Project Managers can deliver project results that meet stakeholder requirements by following these seven steps.
1. Identify your stakeholders
Stakeholders include the people, groups, or organizations that could impact or be impacted by the project. For a typical construction project, this would include:
The project owner and/or developer with which a contract agreement is executed.
The landowners who negotiate access agreements with the project owner and/or developer
The authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over regulations, standards, and codes. This will range from inspectors who will verify compliance with electric codes and standards to environmental regulators who will verify compliance with permits.
The construction business, including the private or public (stockholder) owners of the business
The construction workers, including anyone working on the project from the laborers to the project manager
The subcontractors and vendors who provide services and supplies for the project
The community, including neighbors; community leaders at the local, regional, and state level; interest groups, and the media
2. Clarify stakeholder requirements
Stakeholder requirements will be captured in a number of documents and references. Review the contract agreement between the owner and the construction business and ask questions to understand the intent behind the negotiated terms and conditions. Be sure to identify owner project success criteria.
Read the landholder access agreements to identify landholder concerns. Take the time to meet with landholders to discuss project activities and schedule and to listen to their concerns.
Study the engineering designs and specifications to identify applicable standards and codes. Meet with the engineering team to understand value added design strategies. Retrieve and review standards and codes to confirm applicable requirements. Review environmental and building permits to understand the applicable regulations and compliance activities.
List business project success criteria, including expected safety, financial, and risk management goals. Gather information on employee development objectives that can be incorporated into planning for work assignments. Discuss company communications and community engagement objectives with responsible parties.
3. Prepare a project quality specification (PQS)
Organize stakeholder requirements into a requirements breakdown structure or project quality specification (PQS). The PQS is a project level document that provides sufficient detail to identify that a requirement exists, but does not attempt to capture every detailed requirement. For instance, the PQS may identify the need to comply with the National Electric Code (NEC) and identify the appropriate AHJ for the NEC, but would not include all of the detailed applicable requirements in the NEC.
4. Prepare a quality management plan
The quality management plan describes the quality management and quality control activities that will be performed on a project to meet the requirements outlined in the PQS, as well as identifying who is responsible for performing those activities. The quality management plan references appropriate company policies, procedures, standards, and tools for quality management and quality control. For instance, it is recommended that the quality management plan include a proactive defect tracking system.
5. Communicate quality
Educate construction workers about the PQS and Quality Management Plan prior to starting the project. Review these documents on a daily basis prior to work, to understand how the planned tasks for the day can be completed in accordance with the PQS. This will enable the construction workers to complete their tasks the first time in accordance with the PQS, and will reduce the time spent on repair, replacement, or rework
6. Identify, track, and address deviations from the PQS before they become customer punch list items.
Maintain a defect tracking sheet that:
describes the defect,
assigns a priority to the defect,
identifies the PQS requirement to which the defect relates,
specifies when (in which activity) the defect was created, and
indicates when (in what activity) the defect was found.
Collecting this information will enable the project team to manage and address the defect and the company to improve quality procedures, standards, and tools.
Address defects in a timely manner to minimize the impacts to the project schedule and budget and to avoid triggering other defects.
7. Request regular feedback from stakeholders
Inform stakeholders on progress versus the PQS. Share both good news and bad news. Solicit stakeholder feedback on their perceptions and concerns. Communicate how the project team intends to address the concerns.
Following these seven steps throughout the project will enable the project team to deliver project results that meet stakeholder requirements.