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Engineering News

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Streamlining documentation is essential to successful project management

Streamlining documentation is essential to successful project management

Project managers should adopt a more streamlined and flexible approach to their work processes, instead of just ticking off boxes and amassing needless documentation.

Veteran construction project manager Ian Peters says that project management is shifting towards more flexible methods and managing documentation to make the overall work process more efficient.

“The age of ticking boxes is almost at an end,” said Peters, who develops materials and provides training and assessment in project management and building and construction for Engineering Education Australia.

“Projects are defined by their uniqueness, where each strategy is unique in itself,” said Peters. “It’s up to the project manager to get out there and learn more in order to find the best tools and techniques for progressing different projects.”

One major area where project managers can easily increase their flexibility and agility is documentation management.

“While it’s great to have thorough documentation on projects, documenting heavy project management isn’t agile enough and doesn't move quickly enough to keep up with the flow of some projects,” said Peters.

You’ll find in most organisations that documentation is really limited - particularly to keep costs down and to move quickly through a project.

Peters points to the benefits of a more efficient use of documentation in the project management process.

“It makes you a better project a manager in terms of responding to things quickly and being flexible in your approach,” he said.

Increasing documentation efficiency involves improving the management and handling of documents such as RAID logs (Risk, Assumptions, Issues and Deliverables), traffic light reports and lessons learned registers.

“It’s about aligning documentation properly with stakeholders, sponsors, as well as contract requirements to make a project successful,” said Peters.

Ian Peters is a facilitator of Engineering Education Australia’s Diploma of Project Management course and the Certificate IV in Project Management. Ian has more than 25 years’ experience in the construction industry, where he has gained experience managing significant civil and landscape construction project portfolios in the ACT and QLD.