Transforming EDMS into Integrated EVMS

As generally understood, Electronic Data Management System (EDMS),  is an automated system to store and retrieve documents digitally to avoid piles of manual documents and the complexity  involved in manually managing them. The key benefits from the EDMS are;

  1. Providing the right document to the right person at the right time with ease
  2. Better document change management, version control
  3. Improving collaboration of different stakeholders operating from single or multiple locations through better document sharing
  4. Comments and change management
  5. Improved security through permissioned access
  6. Maintaining audit trails

If your work involve projects of any nature (big, small, internal, external, multi location, single location),  by integrating the EDMS to a scheduling tool and a workflow engine, EDMS can be transformed into a very powerful Integrated Earned Value Management System (EVMS).

The key benefits from a well implemented integrated EVMS are;

  1. Progress reporting – Planned work Vs Earned work within a given time frame within minutes, with accuracy.
  2. Trends analysis – Schedule Performance Index (SPI), Cost Performance Index (CPI), within minutes, with accuracy.
  3. Ability forecast with ease (Moving from reactive management to proactive management)
    1. Estimate to Complete (ETC), “When we complete the project, how much it is going to cost?”
    2. Estimated date of completion, “When are we likely to complete the project?”

All these are possible, without any additional data entry, and can happen at the press of a button, because the progress of work can be assessed based on predefined rules of credit attached to the workflow.

For example let us consider the workflow of an engineering drawing;

StageTrigger Rule of credit for Earned Value   Planned date Actual date
1Completion of the engineering drawing 50%20/05/201920/05/2019
2Engineering review completion 20%22/05/201922/05/2019
3Review comments incorporation 20%23/05/2019
4Final review 10%25/05/2019

On 26/05/2019;

Planned value of this engineering drawing = 100%

Earned value = 70%

Schedule variance = EV-PV = 70-100 = -30

As you can see, the progress reporting happens automatically as and when the work progresses. The additional step of manually entering percentage completion is eliminated. This enforces process compliance, eliminates wrong reporting and considerably reduces waiting time for project progress information. This concept can be scaled from a document level to work package, project, program, portfolio level. It can be within engineering or it can be extended to procurement and construction. It can be single location or multi-location.

Data from the field from a very large  project which implemented EDMS based Integrated EVMS

Project details : USD 1.6 billion project, with 120+ vendors, engineering done in five locations, tight schedule (25 months) with incentives and penalties

Key Benefits reported

  • 70% reduction in overall time taken to generate reports
  • Improved accuracy of the real time reports
  • Access to EPC contractors / vendors, automated approval processes, quick access to drawings and docs with latest revisions has increased productivity by 20-25%.
  • Direct access to multiple EPC contractors and vendors has reduced data exchange time
  • Ability to manage by exceptions than getting buried in information overload
  • 90% on time completion of deliverables
  • 80% deliverables completed within budget
  • 80% reduction in errors and rework

To understand how these things really work in a technology platform, request for a demo / discussion.  

About the blogger

Abrachan Pudussery is a Project management domain expert at Wrench Solutions. He is also the founder member of Project Management Research Institute, a non-profit organization committed to the promotion of professional project management best practices.


Top challenges of EPC Project Owners, Project Managers & Engineering teams

Owners

  • I do not have visibility into the project.
  • It takes almost 3-5 days time to get the progress updates. By the time I receive it, it is too late to take any effective corrective / preventive action.
  • Information overload. Very often we are bombarded with information and it takes lot of effort and time to understand the exceptions.
  • We are not sure about the project end date and the anticipated cost.
  • Lot of time spent in investigations / claims.

Project Managers

  • I am unable to make timely decisions because of the delay in receiving information. I wish to get the relevant information on time at the click of a button.
  • I do not have much visibility into sub contracted work. I am forced to believe what they tell me. They give me a very positive picture till the last minute and then fail at the last minute, creating last minute plan changes.
  • Since there is no traceability, lot of time is spent for investigations and claims.
  • Quality related issues, arising out of improper communication of engineering specifications and the associated changes.
  • No visibility into the long lead items, which often results in delays and re-planning.
  • Actual work is not in alignment to schedule. Schedule is not really used for project management, it is used more as a status update and communication tool. Even that fails because the actual work execution is different from what is shown in the schedule.
  • Project managers spend lot of time in administrative work, than in managing work.

Engineering

  • Progress tracking of the engineering work, especially engineering drawings is a big challenge.
  • Change management of the engineering drawings is an area where engineering teams spend lot of their time.
  • Errors and omissions in consolidation, validation, incorporation and traceability of the changes / comments on the engineering documents results in time consuming reworks.
  • Lack of alignment of the engineering plan to the overall project plan creates lot of last minute schedule pressures on the engineering teams.

Work front

  • Because all the inputs are not available, teams spend lot of time waiting for the inputs to be ready.
  • Construct ability constraints are revealed at the work front, leading to wastage of time and money.

These are the common project management challenges faced by our clients and partners. These culminate in serious project slippages and cost overruns.

The solution to these problems lies in the culmination of ;

  1. Integrated project management information systems (IPMIS) – Without the support of Integrated Project Management Information Systems, projects are more like an army unit on the war front with a broken communication system.
  2. Integrated project delivery using Agile principles – One may have all the information on time, and if the teams lack the capability to act on the information quickly, again the project fails.

Establishing the Integrated Project Management Information System (IPMIS) is the predecessor to implementing Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) with Agility. IPMIS can be accomplished within a very short span of time with the right tools and implementation strategy. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) with Agile principles involve cultural changes and will take longer time to institutionalize. Start with Integrated Project Management Information System (IPMIS) and then IPD with Agile.

Are you facing similar challenges in your projects?.

Let us start a discussion.

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