, and maybe each step doesn't specifically apply to you. The biggest thing to take away is sometimes doing an internal checkup is worth its value in gold for finding ways to fix things that keep getting in your organization's way.
Identify Risks and Breakdowns in Current Processes
Map out your organization, each stakeholder, their roles, responsibilities and the touch points between each of your staff. Then review how your team works with facility stakeholders, external design teams, and contractors. Look at the areas where you might be lacking consistency, have duplicate input of data, and poor visibility into the current status of spending and key processes.
Select the Solution that Fits You
If implementing new software ends up being part of the solution to your challenges, make sure you find a vendor and product that is designed for you as an Owner vs. a Contractor. There are many great Contractor Project Management Software tools out there, but as an Owner you will be looking for a Program Management Solution.
Integrated Cost Management at the Program Level
Owners manage a program of projects. Prioritizing, planning, and executing the right projects is key to meeting strategic goals. Being able to measure and track costs at both a project and program level is critical for an Owner. Owners not only want to reduce money held in contingency, they want to find unused funds sitting in some of their project budgets as they progress. Those unused funds could potentially go to other projects that need additional funds, or if found early enough, could be used for additional projects in a budget cycle.
Real-time Program Measurement and Process Consistency
Wouldn't it be nice to automatically get reports reflecting overall program cash flow, how long it takes to make payments to contractors, how many change orders are happening on projects and why? Although it is possible to get this information out of disparate word documents, spreadsheets, and emails, it is an extraneous and costly effort. By the time you do get the information and find issues, it's already too late and the problem has hit your bottom line.
Program Management Software like e-Builder, designed for Owners, allows you to encapsulate your business process rules and information directly into digital forms and electronic workflows. These are used by each project manager on every project to consistently and automatically capture who, what, where, when, and how much as things progress on projects. Executives can automatically pull that data into dashboards that indicate program level health. You not only have historical data to find where you can improve things, but accurately forecast what will be happening on projects and the overall program in the future. How many cost overruns, schedule delays, and claims can be prevented by finding problems sooner?
These are the type of considerations and narratives you will want to put together as you hunt for the solution that best fits your organization.
Evaluate the ROI of Making a Change
Once you have mapped out challenges and some ideal solutions, it's important to evaluate the Return On Investment (ROI). Is it worth it to disrupt your organization or spend money on new software tools? Don't just look at the everyday saved clicks in productivity, but does the training, reorganization, or new software reduce or mitigate the "ripple effect" caused by data entry errors or processes taking too long? Also evaluate whether these changes offer better protection against big risks that although don't typically happen, could be disastrous to your program if they did.
Map Out the Road the Success
If your ROI analysis uncovers it's worth making the change, start to map out an execution plan. It's important to find other Owners who have gone through similar processes and transitions. What were their successes along with pitfalls to avoid? Create a plan with milestones, and expected results by a certain time. Go back to the map of your organization and identify stakeholders that will be accountable for successfully executing the change. If implementing a new software solution, find a vendor that not only provides a great product with the right features, but that has a proven implementation track record and staff experienced in working with organizations like yours.