Mr. R. Max Wideman
Voice & FAX: 604-736-7025
2216 West 21st Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6L 1J5
LS="2" > From:   "R. Max Wideman"

[Received via Internet]

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997

Mr. Rod Welch The Welch Company 440 Davis Court #1602 San Francisco, CA 94111 2496

Subject:   Management of project related information


Responding to your question...

Have you had a chance to contact the Corps of Engineers about the Communication >Metrics report, per our discusison on Aug 18?

I finally managed to connect with Tom Keesling and had an interesting chat with him.

I asked him three questions:

His reply was very illuminating. Tom is convinced that it WOULD have saved money if they had continued with the methodology, but apparently it was discontinued over the issue of accountability. Their claims started at around $3 to $4 million and are now up to $60 million. That's got to translate into real money sooner or later.

Apparently they dropped the system because certain people with the Port of Oakland did not like seeing what they said put on the record. Or they questioned the accuracy of the record and would not spend the time to correct it afterwards. (I suggested that people like to have "wriggle room".)

Tom felt that the system would be much better if started from the beginning (It would get built into the project culture, I suspect.) He thought it would be particularly useful earlier in the project to document design decisions - and the reasons therefore.

Tom felt that the method is vary labor intensive and requires a special expertise. (Otherwise it tends to alienate people.) It does make it much easier to "trace the thread" back through the lead up. On a large project, especially where the Dept., a sponsor, a contractor and the environmental people are all involved, it might take a team of two or three people to keep everything straight.

Tom would certainly like to try using it again - but doesn't think that he will be allowed to. He thinks that perhaps a more saleable name might help.




R. Max Wideman
Vancouver, Canada

What is a professional? Most of us can juggle two balls at a time. Some
of us can juggle three, but juggling four or more is for professionals. -
Anon 8/2