The claims scan

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Since May 2018 Witteveen+Bos has been carrying out claims scans for Rijkswaterstaat (RWS, the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management). The claims scan is a risk session with the key players of an RWS project team aimed at preventing undesired additional payments after a tender.

This process involves the smart use of a group decision support system (GDSS). This is a digital system in which project team members can respond directly to each other individually or to the group as a whole. The claims scan complements regular risk sessions. The idea is that this system will help prevent errors and problems that have led to avoidable costs in other RWS projects. For projects with a budget of over 20 million euros, the claims scan must be performed in a phase prior to the KAd95 test and therefore not long before the contract is realised.

The trick is to organise the session in such a way that it does not feel like an obligation for the team, but offers clear added value. Thanks to the GDSS, the teams focus on the risks where there is no clear picture of the (degree of) control. Sharing their thoughts on risk perceptions and the subsequent discussions means that those involved can re-focus on the common project priorities. Based on research, RWS has concluded that the claims scan has a positive impact on projects.

The GDSS, which is now available to W+B, makes it possible not only to perform claims scans, but also to use other new methods for group sessions. Teams can also use the tool for inventory tasks or structuring bulk data. One example is during a tender where the team needs to process a lot of data in a short period of time into new information (questions, tasks, criteria, assumptions, decisions, risks and areas in which the team can set itself apart), which then must be stored on the organisation’s own systems in a structured and accessible manner. If the application is set up and prepared well, it provides benefits such as speed, a clear overview of the work activities (everything is recorded immediately during the session) and support, because everyone can make an active contribution.