THE WELCH COMPANY
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S U M M A R Y
DIARY: August 28, 1997 10:23 AM Thursday;
Called Jim Jones re Communication Metrics report to USACE HQ
2...Cost/Benefit of Communication Metrics is Significant
3...Partnering Enhanced by Communication Metrics
4...Communication Metrics Saves Time of Managers and Commanders
5...Communication Manager Role Makes Leadership Effective
6...New Realities of Business Environment Require New Roles and Methods
7...Jim said he can relate to the need for communication support, because
8...Test, Study, Evaluate Communication Metrics, CE Processes
9...Jim asked if he can see the technology?
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COE Evaluation Communication Metrics
Analysis, Review, Research
Institutionalize Communication Metrics
CE HQ Evaluation
0806 - ..
0807 - Summary/Objective
080801 - Followed up work at ref SDS 10 0000, ref SDS 8 0000.
080803 - Jim has received the Communication Metrics report and read about half
080804 - of it. He asked about cost/benefit and how Communication Managers
080805 - work within CE management teams. He recognizes the need for business
080806 - intelligence due to more email and downsizing that cause fewer people
080807 - to chase more information. Jim will call and discuss the report with
080808 - Tom Keesling, and review it with his management in HQ to decide on the
080809 - best way to follow up.
080811 - Submitted this record via ref DIT 1 0000 to Tom so he can forward to
080812 - Jim.
080814 - [See call to Jim where he had not received this record, so it was
080815 - re-submitted on 970903, ref SDS 11 0000.]
080817 - [See call to Jim Lovo where he reports having received these
080818 - notes, ref SDS 12 0000.]
080820 - [On 970926 called Jim and he notes follow up with Tom Keesling,
080821 - citing the record of our call today. ref SDS 13 4225]
080823 - [On 971015 research HQUSACE Web site. ref SDS 15 8547]
0811 - Discussion Jim Jones 202 761 0649
081201 - Jim asked if this is my report or the District's report. I explained
081202 - it is the report issued by the District. I suggested that Jim call
081203 - Tom Keesling on the process for developing the report.
081206 - ..
081207 - Cost/Benefit of Communication Metrics is Significant
081209 - Jim asked if the District has done a Cost/Benefit analysis?
081211 - Jim said USACE is still downsizing.
081213 - He recognizes the increasing burden on managers from handling more
081214 - information, e.g. fax, email, calls and meetings, as set out in
081215 - the District's report, ref DRP 1 5733, and cited by Henry
081216 - Kissinger, Robert MacNamera, and numerous recent studies on
081217 - reduced productivity due to information overload (below, Jim cites
081218 - the problem of too much email. ref SDS 0 9109) Jim feels this
081219 - emerging phenomena needs to be analysed so that the Corps can cost
081220 - justify Communication Metrics, as a solution.
081222 - [On 970926 Jim affirms challenge of calculating cost savings
081223 - for better management. ref SDS 13 2698]
081225 - [Cost savings report submitted on 971008, ref SDS 14 0000.]
081227 - [On 971017 Jim wants a wider experience base to establish cost
081228 - savings reported by CESPN. ref SDS 16 2678.]
081230 - [On 990126 Jim Lovo issues report citing need to solve
081231 - information overload. ref SDS 21 7370]
081233 - I advised the cost to the District was about $50K for 3 months
081234 - support of 6 District mangaers: a Project Manager, Chief Con Ops,
081235 - Assistant Chief, Con Ops, Construction Manager, the Resident
081236 - Engineer and a Project Engineer. This cost also produced schedule
081237 - and claim support, so detailed analysis is needed on cost/benefit.
081239 - Exact savings is speculative because Communication Metrics is
081240 - proactive in solving problems before they cause extra cost and
081241 - delay the work, as set out in the District's report, ref DRP 1
081242 - line 560. The Navy Sewer Line problem, which was one small matter
081243 - supported by Communication Metrics, was a situation where $200,000
081244 - additional payment was sought by the Contractor, that was avoided
081245 - through Communication Metrics finding a win/win solution that made
081246 - the contractor more money without costing the government
081247 - additional funds nor delaying the project, as reported by Marc
081248 - McGovern in Appendix A of the report, ref DRP 1 line 834.
081250 - [On 980630 article published in PMJ explains cost/benefit
081251 - calculations for knowledge tools are difficult, decisions
081252 - based on "gut feelings." ref SDS 20 0606]
081254 - Actual savings could be in the millions, as evidenced by the $65M
081255 - or so in claims now pending on the Oakland project. District
081256 - Counsel has advised the Communication Metrics record will be
081257 - helpful to CESPN in avoiding this extra cost, ref SDS 6 2838.
081259 - [On 980520 Max Blodgett reported that District Counsel
081260 - attribute Communication Metrics with having contributed to
081261 - favorable settlement of Oakland Harbor litigation. ref SDS 19
081262 - 2405]
081264 - Initiatives under Communication Metrics cited in the report, see
081265 - ref DRP 1 line 483, may not have been followed up when support
081266 - ended last January, therefore, ultimate savings can only be
081267 - estimated.
