How do You Handle Project Management Documents?

How do You Handle Project Management Documents?

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Thursday, 04 May 2017 03:18

Large projects tend to be quite complex.
Project Management Documents can help us to keep the project under control and to keep project information in order... but what helps us to keep the documents in order?

Best practices tell us that certain documents are important and should be kept at hand.
These documents generally are:

  1. Project Charter: where all main objective, goals, roles and responsibilities are set;

  2. Project management plan: the formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control; 

  3. Project scope plan: the document that provides guidance to stakeholders on how project scope will be managed and controlled throughout the life of the project;

  4. Project schedule plan: the actual project implementation schedule (Masterplan);

  5. Project team plan: the document where it is defined which resources shall be used and how (who does what);

  6. Project work plan: the daily plan for execution of the works (Workplan);

  7. Quality assurance plan: the document that defines how Quality shall be obtained and assessed;

  8. Project risks plan: the document that reports project risks and their possible solutions.


However, I would argue that these "Project Management Documents" are easy to handle...


Forget best Practices.

The devil is in the details.
All the Project Management Documents mentioned above are brick-like folders marked "important" or large files on a hard drive. In any case, they generally have a well-defined place where to be and it is no question where they have been placed and where you can find them when you need them.

The problem with finding and handling documents arises when the number of "minor" papers starts to increase. This happens naturally during the implementation of the Project. The longer the project, the bigger amount of paper you're going to have to deal with.
Every activity produces documents. Everyone on the Project produces documents.
Documents are a byproduct of the daily activities on the Project.

Think for example of the documents generated by your colleagues and your Clients... and of all the emails, all the reports, all the photos coming from the construction site, all the bills, all the deliverables, all the outputs, all the memos and notes of meetings, all the instruction to subcontractors, designers, suppliers, ...

It is an endless stream of documents, most of which (thank God) come in digital form.

So, besides what the best practices tell us, there is a bunch of documents that you have to handle for which you have no instruction and no clear place where to place them.

How do you deal with that?


You need a system.

I'm sure you have been in the situation when you are looking for some information and that particular page is nowhere to be found.
Our minds remember facts and information very well... the problem is that we remember the "what" and we don't remember the "where" and so, as a number of information increases, it becomes nearly impossible to handle it without a good system to help up.

A good Company establishes procedures for handling project documents (we discussed that in the article "5 Secrets to Manage Project Documents like a Pro") and demands that a quick audit is carried out at the end of each project and the system is improved according to the results of the audit.
If you are a good Project Manager working in a good Company, you are adopting this system as well.

In my experience however, although many Companies say they use these procedures, they do not actually implement any of them and documents are spread all around the office and in the many folders on various hard drives.
This is a very bad way to carry on a project because it generates confusion and a huge waste of time.


A simple solution.

Here at Leansite we think that handling documents should be easy. There should be a place for each document. It should be a place easy to remember so that when you need the document you don't have to go crazy looking for it.

We thought the easiest way to remember where a document is, is to have it linked to the activity that generated the document itself… and so we build our system on this logic.
In Leansite it is possible to attach documents of any kind to activities and discussion boards so that you will always find them when you review the timeline of the Project.
Moreover, the documents are filed all together in a separate place so you can quickly access them and go through them when you are looking for something in particular.
It is very easy to cut on the paperwork using a construction management system like Leansite and at the same time, it is easy to have everything in order.

Handling project management documents properly will save you a huge amount of time and it will improve the quality of your work avoiding mistakes.
When you handle documents like this, everything will flow much easier and your clean work efficient work will be appreciated by the stakeholders.
Investing in cleaning up your desk and your Project Management style might end up giving results far beyond your expectations... and, before you know it, your reputation for getting things done will grow to the point that you need no introduction.


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Published in Discussions and Files/

Read 492 times Last modified on Thursday, 04 May 2017 12:42

Andrea Bronzini

Brilliant and committed professional.
Andrea has been working in construction industry since 2004 and he was certified as Passivhaus Consultant in 2010.
Among other skills, Andrea specialises in Sales and Marketing and collaborates with Leansite in quality of Marketing Consultant.