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1...later today or tomorrow. He will suggest that Welch be contacted
SDS Marketing, Sales
Obtain Names of Prospects, Caltrans
0604 - ..
0605 - Summary/Objective
060601 - Follow up ref SDS 18 0000, ref SDS 5 0000.
060603 - Ross explained ideas for possible use of Communication Metrics. He
060604 - has a similar assignment to Tom Keesling's at the Corps of Engineers,
060605 - and so he will call Tom to compare notes on how Communication Metrics
060606 - can help at Caltrans. There is a new group being formed at Caltrans
060607 - to support more highway work in the Bay Area. Ross will pass the word
060608 - along about Communication Metrics to those folks.
060610 - Submitted ref DIT 1 line 30 to Ross transmitting this record, and the
060611 - memo prepared for Tom Keesling on the District Operation Plan, showing
060612 - how Tom planned to use Communication Metrics, ref OF 2 line 8.
060614 - [See follow up discussion on 970919, ref SDS 20 line 78.]
060617 - ..
0609 - Discussion Ross Chittenden 916 654 2395
061001 - Ross said he reviewed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' report again
061002 - yesterday, per his telecon message saying he found it valuable, ref
061003 - SDS 18 line 97.
061007 - ..
061008 - Ross Reviewing Caltrans PM Processes, Automated Management
061010 - He explained his assignment to evaluate Caltrans' Project Management
061011 - processes. Ross recalled seeing mention of PROMIS in the organization
061012 - chart that is part of Appendix D of the report.
061014 - I explained that Tom Keesling, who issued the report, has a similar
061015 - assignment for the San Francisco District. Tom is also managing
061016 - implementation in the District of new automated management systems
061017 - being fielded Corps-wide this year. It includes CEFMS, PROMIS, RMS
061018 - and Open Plan, as discussed in Appendix D under Requirements para
061019 - 3a(10), 3b p. 2; Schedule para 5c p. 6; and Personnel para 8c(2)(b) p.
061020 - 11.
061021 - ..
061022 - Ross will call Tom tomorrow or next week to discuss Tom's
061023 - experience and expectations using Communication Metrics to support
061024 - that effort.
061026 - [See follow up where Ross has not had time to call Tom, ref SDS
061027 - 20 line 99.]
061029 - I will submit the work plan drafted for Tom Keesling to review PM and
061030 - implement automated management, ref OF 2 line 8, prepared at ref SDS 7
061031 - line 98, indicating possible scope of services for Ross's work.
061033 - [Note a later version of this plan was prepared, ref OF 3 line 8
061034 - prepared at ref SDS 8 line 85. There is no difference between
061035 - these versions that impacts Ross' review.]
061038 - ..
061039 - Communication Metrics Lifts Performance, Not Burdensome to Team
061041 - Ross expressed concern about imposing another "Hot Management Idea"
061042 - (HMI) on Caltrans' field operations. He said construction managers
061043 - would be skeptical if they had to take on a mysterious, formalistic
061044 - method like Communication Metrics.
061046 - I explained Communication Metrics is not a burden to field management
061047 - because they do not have to change the way they are working, nor learn
061048 - anything new. Communication Metrics simply improves the quality and
061049 - timeliness of the work by providing business intelligence. I cited
061050 - experience at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where managers were
061051 - initially skeptical, but discovered in 3 - 4 weeks that things were
061052 - working better, ref SDS 2 line 150, and ref SDS 3 line 345.
061053 - ..
061054 - Ross recalled reading the memos in Appendix A on this point. He
061055 - cited the last memo prepared by Marc McGovern, ref DRP 1 line 818.
061057 - Communication Metrics fits naturally and unobtrusively into the way
061058 - people like to work by using "natural control structures" to organize
061059 - communications. This produces business intelligence. SDS technology
061060 - can assemble this record for decision support and planning in the
061061 - multiple ways information has meaning at different times for different
061062 - people under different circumstances. This lifts productivity because
061063 - it is done instantly, rather than weeks, months or years later when it
061064 - is too late to correct a faulty decision and/or plan.
061068 - ..
061069 - Uses Natural Organization Criteria Endemic to Work
061071 - Ross asked for examples of a project "natural control structure"?
061073 - I explained how ...
061075 - Specification sections
061076 - Plan details
061077 - Schedule Activity Nodes
061078 - Cost accounts
061080 - ...comprise the "language" of a project that have inherent organic
061081 - structure for associating blocks of information. This is called
061082 - out in the Scope of Services in Appendix D para 3a(5) on p. 3, of
061083 - the Corps of Engineers' report.
061084 - ..
061085 - Ross said he expected from the report that Communication Metrics
061086 - was a formal control system that could be effective for the
061087 - construction phase of a project.
Aligning Communications to Maintain Shared
Metrics, Measuring Understanding with
Complexity Creates Risk, Managed by SDS
Risk Management Communication Main Task of
Root Causes Intelligence, Correlations
Traceability, Noboby Has Time to Get to
Complex Communication Causes Mistakes,
Planning Test Analyse Communication Manager
201101 - ..
201102 - Difficult to Maintain Alignment Complex Planning
201104 - Ross asked how Communication Metrics identifies control structures
201105 - during planning stages before a specification or even a WBS has been
201106 - developed? He has projects that entail a lot of communication among
201107 - many different government groups and private interests, where
201108 - maintaining alignment of requirements and commitments is difficult
201109 - because of the complexity, similar to Merrill Malvini's explanation of
201110 - the needs at Unisys, ref SDS 6 7592.
