Tracking engineering documents in capital projects

In my last blog in this series on Engineering Document Management for capital projects I discussed the importance of a project workspace in achieving project success.  In this blog I am going to discuss the importance of tracking the delivery and approval of documents in work packages according to the schedule of the project work breakdown structure.

Engineering capital project deliverables are planned based on a work break -down structure which consists of planning elements such as work packages and tasks. Each of these planning elements carry planning dates to determine when the package responsible engineer should have completed the work by. Many work packages consist of documents which inherit their planned dates from the work package.  Some project managers may even plan document delivery and approval dates on a document level.

Engineering Document Management Systems must be able to track the actual document delivery, review and approval dates against the planned dates of the work package or the individual document.

When the project kicks off, all document deliverables get assigned planned dates derived from the project schedule for:

  1. Start
  2. Draft
  3. Contractor first delivery
  4. In review
  5. In approval
  6. Approved

The actual delivery state of all work package documents at a certain point in time can be easily reviewed as below.

Status tracking of document delivery by document state

The progress of documents in a project can be derived from the number of documents in different states at any given point in time. The example below shows that in September 2021 5% of the documents were in an approved state which means this work package is 5% complete.

Progress tracking of document delivery by document state

To understand if 5% completion was within the planned timelines for September 2021 it needs to be compared with the planned state at that time. This can tell us how many documents were expected to be in an approved state at that time.

The following image shows that in fact it was planned to have 20% of documents in approved state on September 2021 but only 5% have reached that state. In other words, this project is behind schedule from a document delivery perspective.

Adherence to schedule – s-curve report

In addition to planning the approved date of documents I recommend that at least the supplier delivery date should be planned for as well. This helps to better identify the root cause of the delay. If the contractor gets behind schedule with their document delivery you can get an indication of potential project delays in advance.

I have explained above how Engineering Document Management Systems control the delivery, review and project approval as well as generating actual dates whenever a document is processed to the next state. By utilizing progress reports it is possible to see if the project is on schedule and if not, who has overdue tasks. This is key to ensuring a timely and successful project.

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OpenText Professional Services have years of experience in Engineering Document Management in Capital Projects, please contact us if you would like to speak to an expert with regards to your project.

Author: Jens Friehmelt – Jens is a Senior Manager in OpenText Professional Services leading an international team which combines multiple OpenText technologies to serve customers with best practice solutions for Engineering, Construction and Maintenance processes.

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