Wednesday, April 4, 2012

UT Southwestern Medical Center CIP Organizational Chart

We are managing approximately $ 800 million in construction projects.  Thanks to our PMIS, we have been able to manage our construction program with a very lean staff.  The ability to centrally track all issues, store documents, process change orders and become paperless has allowed us to keep our staffing levels to minimal. It has also allowed us to be more efficient and effective in managing the project, change orders and responding to any serious issue that could result in a delay or dispute. 

Below is our current organizational chart for our construction program.    We do have three program managers that report to our department that are not reflected in the CIP Construction Services organizational chart. One of our CA's is a part time OPMIS administrator which most of the time takes even less time.  But, it does make sense to consider a full time OPMIS administrator if the organization has multiple projects starting up on a frequent basis..

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Owners Taking Charge of their Capital Program Through OPMIS-ROI 2 Yrs.

For those that are considering OPMIS, the following power point and webinar highlights why it is important for Owners to understand the benefits of an Owner's PMIS and how it can improve their construction departments effectiveness.  Since our OPMIS has allowed us to become paperless, I have come to the conclusion that our OPMIS has easily resulted in an ROI of 2 years since we would have hired 2-3 administrative assistants just to help us with all the filing and paperwork that the current projects would have generated.  

OPMIS has really been an amazing improvement to our ability to manage our construction program and hope other Owners can take advantage of this new technology and model where the Owner is the host of the PMIS.   

Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Project Portfolio Management for the Building Owner

Authors - Alexia Nalewaik, CCE MRICS
Jeffrey Witt, CPA CIA MCSE CFE

Web-based project management systems have been available for at least 13 years. Over that time, there has been a great deal of differentiation across the different platforms available, so much so that facility owner/operators managing large capital programs now have the option of taking a more proactive approach in selecting systems that focus on their unique and specific needs in terms of project controls, process automation, information management, and reporting.

One of the drivers for owners implementing these solutions is the availability of systems that are easier to deploy, and require lower up-front investments than traditional systems. In the past, it didn't make sense for an owner to go through the pain of rolling out a complicated system that required hardware installation and configuration, third-party software licenses, maintenance, support, and constant development efforts to ensure the maintain the system and configure it to meet their business needs, assuming the system did what it was supposed to once installed. Under these circumstances, the contractor usually provided an adequate project information management system, with the owner taking a more reactive approach in tracking (vs. managing) this data. However, once the project was complete, the owner was left with a compilation of raw data that was difficult to use for planning future projects, or for analyzing performance improvements.

The recent Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) success of companies like has allayed fears that a thin-client system could not provide enterprise features. This success has perhaps signaled a change in the Capital Program Management space as more and more owner-organizations are deploying software. These systems offer capabilities that enable the owner to have greater control over their program's cost, schedule, and scope. This wave has been building momentum for some time.

For instance, The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)
went live with the first online project management and collaboration site
back in 1996, but widespread owner adoption is a more recent development.

Also, because these systems are available on a subscription basis, if the
owner does not get value they can stop subscribing. The result is vendors have to "earn their keep daily" forcing them to focus on the owner's success, decreasing the risk for the owner.

Looking at Data Strategically for Continuous Process Improvement
There are many benefits for the owner associated with implementing an
owner-centric solution vs. using a contractor's tool. Having their own
system in place allows Owners to track and measure historical vendor
performance, budget data, actual results, schedule information, changes
and change management, design information, claim information, and many other sets of information that can be used to continuously improve how future projects are managed, while minimizing risk for the owner. Today web-based systems provide owners the opportunity to strategically manage their own project data and offer just the right combination of "out of the box" functionality with customizable tools to quickly tailor the system to fit their organization's information management needs (KPI tracking, reporting). These systems are designed to take the lessons learned on current and past projects and apply them to future projects.

Risk from the Owner's Point of View
Regardless of how responsibility is shared in a project, owners argue that they bear the ultimate risk for the execution of new projects. Their reasons are varied: they write the checks for overruns; they feel the pain of delays in the form of lost revenue opportunity; and they pay the additional costs of a facility built for project profitability rather than long-term operating efficiency. Everyone but the lawyers will agree that litigation won't recover these costs.

