2.3 Document Management
Construction is an information intensive project where exchange of information takes place among different parties. It is important that these exchange of information is properly documented and stored. Therefore, document management should be carried out throughout the life cycle of project.
With the passage of time the process of construction has become more complex. Involvement of multiple parties has made document management an important part of construction projects. It is well known that conflicts and claims are unavoidable during the project life cycle due to the adversarial relations among the parties. In case of claims, proper documentation can play an important role.
2.3.1 Document Management as Non-Value Adding Activity
Often in construction process, managing of document and document control is unfortunately considered as non-value adding component (Kangari, June, 1995). Whereas when a claim arises a good management information-control system (MICS) is the need. The resolution of a claim can be conveniently done if the comprehensive and detailed record keeping is done and hence the party with proper management of document based information will have advantage in any dispute resolution.
2.3.2 Management Information-Control System (MICS)
The process of maintaining documents is argued by some contractors that their primary task is to construct, not to do documentation (Kangari, June, 1995). A management information-control system can be defined as consistently and orderly documenting project activity, communicating and maintaining information.
A typical MICS controls the following types of data
18.104.22.168 Raw Data
It consists of basic information that provides factual support for technical details, including test result records, building codes and surveys
22.214.171.124 Fundamental Documents
These includes contractual agreements, project manual and schedule, basically written material creating necessary standards for the project.
It is advised that the following four types of schedules should be maintained;
• As-planned or original schedule.
• As-built schedule.
• Modified as-built schedule, showing all delays.
• Adjusted schedule, in case of absent of owner delays
126.96.36.199 Transaction Documents
These documents includes change of orders, RFIs, field reports and minutes of meetings, mainly contains the documentation of exchanged information among the parties during the project.
188.8.131.52 Transaction Files
These are the log books in which exchanged information among the parties is reported. These consists of bid tabulation forms, request for information and shop drawing/submittals log.
184.108.40.206 Technical Product
Any technical and analytical effort made on the project documented for example quantity/cost estimates and value engineering studies.
2.3.3 Document Related Issues in Resolving Claims
According to survey carried out in seven different cities of United States, the arbitrators responded with most often encountered problems in claim resolving with respect to documentation (Kangari, June, 1995). Around 50% arbitrators found document put on review as too voluminous, unnecessary and unrelated. Whereas 35% indicated that documents were not well summarized. 20% arbitrators mentioned that documents were not well organized and indexed and 13% stated that the presentation of substantial evidence (documents) was a problem. While 13% mentioned their involvement in cases where the documentation provided as evidence was incomplete. The total of these percentages surpasses 100% because some arbitrators enumerated more than one problem.