The following abstracts have been submitted for consideration for the 2014 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. The final program will consist of approximately 100 tracks.
(DEV-1488) Behavioral Profiling of "Successful" Project Managers
Primary Author: Dr Paul D Giammalvo CCP PTMC/APMX
Abstract: This is an on-going research project to validate previously published research trying to identify the behavioural attributes (behavioural profiling) of project managers who have proven to be consistently "successful".
The initial hypothesis was that there are some people who are just "naturally" good project managers and that if we could identify and isolate those behavioural attributes which were common to all of them, it might be possible for us to identify those individuals in our organizations who have a high probability of being "successful" in the role of project manager.
The top 7 attributes which were shown to be "reliable" in predicting who would be "successful" as a project manager are:
(DEV-1565) The Anatomy of a USACE Cost Engineering Contract
Primary Author: Mr Michael C Ray PE CCP PSP Legis Consultancy, Inc.
Co-author(s): Mr Patrick Steven Ray CCP Legis Consultancy Inc
Abstract: The paper addresses a topic of significant import to cost engineers in private practice. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the premier construction agency of the US Government, is arguably the largest single source of cost engineering consulting opportunities available to firms in the private sector. Therefore, it is important for those of us in private practice to know what cost engineering skills the USACE needs, what tools the USACE requires its consulting firms use, how the USACE procures these services, how a firm gets the opportunity to be considered for such a cost engineering contract, and finally, how to successfully execute the work to the satisfaction of the agency. The paper addresses both of the two major classifications of USACE projects: Civil Works (generally water related projects such as dams, locks, and flood control facilities) and Military Construction (ranges, dormitories, dining halls, headquarters buildings, maintenance facilities and the like found on military instalations).
(DEV-1628) A Recent College Graduates Experience in the Estimating Profession
Primary Author: Mr Jim William Cain III Technip
Abstract: With a forecasted career growth of 36 percent by 2020, it is important for the estimating profession to continually attract and retain current and recent college graduates. Training young professionals to perform capital project estimates is crucial to prepare for the upcoming wave of project work, particularly in the Gulf Coast region. This paper provides insight into beginning a career in estimating, both from the authors perspective and through interviews with other young professionals. Suggestions to grow and retain this developing pool of talent, based on the authors personal experience, are discussed in detail.
(DEV-1634) A Methodology to Finding Causality
Primary Author: Mr James D Whiteside II PE ConocoPhillips
Co-author(s): Dr Sang-Hoon Lee ConocoPhillips; Mr Matthew T Reiland ConocoPhillips
Abstract: Correlation does not prove causality. Many companies and individuals make significant decisions based on statistical correlation in an attempt to defend change to systems, investments, methodologies, staffing, performance evaluation, corrective action, etc. and to prove a point. Taking action based on “statistically significant” events is misleading and generally nor more than the inappropriate use of math and “science” to justify an opinion of a dominate player.
The methodology outlined in this paper is based on the time-tested approach to data analysis to prove causality. Outlined in this paper is a method for data filtering, the “Reiland Format” for the statistical format of the trend, creating an index using the hRLW methodology, explanation of multivariate regression (MR), how to set up MR, the use of MR to test for interdependencies and lessons learned in proving causality. The study demonstrates the use of multivariate regression models to test independent variables (IV) for causality.
(DEV-1693) How Effective are Your Project Communications?
Primary Author: Mr Joseph A. Lukas PE CCP PMCentersUSA
Abstract: Project personnel involved in total cost management spend considerable time working with project stakeholders and use extensive verbal communication as well as formal and informal written communication. Effective communication with project stakeholders is a vital element to help ensure project success. Unfortunately, successful communication often suffers in todays fast-paced work environment, and the bad connections are more than a mere inconvenience. Poor communications can impact morale, erode productivity and contribute to project failure.
This presentation will explain the project communications process with a focus on the problems in todays work environment. Attendees will learn best practices for effective project communications using a series of interactive exercises. The elements of activity listening will be covered, including how to train yourself in good listening habits. How to read body language including common myths and how to manage your own body language will be explained. Best practices for dealing with written communications will be covered along with the essential elements of a concise message. Attend this presentation and learn how to become a better communicator on your projects.
(DEV-1703) Successful Project Controls, successful project delivery: The importance of training and mentoring
Primary Author: Mr Louis Stephen Vidotto Vidotto Group
Abstract: Some of the difficulties experienced by projects during the current Mining and Oil and Gas resources boom can be directly attributed to the inexperience of project teams, in particular project controls. Vidotto Groups experience has found that this inexperience is contributing to projects overrunning time and cost targets and an increased failure to meet the expectations of the Owner.
These failures are a result of many personnel being put into increasingly senior positions, without the prerequisite experience required to successfully undertake that particular role. Project teams have forgotten, or were never taught, the fundamentals required to successfully deliver a study or project. Skills such as building a well-structured WBS and Code of Accounts, or even the importance of comprehensive quantitative progress measurements, are often missing even at the senior level of project teams.
To fundamentally overcome this issue, training, both formal sit-down sessions and in particular on the job mentoring, is required across all levels by experienced personnel. Vidotto group has experienced firsthand the impact of putting inexperienced personnel in senior and management roles, often setting them up for failure. Vidotto Group is particularly finding this to be evident in the project controls profession.
This paper explores the quantified benefits of training and mentoring on team performance, and how these benefits impact the project management function. Vidotto Group has found increases in both performance and teamwork within an organisation directly attributed to structured training and mentoring.
(DEV-1750) Communication is Critical for World Wide EPC Execution
Primary Author: Mr Keith R Didriksen Black & Veatch
Abstract: Worldwide project execution for the first floating LNG Liquefaction facility provides lessons in communication. Projects with multiple engineering centers (Antwerp, Kansas City, Beijing, Melbourne, Shanghai, Nantong and Bonn) provide many challenges that need effective interface management. There are vendors and fabricators from: North America, Europe, South America, Asia, and England with the barge fabricated and constructed in China. Final project delivery is in the Gulf of Mexico just offshore of Colombia. Communication is the critical element for effective EPC project execution in every case. With multiple parties contributing major parts of the scope of work in many time zones it becomes even more so.
(DEV-1760) Soft Skills are Vital for Good Project Controls
Primary Author: Mr Christopher W Carson CEP DRMP PSP ARCADIS U.S. Inc.
Co-author(s): Mr Patrick Curtis Kelly PSP Alpha Corporation
Abstract: The industry is full of recommendations for good technical Project Controls techniques, some written by the authors, but rarely does anyone address the need for exemplary soft skills in the Project Controls Role. Wikipedia defines soft skills as "the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people".
In order to be an effective member of the Project Management team, and it is necessary to be effective if the PM team is to listen to recommendations from Project Controls, it takes good soft skills. Whether its planning projects, capturing update information, addressing risks, discussing corrective actions, or providing claims avoidance support, if the PC expert is not also an expert in soft skills, the value is greatly reduced.
This paper provides some recommendations for those skills, personality testing such as the Meyers-Briggs Personality Profile, that are necessary to supplement the technical skills, and offers ways to both train and test for the necessary soft skills.