081269 - All of the literature says poor communication is the biggest cause
081270 - of failed management. Therefore improving communication has the
081271 - biggest potential to save money. The justification for Project
081272 - Management is better communication because it is the most
081273 - important factor in project success. (see "The Role of the Project
081274 - Control Office," PM Network May 1997, p. 33, ref SDS 5 line 763.)
081276 - Estimating savings from Communication Metrics then is similar to
081277 - calculating savings for a Project Manager, accountant, schedule
081278 - engineer, and for RMS, CEFMS and PROMIS, which the Corps has
081279 - adopted. The formula for calculating the savings of these level
081280 - of effort costs, can be applied to Communication Metrics.
081282 - I suggested that Jim call Tom Keesling for more on cost/benefit.
081283 - District Counsel, Chief, Con Ops and the Resident Engineer have
081284 - requested Communication Metrics support. Possibly calculations of
081285 - cost/benefit in their procurement analysis can be made available
081286 - to Jim.
081289 - ..
081290 - Partnering Enhanced by Communication Metrics
081292 - Jim asked how the SDS daily diary supports partnering to avoid
081293 - conflicts and disputes with contractors?
081295 - Communication support and "partnering was discussed with General
081296 - Hatch on 960410, ref SDS 1 2248.
081298 - The diary helps people understand what has been said and done, and
081299 - how it aligns with commitments, requirements, policies, guides and
081300 - regulations. Proactive analysis from links supported by
081301 - specialized technology discovers gaps and errors that help the
081302 - entire project team (customer, Corps, Contractor) ensure a project
081303 - design adequately reflects customer needs, field conditions and
081304 - regulations, and it helps avoid putting work in place that is
081305 - incorrect. This avoids claims and disputes, increases contractor
081306 - income and improves customer satisfaction, ref SDS 2 line 208.
081308 - [See partnering proposal on 971021, ref SDS 17 1212.]
081310 - Early discovery of differences from Communication Metrics gives
081311 - the parties time and information needed to reach a solution at
081312 - minimal cost to all sides.
081314 - An example is the Navy Sewer Line on the Oakland Harbor project,
081315 - where Communication Metrics discovered a win/win solution, as
081316 - reported by Marc McGovern in his memo under Appendix A in the
081317 - District report on Communication Metrics, ref DRP 1 line 834.
081319 - In the event of ultimate conflict, the diary gives the Corps a
081320 - record that reduces time and cost for counsel to prepare for
081321 - dispute resolution. It streamlines fact finding and supports an
081322 - equitable result for the Corps of Engineers and the contractor.
081326 - ..
081327 - Communication Metrics Saves Time of Managers and Commanders
081329 - Jim asked how much time is required by the people being supported?
081331 - I explained the Communication Manager is a leadership aide, who
081332 - assists COE staff, with minimal intrusion in their daily activity.
081333 - The role prepares staff to be informed and to align work and
081334 - decisions with contract requirements, policies and commitments.
081336 - This adds value to conventional support provided for commanders,
081337 - and saves time for staff, without taking very much time, because
081338 - briefings are part of daily routine, as set out in the District's
081339 - report on page 2 para 2, ref DRP 1 line 164.
081341 - Jim will call Tom Keesling about his perspective on the amount of
081342 - time he had to devote to the Communication Metrics effort.
081344 - [On 970926 Jim advised of having submitted an email to Tom
081345 - requesting cost savings report. ref SDS 13 0552]
081348 - Communication Manager Role Makes Leadership Effective
081350 - Jim asked if COE personnel can perform Communication Metrics without a
081351 - dedicated Communication Manager?
081353 - I explained that, in some cases, this can be done in the way that
081354 - an executive continually learns a wide variety of support tasks,
081355 - including marketing, accounting, engineering, cost control and
081356 - scheduling.
081358 - Executives need to learn to use SDS technology so they can obtain
081359 - information and edit the record. Yet, just as an executive relies
081360 - on an accountant for the daily work of ensuring finances are
081361 - properly aligned, it seems to me the faster pace of business life,
081362 - due to the Information Highway, means we need a dedicated Scribe,
081363 - Leadership aide, Communication Manager. Someone must work hard
081364 - every day to ensure communications are as well aligned, analysed
081365 - and organized, as are finances. Project Managers are nominally
081366 - expected to do this, but that role is so fully engaged with
081367 - meetings, calls and email to perform the leadership part of
081368 - communication, that someone else must be capturing and linking the
081369 - record in order to make leadership effective. Without a dedicated
081370 - Communication Manager, this work is not performed or is done
081371 - inadequately, because managers don't have enough time. They then
081372 - make mistakes due to inadequate analysis, incorrect understandings
081373 - and this snowballs into everybody working on fixing a morass of
081374 - mistakes.
