Web -Based Project Management System (WPMS) is an electronic project management system that is employed and implemented through Extranet for the management of the construction industrial activities. The Extranet is a private network that uses the Internet protocols for the transmission of information. This is an innovation as a result of the involvement of Information Technology in Construction Industry.
The involvement of many stakeholders and phases in the construction project have resulted in the fragmentation of the construction industry. The fragmentation of the industry has created documented problems which have resulted in the propagation of argumentative relationships between the parties to a project. The studies have shown that this fragmentation is the main reason behind the low productivity observed in construction.
Now, the problems related with fragmentation is somewhat reduce by the employment of Information Technology (IT) in construction industry. The use of IT helps in improving the coordination and the collaboration between the firms that are participating in the construction project. The benefits of the IT implementation in construction are
- Ø The quality of documents is increased
- Ø The work speed in increased
- Ø Better financial control is gained
- Ø Better communication
- Ø Common data is accesses easily and fastly
- Ø Errors due to documentation is reduced
The applications of IT industry in the architectural or engineering or the construction firms are increasing within the past few years. This indicates that the A/E/C firms have an increasing interest in the IT applications in order to facilitate the projects in construction.
Among the different IT technologies available Internet is the best technology that suits and supports the collaborative and dynamic nature of the construction industry. It is marked by Walker and Betts that the Internet and the WWB is the key to bring change in the global construction business in the future. This will affect the construction profession, collaboration and the construction business structure. The use of Internet as a medium for communication will facilitate easy transfer of information enabling new chances for distribution systems. This will help in providing a unique opportunity for the teamwork and the workflow automation.
The smart browsers and servers help to overcome the incompatibilities related with the data formats. The advantages of web technologies in the construction industries can be explained in three categories:
- 1. The support from most desirable information services
- 2. The communication between the project participants
- 3. Engineering computing
- 4. Management Computing
Web based project management system is a concept of web technology that is used to manage the construction projects. The WPMS system is accessed by the project team. But the members of the team might be located in different locations of the organisation. The WPMS help in the enhancement of construction project documentation and also too control in a way in which the construction project team carries out the business. The WPMS provides a centralised system which is accessible and reliable in the transmission and the storage of the information.
The server will be used in order to store the project Information. A web browser is used as a gateway in order to exchange this information. This will help in the elimination of the geographic and boundary hardware platform differences. The basic functional scheme of WPMS is explained in the figure-1.
Fig.1: Functional Scheme of Web-based Project Management System
There are four general categories of the construction project management system that is carried out with the help of WPMS. They are:
- Ø Project
- Ø Design
- Ø Management
- Ø Financial Information
The Project Information will include the details related to the project, the respective project participants, the project description, email directory of the project and a photo archive of the progress of the project.
The Design Information will include any information that is generated by the design of the team. This will include the CAD drawings, respective specification and details, the clarification and changes and the punch lists.
The Management Information will include the information from the project manager. This will include the meeting minutes, submittals and the shop drawings, as built drawings, change order status, the request for information (RFIs), contract status logs, the request for quotation (RFQs), daily logs and the project schedules.
The Financial Information is bought up by the accounting staffs who is responsible for the project. This will include the cash flow, requisition status, contract status reports and the general ledger.