From this point of view, mitigating capital project risks requires a project management approach that mandates the building owner's priorities. Easier said than done: any major project includes contractors, architects, engineers and subs with competing interests and plenty of opportunity for miscommunication. How then, can building owners assert control and ensure all of these constituents are working in the best interest of the owner?

For more information on this topic, please visit:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Program Managers are Starting to Pursue PMIS as a Means for Managing Projects.

Program Managers like Adams, KLMK, and Hammes are starting to implement PMIS softwares as a means of effectively managing their projects. The key here is that everyone is realizing that there needs to be a centralized program management information system to manage multiple projects effectively.  This confirms that Program Managers also support the strategy that having a centralized PMIS is important to managing multiple projects.  Without a centralized PMIS, project information is always scattered and difficult to retrieve for managing projects. 

Owner can maximize their effectiveness in managing their construction program by hosting and being in charge of the PMIS for all projects in their organization.    

    e-builder news release Jan. 23, 2012
    KLMK Leverages e-Builder to Manage Growing Project Portfolio of Projects

"......Billl McMahon, President/COO of KLMK said “we researched several different options and e-Builder’s software offered the best solution to complement our proven process management systems.  We strongly believe that collaboration is key to a project’s success. e-Builder provides a platform that not only improves collaboration, but also helps us provide our clients with increased transparency and better communication. This helps us deliver better project outcomes for our clients. 
e-Builder is helping KLMK to centralize project documentation, schedules, budgets and cash flow. As a result, all team members have immediate access to relevant project information in order to make informed decisions.  KLMK has utilized e-Builder to assist clients in the development of standards and processes to enhance their project management capabilities. “e-Builder has increased our effectiveness in managing projects, from small, single projects to large capital programs with complicated processes. e-Builder provides our clients with a portal to capture critical project data. We then leverage this data to generate reports to evaluate how well a project is performing and make necessary corrections before issues become unmanageable” added McMahon. ...."
Hammes Company Enhances Program Management Capabilities with e-Builder Software

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Design Economics: Construction Management Software

19 January 2012

In times of economic uncertainty modern construction management software can be vital for the success of a project. Elisabeth Fischer discovers how the latest technology, including workflow and mobile software, and the concept of connected data can deliver design jobs on time and under budget.
Technology is paramount when it comes to managing construction projects today. The days of sharing cumbersome hard copy, spreadsheets and blueprints have long passed and been replaced by cutting-edge software and services.

The slogan here is 'the simpler, the better' and in times of persistently rising material costs the use of modern construction management software can be the crucial factor for the viability of a project.

Undoubtedly, the rise of the internet has made the overall planning, coordination and control of projects from inception to completion easier than ever before.

Read the full article here:Design-Build Network

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Field Observation Reports by Consultants Using OPMIS

Field Observations by consultants can be created through the OPMIS in the interest of organizing and tracking the resolution of any deficiency that is reported by a consultant.  In this example, our Building Envelope Commissioning Agent, WJE, uses our OPMIS to document and track their building envelope field observations.  The contractor has the option of printing the individual field report item or run a report to list all the issues that need to be resolved.  From the OPMIS, the report is printed with the consultants logo on it as an official document.  Please use the following link if you would like to view the actual report.
Field Report Created with OPMIS

Field Report Log

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dashboards, Powerfull Tool to Illustrate Overall Status of RFI's, Submittals, PCs etc.

When all the Program Management Information is centralized by the Owner, the PMIS dashboard becomes a very powerfull tool for the Owner's Project Manager and the entire project team to check the overall status of RFI's, Submittals, PCs, etc.  Dashboard is where everyone can see if the RFIs, submittals, etc are being resolved in a timely manner.

As we all know, delays in responding to RFIs, approving submittals and timely resolution of change orders, increase the owner's risk to project delays and claims.  An accumulation of RFIs that are late in being responded to is a clear indicator of a potential risk for a project delay claims and additional cost. 

The OPMIS is a great tool for the Owner to clearly know the status of all the construction projects and better manage the potential risks of delay and claims. As we all know, "you cannot manage what you do not know." OPMIS clearly reports the status of all the project issues and allows the Owner's project managers to be more efficient and effective in managing construction projects by easily providing access to all the project data and documents.

Examples of other dashboards that we have recently created can be found in the following link. 

P.S.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.