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Topics: Construction, Consulting, PMO
What are effective key performance indicators for monitoring Engineering services on construction projects?
Network:486



A client is proposing to use Hrs/Submittal and Hrs /Request For Information (RFIs) to monitor Engineer performance on a construction program of projects. The program contains numerous construction contracts managed by CM consultants. As requested by CM, the Engineer responds to contractor submittals and RFIs.

Despite variables that can not be controlled by the CM or Engineer, the client insists on managing to fixed KPIs for reviewing Submittals and responding to RFIs. Consequently, the administrative cost to provide explanations on variances across nearly 40 construction contracts ranging in value from $30M to $700M is an administrative burden with no apparent benefit. Any suggestions?

Engineer previously explained to the client the variables that make the KPI inappropriate:

· Client’s General Conditions and CM’s Division 1 specifications for contractor Submittals and RFIs lacks the prescriptive requirements to assure all contractors provide uniform format and content for measuring KPI across contracts.

· Submittal metric is a function of the CM practices for managing the contract work, and the contractor’s submittal register, submittal packaging, the size and complexity of the documents and the review process determined by Engineer regarding technical, quality and safety requirements in contracts and governing standards, code and regulatory agencies.

· RFI metric is a function of the CM practices for managing the contract work, and the contractor’s content, the contract requirements and the request for answer(s) or services, the amount of documents involved, and the deliverables required to complete a response.

Submittal and RFI - KPI’s may be more useful to construction contractors managing expenses against standard metric based on prior projects that are similar in scope and magnitude, and where internal processes are often repeated more uniformly.
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Good Points Henry.
Network:82955



It looks like you have all the variables identified for your submissions and RFIs. Build your KPIs from those variables.
Network:486



Thank you Rami and Stephane for your comments.
Network:34

Very good points Henry.

It really is not feasible to define the hours by submissions and RFI due to the variability that can be had depending on the type and size of the project and the degree of definition of it.
Network:486



Thank you Miguel.
Network:486



While the client has not relaxed the "hrs per" metric, he is now looking to monitor days for review of submittals and for responses to RFIs. While this may be a more manageable metric the variables remain.

The client's standard contract commits to return review comments to the contractor in 30 calendar days from receipt and to return RFI responses within 10 calendar days from receipt. The contract also requires the contractor to submit and maintain a Submittals Register. However, the client is usually unable to have the contractor to comply.

At the same time, the CM independent of client's purview, prioritizes the order of work and due dates by the Engineer As a result, there is high potential for the Engineer to exceed the calendar days. Any suggestions?
Network:34

From my particulate point of view, there are two important issues to consider before to start construction: the first one is the application of the PDRI; and, the second, the Application of the Construction Mobilization Readiness Review. These two issues have several items that need to be well defined so that the Submittals and RFI can be reviewed and answered in the shortest possible time and can comply with the times established in the contract.
Network:13



All-
Great Topic!
While we all understand the complexity involved in this type of Performance Data for Engineering responses, let me offer one insight.
Representing the Owner, and on the receiving end of the RFI and Submittal stream, I found it absolutely necessary to gauge the performance of my team of SME's based upon their Time and Quality of the Replies. I signed every document (as the Owner, Contract Interpreter, and Design Professional) and that allowed me to Track the efficacy of my Team.
In short, we did keep track of the Accuracy and Timeliness of our responses. Since I was the Effective Gatekeeper, (and knowing I would not rubber stamp any return correspondence to the Contractor) my team became very proficient. They never responded with "see the Plan or Contract page A1" and their response times were recorded in Days or Hours if we had a procurement Emergency.......I think a responsible Engineer should welcome his grades on his KPI's!

My opinion!

M
...
1 reply by Henry Hattenrath
Dec 17, 2017 7:22 PM
Henry Hattenrath
...
Yes. I agree the Engineer should be measured for KPIs against a reviewed Submittal Register or RFI Log. The primary concern is the Engineer receiving the contractor's Submittal Register from the CM with the opportunity to comment on the scope, content, sequencing, and timing of the submittals, and receiving the contractor's RFI Log. The client's (Owner's) CM controls the stream of documents from the contractor and the work flow to the Engineer. How do we get the Owner/CM to be as accountable as you described?
Network:486



Dec 17, 2017 5:52 AM
Replying to MARK A ANNUNZIATA, Sr
...
All-
Great Topic!
While we all understand the complexity involved in this type of Performance Data for Engineering responses, let me offer one insight.
Representing the Owner, and on the receiving end of the RFI and Submittal stream, I found it absolutely necessary to gauge the performance of my team of SME's based upon their Time and Quality of the Replies. I signed every document (as the Owner, Contract Interpreter, and Design Professional) and that allowed me to Track the efficacy of my Team.
In short, we did keep track of the Accuracy and Timeliness of our responses. Since I was the Effective Gatekeeper, (and knowing I would not rubber stamp any return correspondence to the Contractor) my team became very proficient. They never responded with "see the Plan or Contract page A1" and their response times were recorded in Days or Hours if we had a procurement Emergency.......I think a responsible Engineer should welcome his grades on his KPI's!

My opinion!

M
Yes. I agree the Engineer should be measured for KPIs against a reviewed Submittal Register or RFI Log. The primary concern is the Engineer receiving the contractor's Submittal Register from the CM with the opportunity to comment on the scope, content, sequencing, and timing of the submittals, and receiving the contractor's RFI Log. The client's (Owner's) CM controls the stream of documents from the contractor and the work flow to the Engineer. How do we get the Owner/CM to be as accountable as you described?
Network:13



HH-
In my opinion, a successful Contractor cannot be obligated to more than one Owner. This would be like signing a Construction Contract that obligates the Contractor to pull permits from 5 different agencies- a recipe for disaster and delay.
From the Contractor perspective, I would submit directly to one location- in your case the Engineer since he is acting as the de facto Owner by agreeing to respond to all the Docs. (in my case my title was "Authorized Representative")
The "Clock" needs to start ticking the moment the designated Engineer receives the Technical Query, Request for Information, or Submittal directly from the Contractor. In my opinion, the Owner cannot act as the middleman. My team usually communicates electronically simultaneously with the Owner, and we present our Logs during our weekly progress Meeting with the Stakeholders to the Owner and Engineer to discourage "lost" documents.
As the Contractor Rep., I utilize the Owner to "encourage" the Engineer to produce- but this rarely happens for obvious reasons.
In my opinion: 1) direct submittal to the Authorized Rep, 2) sharing logs weekly are the best options to obtain accurate and timely KPI's.

M
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