081377 - How many Communication Managers for a Resident Office?
081379 - We considered that one person can support a single large project,
081380 - but if there are a lot of small projects, one person can support
081381 - several projects. Communication Managers track information
081382 - according to subject content, and this relates to contract
081383 - provisions. There are often as many contract provisions on small
081384 - projects as on large ones, with the result that $50M of 10 small
081385 - projects entails a lot more communication issues than the same
081386 - $50M on a single project.
081388 - Consideration has been given in the San Francisco District to
081389 - provide a Communication Manager for the Resident Engineer, with
081390 - the intent to evaluate the level of effort needed. We need more
081391 - experience to determine the amount of support needed for any given
081392 - business unit.
081395 - ..
081396 - New Realities of Business Environment Require New Roles and Methods
081398 - Jim said he can relate to the need for communication support, because
081399 - everybody is swamped with email (per his point above on growing burden
081400 - of information, ref SDS 0 9900), reflecting CDR USACE vision, quoted
081401 - in LTC Thompson's proposed Operations Plan for the San Francisco
081402 - District, on the need to "...get out in front of changes required by
081403 - technology and future realities," ref DRP 2 line 67, per analysis at
081404 - ref SDS 4 8278. It reflects conditions at Intel, ref SDS 7 line 100,
081405 - and General Hatch's practice at Fluor Daniel, ref SDS 1 line 728.
081407 - [On 971017 discussed "new realities" of business environment
081408 - that required better management communications. ref SDS 16
081409 - 2227]
081411 - [On 971202 Jim indicated "new realities" have not been
081412 - explained within USACE. ref SDS 18 3231]
081414 - I explained that dialog from constant meetings and calls also
081415 - causes a significant burden, as set out in the District's report,
081416 - ref DRP 1 line 125. The Information Highway has exploded the
081417 - amount of information managers must deal with everyday. The
081418 - potential for error, getting mixed up, and oversight is very high,
081419 - and so requires dedicated effort each day to create the business
081420 - "intelligence" needed for effective decision support.
SAD Tests New Methods
Study New Methods
HQ Review CEMP
Wider Use Comm Metrics
150701 - ..
150702 - Test, Study, Evaluate Communication Metrics, CE Processes
150704 - Jim said the Corps has two divisions that evaluate new methods:
150706 - South Atlantic Division
150708 - I mentioned having reviewed the article in the April issue
150709 - of PM Network on SAD
150711 - "It Takes a Regional Village"
150713 - ,,,describing ideas to improve management using technology
150714 - to support the virtual organization concept, ref SDS 3 1233.
150715 - It seems to relate to DE Thompson's Operations Plan to
150716 - organize the San Francisco District to implement the vision
150717 - of "One Door to the Corps." ref SDS 4 6488.
150719 - South-West Division
150721 - Possibly, CE HQ would support continued testing of Communication
150722 - Metrics in the San Francisco District, since they have a head
150723 - start using it, and they need help. ref SDS 6 7448
150725 - [On 970926 Jim advised testing new methods is funded from local
150726 - budgets. ref SDS 13 2519]
150728 - [On 971017 other CE systems were not adopted based on
150729 - cost/benefit studies. ref SDS 16 5688]
170501 - Jim asked if he can see the technology?
170503 - I offered to visit with him in Washington, or if he is going to be
170504 - on the West Coast within the near term, we can do it here in San
170505 - Francisco.
170507 - Jim indicated he may have occasion to visit the West Coast, but he
170508 - was unsure about timing. I suggested that we visit in his office,
170509 - if his command feels Communication Metrics meets an important need
170510 - to improve management. Seeing the technology, will help answer
170511 - Jim's questions.
170513 - [See presentation to Jim at HQ USACE on 971202. ref SDS 18
170514 - 0732]
170517 - Jim plans to show the Communication Metrics report to others. He will
170518 - call Tom Keesling, and then let me know of follow up action.
170520 - [See where Jim submitted the report to Jim Lovo, ref SDS 11 line
170521 - 86.]
San Francisco District
1905 - 1449 called Tom Keesling
190601 - Advised of above understandings. I will submit this record to Tom
190602 - and he will forward it to Jim, as an illustration of the methodology.
190603 - It provides a common base of information for Jim's call to Tom.
190605 - Later in the afternoon, I submitted ref DIT 1 line 30, transmitting
190606 - this record.
1909 - 1510 called Max
191001 - Advised of contact with Jim Jones so that Max is alerted in the event
191002 - he gets a call about it. Said I will send him notes of the telecon
191003 - with Jim, per above.
191005 - When I submitted notes to Tom, ref DIT 1 line 27, for submission to
191006 - Jim, I sent a copy to Max, but Max's copy bounced back with a message
191007 - that his email box is full. I called and left a message on this.
191009 - Max feels John is making good progress on the claims. He has six
191010 - people helping, so the work load is easier now.