Project Management Protocols


The purpose of this document is to outline the uniform manner in which the members of the Department of Facilities Services will successfully undertake projects from initiation through completion. In this period of labor shortages, increasing costs, and relatively shrinking funds, it is imperative that we each accomplish our projects in the most cost effective manner for WPI, and in a manner that is not unique to the individual, but rather common to the Department.

Project Requests

Projects will originate either from the backlog of projects listed in the Facilities Services 5-Year Replacement and Renewal Plan, or from the campus community at large. Projects from the campus at large will be submitted to Facilities Services on a Project Request Form (copy attached). Due to the necessity to firm up projects for budget inclusion no later than February 15 of any given year, it is important to make this process mirror the regular budget preparation cycle in timing. To meet this schedule, Project Requests need to be submitted by Department Heads to Facilities Services no later than October 19. Projects submitted after that date will not be considered. Facilities Services will then collate the requests and forward them to the appropriate Vice Presidents, who will be responsible for only moving along for estimation those projects of a significant enough priority to merit actual consideration by the President's Cabinet, and ultimately the Board of Trustees. These Requests will need to be received by Facilities Services by November 2.

Facilities Services and Residential Services will simultaneously be responsible for putting forward from the 5 Year Replacement and Renewal Plan those repair and replacement projects that are considered of the highest importance for inclusion within the upcoming budget.

Project Request Completion

The assigned project manager will complete a Project Estimate Form for each project. Every effort will be made to solicit as much information or specifications from the requestor as possible, and the manager will articulate the scope of work to the best of his/her ability in the space given, with backup information included as necessary. As many times the projects are proposed with varying clarity, this scope summary will be important as it will represent the understanding of the Project at that point. The Project Estimate Form has specific lines, and all should be completed with consultation as necessary with other campus service organizations that may be involved.

Given the short window of time to complete a budget, it will be the goal of Facilities Services to return all estimates to the appropriate Vice President no later than December 14. It will then be the responsibility of the Vice President to select those projects that he/she deems appropriate for inclusion in the selection process, keeping in mind budget restrictions, academic goals, and other general campus needs.

Project Selection Process

The Vice Presidents shall then forward their recommended projects to Facilities Services in early January. That department will combine them with the recommended repair and renewal projects, and will convene the Space Committee. That Committee, meeting during January will reduce the requests to the final listing in accordance with budget guidelines. The final recommended list will be forwarded to the President who will bring it before his Cabinet for final discussions prior to inclusion in the next year's budget. This will occur in early February.

Project Management

When projects are approved in mid-to-late February, active project implementation will begin. Due to the restrictions of time, and personnel, it is proposed that projects be managed in the following manner to both enable timely completion of projects, but also to insure that the final project meets the customer needs with the least impact to financial resources.

Projects Less that $10,000

These projects may be awarded on the basis of a single source to be derived from the current Facilities Services listing of approved Contractors. These projects may utilize the services of outside design or engineering, but will be contracted for directly by the appropriate project manager.

Projects Between $10,000 and $50,000

As with the projects above, these too will be managed exclusively by the appropriate project manager, but in the event that any project component exceeds the above guideline of $10,000, that component will require at least two (2) qualified bids from the approved list. Again, as with the above projects, engineering and design may and should be consulted as necessary to insure the highest quality.

Projects Over $50,000

These projects may be undertaken by the Project Manager directly, or may if complexity dictates be undertaken by either a Construction Management or Design Build Contracting firm. Again, all the guidelines for subcontract bidding listed above apply. The contractors will be allowed to apply costs for general conditions, overhead and profit, as well as a contingency in the case of Guaranteed Maximum Price Bids. The amount of Overhead and Profit will be adjusted annually, and shall vary depending on the project cost, but shall be uniform for all contractors.

Projects Over $250,000

All projects over this limit will be awarded on the basis of negotiation or lump sum bidding with a minimum of two contractors. This will of necessity extend the project completion time, but this will have to be understood by the campus community and Administration as a byproduct of a patient and thoughtful implementation process.

Project Administration

No project shall go forward until a purchase order or signed contract has been approved by the appropriate administrative officer(s). After project approval, the manager shall assure himself/herself, that the Facilities Services Project Checklist has been reviewed appropriately, and the project shall commence.

The manager shall be responsible for all project management, either directly or in concert with other professional sources that have been involved in the design of the project. It is the obvious goal that the project shall be completed in a timely manner consistent with operational needs, and within the budget limitations. Facilities Services Department Project Meetings will be held at least every two weeks (more often if needed), during the major part of the construction season to insure coordination between projects and among staff.

On completion the manager will be responsible for project close out and commissioning, and shall ensure that all appropriate operating manuals, plans, specifications, or other critical documents be filed in Facilities Services and distributed as appropriate.

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