Failures in Construction Due to Ineffective Project Management Information Systems


Essam Mohamed Lotffy, PMP, CCP

MEP-Construction Manager, Trojan Holding

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Frank R. Parth, MS, MSSM, MBA, PMP

CEO Project Auditors

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA


“Companies risk $135 million for every $1 billion spent on a project, and new research indicates that $75 million of that $135 million (56 percent) is put at risk by ineffective communications, indicating a critical need for organizations to address communications deficiencies at the enterprise level.”

The flow of information in projects can be a significant driver to project success, or to project failure. As in all projects, there are different layers of communications and each requires its own approach, skills, and tools. Communicating work directions to the construction crews is simply telling them what to do, when to do it, and identifying other parallel work that may impact their own. The construction trades are generally skilled enough they can determine for themselves how to do the job.

Communicating information to the owners or financers requires a completely different approach. Their interests are in the overall project status, completion forecasts, and risks. Project managers in all fields and perhaps more so in construction, are neither trained in effective communications nor do they have the time to identify the detailed information needs of all stakeholders and create custom formats for each one. So how do they approach communications? They use the default reports built into Primavera, Prism, Aurora, or whatever the scheduling tool is.

Rather than spend precious time customizing the reports, project managers operate on the philosophy that if some information is good, more is better. More dials, more color, more data on the screen to the point where there is so much clutter on the dashboard that it is impossible to tell quickly the status of the project.

Performing organizations should have, but virtually never do have, a pre-defined format for exactly what data is presented and how it is shown. This lack of standards allows the project manager to selectively report the project in the best light, glossing over schedule slippages, cost overruns, and increasing risks. If the project is high priority or appears to be running into problems the situation is made worse by upper management asking for more and more reports and more frequent updates without adding the resources needed to implement the change reporting requirements.


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About the Author

???????????????????????????????Essam Lotffyflag-uae

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Essam Lottfy, PMP, CCP is a Construction Manager-MEP at Trojan general contracting in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He received his BSc. degree in Electrical Engineering (Major) and Power Distribution (Minor) through Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt since 2001. Pursued and achieved his certificates in Project Management (PMP®) from PMI-USA since 2013, and certificate in Cost Management (CCP®) from AACE International since june-2014. He does claim 13 years extensive hands on experience in various aspects of projects and project management within maintenance, power distribution networks monitoring and supervision and construction projects as well. During his employment tenure with his past employers Suez Canal Electrical Distribution Company, United Engineering & Trading Company – ENTRACO, and TROJAN General Contracting, he successfully managed various projects, in addition enhancing the process capabilities and organization performance as well. Essam Lotffy is actively pursuing potential opportunities in the project management field, where a room of growth and opportunities for advancement exists. Based in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Lotffy can be contacted at [email protected]

To view other works by Mr. Lottfy, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/essam-lotffy/ 


pmwj28-Nov2014-Lotffy-Parth-PARTHFrank R. Parthflag-usa

Rancho Santa Margarita

California, USA

Frank Parth, MS, MSSM, MBA, PMP is the President of Project Auditors LLC, a past member of PMI’s Board of Directors, and is currently on the core management team for PMI’s PMBOK Guide version 6. Mr. Parth brings 35 years’ experience in project and program management to his teaching and consulting work.

He had a first career designing satellite systems for the US government and in 1993 he set up a consultancy and began consulting in program management and systems engineering. He has created PMOs for several Fortune 1000 companies and for companies internationally. He consults to clients in multiple industry sectors, including telecom, construction, high tech, chemical processing, utilities, government, healthcare, mining, financial services, and aerospace. He is currently supporting Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation in improving their project management processes and in developing a PMO.

Mr. Parth teaches project management courses throughout the world and has taught over 4000 students worldwide in preparing for the PMP certification exam. He is a guest lecturer at USC’s Marshall School of Business, the University of California, Irvine, and at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the UAE, is an accomplished international speaker, and does pro bono teaching of project management in Vietnam.

He has co-authored or contributed to multiple books on project management and has published numerous papers in project management and systems engineering. He is actively involved with PMI, serving on local and national committees and was PMI’s Project Manager for the Standard for Program Management, 2nd edition published in 2008. Based in California, Mr. Parth can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Mr. Parth, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-parth/