Abstract: Many companies could be increasing their margins by 5, 10, 15% or even more, but are blind to the fact that the potential to achieve those results lies in the untapped human capital of their current employees. Forward-thinking practices in team engagement including the use of incentives lead to high-performance projects. Exceptional performance is caused by intentional leadership actions that support team member participation and collaborative relationships. A totally engaged operation will involve everyone’s participation in the organization, from top management to every worker. Easy to understand tracking metrics are communicated to all team members. There is financial evidence that if a collaborative team becomes focused on common goals, extraordinary results can be achieved. Incentives that share gains in margin with the members can be very effective in a team environment. An analysis of two groups of capital projects, completing over a period of about 10 years, found that the group using team incentives significantly outperformed the non-incentive group.
Abstract: The effective and efficient education of construction project control engineers requires the integration of industry practice with academic theory. In 2008 AACE corporate sponsor Parsons Corporation and the Construction Engineering and Management Program in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University partnered to develop a graduate level Engineering Project Control course. The course uses an actual Parsons project as the basis for repeatedly bridging from construction project control theory to practice. Case studies repeatedly place student teams in realistic project control practice circumstances in which they apply a variety of project control tools and methods to the Parsons project. Post-case discussions transfer learning across teams and link practice and theory. The critical roles of deep understanding of an actual project, streamlined project information, and creating safe places for experimentation for learning have been revealed over four years of teaching the course. Future work can use other actual projects, develop computer based tools to accelerate project control learning, and develop similar approaches for practicing project controllers.
Abstract: As a capital project progresses through its lifecycle, different skills are required for adequate control and oversight. Much of the required expertise is provided by the cost engineering, quantity surveying, and project management community.
This paper explores intersection and divergence in the competencies of cost engineers, quantity surveyors and project managers. Having defined the competencies, the paper discusses global barriers to professional recognition, and touches briefly on differences between test-based and experience-focused paths to qualification.
Understanding the role of the CE, QS and PM on projects can assist professional associations in serving their members, students in choosing a career path, and organizations in marketing their services. The skills matrix resulting from this analysis can also be used to identify competency gaps on the project team. Further, the discussion on paths to qualification will draw attention to needed curriculum at the university level, and opportunities for cross-training, thus ultimately maximizing career opportunities for this skilled community.
Abstract: This paper represents the work completed over the past 6 months to develop a competency based assessment instrument against which to assess professional cost estimators. The need for building competency derives from the growing problems producing valid, credible and reliable cost estimates. In this paper, the author explores other global competency based assessment models and using those as a template, and mapping published work by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) and credible academic research on measuring output competency, he has produced a partially complete competency assessment. The paper concludes by seeking other interested professionals to join in this open source effort and makes several recommendations as to what individuals and those professional associations, who purport to represent us, can to do to further raise the professional standing of cost estimating as an honorable and respected career path objective. Specifically, this paper is calling on organizations such as AACE to modify their Codes of Professional Conduct to enable professionals to “push back” when clients or management want us to produce cost estimates we know are faulty or unsubstantiated.
Abstract: Project controls is more than applying the technical skills and knowledge to perform our roles and responsibilities successfully. Without effective communications to the project team, these project controls skills and knowledge are lost efforts. Our profession requires frequent exchanges of written information. Effectively written communication will result in a positive influence for the project. This presentation will provide the essential elements of information required for effective memos and emails.
Technological advances provide us with a variety of portable communication tools, where instant communication is the norm and the real time capability to circumnavigate our world is becoming more practical and economic every day. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the various other “social medium” have provided shorthand symbols & abbreviations to facilitate these written exchanges. We must become proficient in applying these communication tools effectively and efficiently in order to maximize our professional value.