THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: August 18, 1997 02:36 PM Monday;
Called Dave Buoncristiani about Comm Metrics for risk management.
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0201 - Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges 415 392 6320
020101 - Mr. David Buoncristiani, Esq.
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Construction (DPB), Legal Firms
Difficult to Understand
Unique Character of Communication Metrics
New System of Knowledge Conflicts with
1008 - ..
1009 - Summary/Objective
101001 - Followed up work at ref SDS 11 line 57.
101003 - Discussed risk management in construction, per telecon with Rick
101004 - Sterns at Marsh, McLennen, ref SDS 11 line 72.
101006 - David said his firm has been approved as counsel for Dutra. Therefore
101007 - he cannot discuss the Corps of Engineers.
101009 - I advised I am not associated with the Corps of Engineers.
101011 - Explained I am calling about recent notice of Guy F. Atkinson Company
101012 - filing bankruptcy, ref SDS 11 8854. Troubles at MK and other firms
101013 - reflect the changing business environment we discussed for Dave's
101014 - presentation at Asilomar last year with Intel and Turner Construction.
101016 - The "New World Order..." paper speaks of "imploding" managements, and
101017 - that is what is happening, as people struggle with the new realities
101018 - of a changed, high risk business environment.
101019 - ..
101020 - Dave indicated agreement with the goals of Communication
101021 - Metrics, as reflected in the paper prepared for Asilomar on using
101022 - technology to support using key legal practice methods throughout the
101023 - course of the work under the concept of Concurrent Discovery, as shown
101024 - at ref OF 1 0000. He feels the methodology needs to be explained
101025 - simply so that executives will try it and discover how well it works.
101027 - Dave noted this is not easy to do.
101029 - He feels it is important to show examples of how the methodology is
101030 - used.
101032 - [On 971105 developed Internet project to put SDS records on Web
101033 - site that can be examples of Communication Metrics. ref SDS 13
101034 - 1459]
101036 - [On 980327 called Dave and advised of Web site. ref SDS 14 1732]
101038 - [On 980827 Morris Jones made a similar point. ref SDS 15 7695]
101040 - [On 980914 submitted example using the Internet to deliver
101041 - Communication Metrics work product. ref SDS 16 2484]
101043 - He seemed to indicate there could be grounds for not using the record
101044 - while litigation is pending. We recalled our discussion on
101045 - discoverability of the SDS record, and implications of "public
101046 - records," ref SDS 4 0300, which Stan Mosk considered on 911130, see
101047 - ref SDS 1 5006.
101049 - Dave suggests contacting Bechtel would not be productive because their
101050 - management expects in-house expertise to develop adequate solutions.
101052 - I related a recent article in Fortune recounting AT&T's rejection of
101053 - Microsoft in the early 80s, under similarly incorrect reasoning, see
101054 - ref SDS 5 1847. One must wonder how close Bechtel is to the Atkinson
101055 - scenario in light of fewer mega-projects with unlimited funds.
101057 - I mentioned the meeting with Intel on 970728 discussing insulation
101058 - from the need for good management as a result of "unlimited funds."
101059 - ref SDS 9 4818.
101061 - I did not mention Bill DeHart's experience at PG&E with Bechtel
101062 - on Sprint's project, ref SDS 7 8211 and ref SDS 10 0000.
101064 - We considered that the difficulty people have grasping Communication
101065 - Metrics arises from human cognition. It is not something people think
101066 - about, so they cannot relate to a solution that applies it. Instead we
101067 - try to improve "communication" with more meetings which only compounds
101068 - the problem. We discussed briefly Tom Landauer's findings of "meaning
101069 - drift" as a function of information flow, and the correlation with an
101070 - Air Force paper on information entropy that causes escalating costs.
101072 - I explained the idea to contact surities and lawyers to help builders
101073 - recognize the advantage of Communication Metrics, particularly in
101074 - light of the risk posed by the current building boom, per the meeting
101075 - with John Lettieri last Friday, ref SDS 12 line 190. Ignorance, fear
101076 - and denial make it hard for established firms to try new management
101077 - methods in order to discover that initial perceptions are incorrect,
101078 - i.e., that Communication Metrics works better than it seems like will.
101080 - We did not discuss Lynn Conway's formulation, as related in
101081 - George Guilder's book "Microcosm," of the challenge introducing
101082 - VLSI technology that led to success in the PC market, ref SDS 3
101083 - 1368.
101085 - "How can you take methods that are new, methods that are not in
101086 - common use and therefore perhaps considered unsound methods, and
101087 - turn them into sound methods?"
101089 - Dave suggests contacting insurance brokers and mid-size contracting
101090 - firms. He thinks we need to get a few clients in order to build faith
101091 - in the ideas and tools of Communication Metrics, based on use by
101092 - credible sources. Busy managers don't want to take the time nor incur
101093 - the risks of evaluating new methods. They want to rely on use by
101094 - others. An example is the discussion with Steve Rule at Turner, where
101095 - Steve asked if Dave Vannier at Intel is using Communication Metrics.
101096 - ref SDS 6 7488
101098 - Dave recalled meeting Steve and Dave Vannier at the Asilomar
101099 - Conference last year.
101101 - I explained I need help to develop the initial foundation for a new
101102 - business science. I need desciples. People who have seen the "light"
101103 - who are willing to speak out.
101105 - I asked Dave if he can furnish leads to sureties and other
101106 - contractors?
101108 - Dave feels that it would be improper for him to make recommendations
101109 - since at some future time he may be dealing with the Welch firm
101110 - through the Dutra litigation.
101112 - Dave mentioned in some context that his brother is a physicist and
101113 - mathematician. I explained efforts of develop a calculation for the
101114 - number of managers needed based on the volume of communication. I want
101115 - to show how density of information leads to an exponential growth in
101116 - errors, per the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology study finding
101117 - that information entropy infects all large projects and leads to cost
101118 - and schedule growth, ref SDS 8 0108. A mathematician may be able to
101119 - help build an effective model. I asked Dave if his brother could be
101120 - asked to consider this objective.
101122 - Dave said his brother is teaching a course on preparing to qualify or
101123 - pass a PhD exam in math. He thinks a statistician is better suited
101124 - to support the model I have in mind.
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