Super MIDP (Master Information Delivery Plan)
Early identification, adoption and system development for the workflow management of deliverables is critical to overall success of a project.
Looking forward, the Super Master Information Delivery Plan (MIDP) should be one of the key data sets sitting under the remit of the Project Information Manager (PIM) who will be able to combine the insight it provides with other data sources to provide pinpointed issues that can be addressed by the Project Manager.
The Project Manager will have confidence that all identified deliverables are tracked and assurance will be provided as trend analysis can identify overarching issues with document creation review and acceptance. The ability to pinpoint particular issues within specific work packages is also provided.
The learning legacy is that management of deliverables through a project’s lifecycle needs to be fully visible at all times so the Project Manager can determine progress against the project plan and intervene where progress is not in line with the plan.
Background and industry context
Over the course of the last 25 years, the ability and requirement to clearly assure and demonstrate that the requirements and objectives of a programme of works are achieved has become ever more essential. The mapping and decomposition of these requirements against appropriate checks and balances is being done in an ever more accurate way.
The application of systems engineering has become commonplace, and with that there is an associated requirement to produce, check and accept evidence that demonstrates that the overall objective is being met within the parameters set. These parameters relate to quality, safety, cost and programme, with carbon, wellbeing and environmental considerations coupled with broader socio-economic legacy issues coming to the fore. These are subject to particular scrutiny on government, and ultimately taxpayer, funded programmes of work.
As a consequence, a programme’s deliverables have become numerous, complex in dependencies and subject to detailed review procedures. Oversight of a programme’s deliverables flow is a cornerstone to successful project management. At any time, a programme can have thousands of documents at various stages of workflow lifecycle and having actionable insight into issues with this flow is fundamental to good management.
Costain-Skanska joint venture (CSjv) are delivering Enabling Works Contract (EWC) on the southern section of High Speed Two (HS2) phase one which includes demolition of buildings within the wider Euston area, utility diversions, environmental and ecological monitoring and a programme of historic environment and archaeological activities.
The objective was to deliver a plan to the client in the form of a deliverable list to show how the scope was going to be completed and to provide CSjv with clear deliverable reporting and insight capability.
The tools at hand at the time of the iteration of the first MIDPs were WORD, EXCEL, POWER BI, and big data tools such as Feature Manipulation Engine (FME). Ultimately Excel was selected as it was considered to fit the purpose of manipulating the deliverable list and also aided constant updating.
An approach of assumed understanding of process could not be used, because users would need training and guidance to successfully deliver outcomes.
To use Excel, it was necessary to come up with ways of producing an organised and presentable list in a quick and easy fashion. Using and fashioning VBA Macros in Excel worked well with this task. There was a requirement to develop methods of checking the deliverable lists and make sure that the teams found it easy to understand.
Overall View and Control
The programme was then at a stage where the various Work Packages were using Excel and had an established format for the MIDP. This worked at a package level, however not at a programme level. The next steps were being able to present the latest project-wide list for viewing not only by the client but also the various teams within CSjv in a standard format, aiding understanding and insight across all our workfronts.
The decision was to collate all the MIDPs into one overarching Excel database, the original Super MIDP. VBA Macros were again very useful for this purpose, but the difficulty involved attaining the latest version of a Work Packages MIDP list. With 60+ WPs running at the time, collating the list was also a significant effort.
A New Tool
The use of SharePoint with its listing and accessibility was later proposed as a way to replace the Super Excel MIDP to enable central control and reporting for the project.
SharePoint created a Common Data Environment for deliverables for the project. This made access, updating, viewing and interrogating the latest overarching deliverables listing accessible and quick. Moreover, each Work Package retained responsibility for their own list on the SharePoint site. Through the creation of algorithms which enabled data content from various document platforms such as eB and Aconex to be uploaded to SharePoint to provide real time status and metadata read out against deliverables.
The SharePoint list was a new approach for the project, and so training and support was implemented over a period of eight months. The importance of engagement, training and providing support cannot be understated.
Outcomes and learning
Not all team members wanted to use the Super MIDP because they had established a method of local submission that was successful. However, this was only successful at a local level. To ensure that the whole project applied the Super SharePoint MIDP, only Work Package MIDPs extracted from the Super MIDP were eligible for submission to the client., This position was supported by the use of a MIDP Manager to assist and support work package teams.The success of the approach can be measured from a qualitative perspective as at any point in time the status of the deliverables are known and the general health of the overall project measured as proportions of documentation passing through workflow in planned timescales can be ascertained, without this then the Project Manager does not have overall visibility without checking the status of up to 60 individual MIDPs.
The Super MIDP provides two significant benefits over local data tracking:
- It enables the overall performance of the project deliverables to be understood.
- By analysis, it can be used to identify where issues exist. This analysis data can be used to determine a course of intervention to rectify the issue, which can be delivered at project or package level.
- Have a single overall method of tracking deliverables across all of a projects work packages (Super MIDP)
- Educate people in the use of the Super MIDP, both in person and via training materials.
- Support people in the use of the Super MIDP and have someone who is full-time control who can be the go-to MIDP lead.
To enable CSjv to have oversight of the progress of deliverables across the 60+ EWC Work Packages, a central database called the Super MIDP (Master Information Delivery Plan) was developed which collated information from each of the individual work package MIDPs . The Super MIDP is SharePoint list based and captures all deliverables that CSjv are to produce and categorises them by package and lifecycle. At any point in time, the system can be interrogated to identify where any documents are in flow and reports run to identify issues. This also enables cross-programme reporting of the overall progress of deliverables to support completion.
A programme of works that does not have an in-depth understanding of the progress of deliverables will incur avoidable delay and cost due to being unable to pass through assurance gates or provide demonstrably assured data for follow on activities.
The Super MIDP provides:
- Oversight of a programme’s deliverables through their life cycle.
- Actionable insight to enable appropriate and effective intervention.
- Confidence to the Contractor and Employer that key dates can be achieved.
- Mark Ridley – Head of Engineering CSjv
- Andre Stockbridge – Ex Head of Engineering CSjv
- Ollie Oyenuga – MIDP Manager CSjv
- Richard Collins – Microsoft Office/365 Integration Specialist CSjv
- Lloyd Collins – Sharepoint Engineer CSjv
- David Phillips – Sharepoint Developer