201112 - The fundamental challenge is avoiding "meaning drift" defined in the
201113 - New World Order... paper. ref OF 1 5918
201115 - On 970603, Dave Vannier at Intel expressed frustrations about the
201116 - difficulty of maintaining alignment of a project team, ref SDS 9 5803.
201117 - ..
201118 - On 960721 Morris Jones at Chips & Technologies cited
201119 - frustrations due to different "meaning" drawn from business meetings
201120 - with Lockheed and Intel, ref SDS 1 0896; and on 970116 the problem was
201121 - cited again in terms of identifying subjects to organize information
201122 - for future retrieval. ref SDS 4 1732.
201124 - Thus, meaning drift occurs not only between different people and
201125 - organizations, it is also occurring in each of us as individuals on a
201126 - daily basis. One day we think of things one way and on another day we
201127 - think about the same things differently. Our prior view is outside
201128 - our current span of attention because our attention, our conscous
201129 - awareness of meaning and impact can only address a limited agenda.
201130 - ..
201131 - Management texts and training make clear that limited span of
201132 - attention is a universal problem, compounded by information overload.
201133 - ref SDS 16 2830
201135 - Because extra cost caused by mistakes due to limited span of attention
201136 - occur in the future and are often borne by others, another department,
201137 - another agency, by construction instead of design, by operations,
201138 - instead of construction, by the contractor instead of the agency,
201139 - managements are reluctant to take action. Managers avoid using
201140 - communication controls that avoid mistakes on the grounds that cost
201141 - savings are not evident because the savings occur in other budgets.
201143 - [On 980307 review of Andy Grove's book "Only the Paranoid Survive"
201144 - explains "denial" that occurs when successful executives refuse to
201145 - recognize the magnitude of problems in order to avoid the effort
201146 - of adopting new methods needed to solve them. ref SDS 21 3740]
201149 - ..
201150 - Communication Metrics More Powerful Applied at Inception Planning
201152 - I explained the process of developing organic subject structures
201153 - according to organizations, objectives and requirements developed from
201154 - initial communications. Examples are resolutions passed by governing
201155 - bodies that authorize action on projects, and going further back,
201156 - correspondence that initiates a project inquiry. We begin with a
201157 - rudimentary structure, and it grows as the project grows under the
201158 - expertise of a Communication Manager, as explained in the report, ref
201159 - DRP 1 line 179. This record is then applied by the design team to
201160 - ensure alignment with original understandings, under accepted practice
201161 - called...
201163 - Traceability to original sources
201164 - ..
201165 - It is a valuable record for construction, as well, to help
201166 - all parties, including regulatory bodies apply original
201167 - understandings about provisions in formal agreements. SDS
201168 - technology makes this possible and is a powerful new force for
201169 - productivity.
201171 - I suggested that Ross ask Tom Keesling about this, since Tom has
201172 - indicated that Communication Metrics is even more valuable when used
201173 - for pre-construction project identification, definition, planning and
201174 - design, ref SDS 17 line 122.
New World Order
Not Enough Time for Conventional Management
Entropy Information Management Failure
Time to Think Shows Benefits Communication
310801 - ..
310802 - Ross Will Follow Up on Communication Metrics in a Few Weeks
310804 - Ross is developing an agreement with a firm to provide consulting
310805 - support. Sounded like he used the term "integrative." That firm is
310806 - starting next week. He wants to finalize that arrangement and then
310807 - engage them to assist in evaluating Communication Metrics.
310809 - Ross said this is a hectic time for him and for Caltrans, since they
310810 - are doing a lot of work and trying many different systems. It is hard
310811 - to find time to carefully analyse something like Communication Metrics
310812 - that is outside the mold of traditional management methods. (Not
310813 - enough time to think, was discussed with Bill Benkavitch about his
310814 - experience with U.S. Navy, ref SDS 10 line 117.)
310815 - ..
310816 - This reflects the report by the U.S. Air Force Institute of
310817 - Technology of a general problem they call...
310819 - information entropy
310821 - ... that occurs in large organizations, programs and projects, and
310822 - leads to cost growth and delays with attendant havoc to people and
310823 - organizations, ref SDS 12 line 305. Communication Metrics meets this
310824 - challenge using automated integration of time, information, people and
310825 - documents to enable managers to get ahead of the information curve.
310827 - My objective is for Caltrans to try Communication Metrics so that Ross
310828 - and others at Caltrans can evaluate its impact on productivity and
310829 - project success. If we can accomplish that, then the benefits,
310830 - application, processes and integration with existing methods and
310831 - culture will become clear, as occurred at PG&E and at the U.S. Army
310832 - Corps of Engineers.
310836 - ..
310837 - Opportunity to Support Bay Area Highway Expansion Program
310839 - Ross said there is another potential use for Communication Metrics in
310840 - a different business unit at Caltrans.
310841 - ..
310842 - He advised of a new unit being formed to manage a number of
310843 - major highway projects in the Bay Area. Caltrans is considering
310844 - hiring Bechtel to provide overall construction management. He feels
310845 - Communication Metrics may be useful for that assignment. If Caltrans
310846 - hires Bechtel, it will need strong communication support to manage
310847 - Bechtel, ref SDS 11 line 132.
310849 - Ross is meeting with the person in charge of this new unit either
310850 - later today or tomorrow. He will suggest that Welch be contacted
310851 - about providing Communication Metrics support.