Corps of Engineers, Bay Model Building
Construction Services Branch
2100 Bridgeway Avenue
Sausalito, California 94965

Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 12:32:09

CESPN-CSB (Tom White)

To: CESPN-CO (Tom Keesling)

Communication Metrics on the Internet

  1. References

    1. Keesling memo Nov 3, 1998

    2. Keesling memo Oct 20, 1998

    3. CESPN Report on Communication Metrics, March 28, 1997

    4. Welch letter to CESPN-CSB, Oct 13, 1998

  2. As requested in your letters on Nov 3 and Oct 20, ref a, b, I have reviewed the District's report, ref c, dated March 28, 1997 on Communication Metrics.

  3. The report is very well done. It accurately reflects my work, as Project Engineer, using Communication Metrics on the Oakland Harbor project.

  4. Communication Metrics on the Internet is pretty neat.

    I used links in your letter on Oct 20, to get the report from the Internet. I then used links in the report to review background and support information. This saved time and illustrated how Communication Metrics adds critical intelligence to management by linking chronology so that cause and effect is readily available. Often during busy days cause and effect are forgotten or incorrectly applied, which leads people down the wrong path. Access on the Internet means intelligence can be used more often to improve our management, save time and dollars, as reported in District Counsel's memo on Oct 22, 1998.

  5. The quality of work using Communication Metrics supported by the Welch Company was superb. Outputs, especially meeting minutes and action items, were very useful. Fast access to the project record makes it faster and easier to create new information that is relevant, and to prepare correspondence, memos and analysis that is effective.

  6. I think our trial of Communication Metrics was successful, as explained in my remarks from the project record for Nov 5, 1996.

    The methodology can be matured and appreciated through additional use on Corps projects, big and small. Continued use will permit...

    1. Tailoring the methodology to the needs of team players;

    2. Team players to become comfortable with the method;

    3. Demonstrating the comprehensive power of the methodology and tools.

  7. Like most methods and ideas that are far ahead of current thinking and procedures, it is easy to dismiss Communication Metrics as being out in left field, because it is not crystal clear when it should be used and to what extent. We therefore need to gain experience in a variety of applications. Meetings might be a good application to research how Communication Metrics can best help us. Another might be to organize and link our correspondence using the Internet to reduce reliance on paper and improve management of email. As Marc McGovern notes in his memo on April 2, 1997, saving time finding documents would be a big help.

  8. The value of Communication Metrics to the Oakland Project was clear at the time it was initiated because, not only had the project become very complex with many loose ends, but the contractor had become uncooperative. It was crucial to bring in the big gun to restore order and discipline to the project.

  9. On smaller projects it's harder to see the need, because it's only after you get into trouble that you realize...

    "Oh, gee! If we had used Communication Metrics, we would not have to pay the contractor another $100K.

  10. I therefore believe that R&D investment in Communication Metrics would pay off in the long run. Two keys for improving our management are...

    1. Work at doing well the things we do now, and

    2. Try new methods.

    Rod Welch has given us a glimpse of a new method. Here is an opportunity for using out of the box thinking to jump into the 21st century.

  11. How this would apply to the Resident Office, as asked in the CESPN-CO memo on Nov 3, 1998, ref a, would be up to the MJR, who appears to be full of energy and innovation. I'm waiting to see my part in the Op Plan.

Tom White