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S U M M A R Y
DIARY: October 17, 1997 10:06 AM Friday;
Called Jim on Communication Metrics review at USACE CEMP-E.
2...Cost Savings on Rework Effective, Needs Broader Experience Base
3...Cost Savings from Better Management is New Field of Study
4...New ideas need a sponsor, a champion, someone to engage the ideas and
5...Competence Fear Causes Denial Managers Make Mistakes
6...Limited Span of Attention Suppresses Awareness of Need for Change
7...Navy Sewer Line Solution Focused Span of Attention Seems Simple
8...Construction Management is Only One Example of New Realities
.....Communication Manager - Intelligence Role
9...These are new realities since the time when HQ staff performed RE
10...Leadership Raise Issues Not Temperatures, Avoid Political Blame Game
11...Economic boom key reality increasing risk due to lack of personnel
.....Examples Information Overload Manifesting New Realities
12...There must be a way to help people recognize opportunity without being
13...Denial is Not Just Another River in Egypt
14...Leadership with Broader Vision Helps Overcome Fear of Change
15...Expanding Mission, Reduced Strength Requires Communication Metrics
16...Develop Support at CESP Division, Mike Grebinski
17...Review by USACE CERL PL-B, Dr. Moonja Kim for Change Management
18...Span of Attention is Recognized But Hard to Quantify Cost Impact
19...Communication Manager Supports Being Prepared
20...Extended Test Needed to Build Faith in Communication Metrics
21...USACE Business Process Initiatives Not Studied for Cost Savings
22...Communication Metrics Needs More Exposure in USACE to Build Faith
23...Former CG Hank Hatch Might Contribute
24...Jim Called Mike Grebinski in CESP on Communication Metrics
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0201 - 20 Massachusettes Avenue, N.W. 202 761 0011
020101 - Mr. James R. Jones, P.E.; Deputy Chief
020102 - Office of the Chief, CEMP-E
COE Evaluation Communication Metrics
CE HQ Evaluation, Wider Use Comm Metrics
Rework, Span of Attention
Experience, Need Broader Base
Span Control Fewer Managers
Complexity Organized by Microscope of Law
Communication Metrics Cost Savings ROI 10:1
Ambasadors for Change
Downsizing Increases Span of Control
Downsize Increase Span of Control
2812 - ..
2813 - Summary/Objective
281401 - Follow up ref SDS 62 0000, ref SDS 60 0000.
281403 - Jim indicated CESPN cost savings report identifies an interesting way
281404 - to measure management effectiveness by quantifying rework. He wants a
281405 - broader base of experience to build faith in Communication Metrics, as
281406 - was done for Project Management and Partnering. USACE mission is
281407 - expanding, but resources have been reduced. This creates a need for
281408 - increased capability, i.e., the classic productivity problem. There
281409 - was discussion of possible interest by Dr. Kim at CERL PL-B for using
281410 - Communication Metrics to support Change Management. Jim called Mike
281411 - Grabinski at CESP about potential for Communication Metrics to meet
281412 - cost reduction goals set by HQ USACE.
281414 - [See submission of this record to Jim on 970919, ref SDS 64 0000.]
281416 - [See call to Mike Grebinski on 971020, ref SDS 65 0000.]
281419 - ..
2817 - Called Jim Jones 202 761 0650 or 0649 for Dorothy
281801 - Cost Savings on Rework Effective, Needs Broader Experience Base
281803 - Jim finally received in the mail yesterday CESPN's report via Tom's
281804 - transmittal, ref DRP 4. He read the report last night. ref DRP 3
281806 - Jim likes the idea of quantifying cost savings from reducing "rework"
281807 - by expanding management span of attention, as shown in CESPN's report.
281808 - ref DRP 3 7116 and ref DRP 3 3883. He feels information overload,
281809 - cited when we talked on 970828, ref SDS 54 9900, needs an effective
281810 - solution.
281811 - ..
281812 - Jim advised that estimate of cost savings will be strengthened
281813 - by more data, per his letter to Tom on 970904 that cost savings from
281814 - better management are difficult to quantify. ref DRP 2 3110 Jim wants
281815 - a broader base of experience to show savings, as recommended in the
281816 - CESPN reports (ref DRP 1 4505, ref DRP 1 1489, and ref DRP 3 4173)
281818 - [On 980520 Max Blodgett at USACE CESPN feels Jim's lack of follow
281819 - up on Communication Metrics makes it difficult to provide more
281820 - experience to support estimated savings. ref SDS 77 1235]
281822 - Span of attention underlies historical focus in management planning on
281823 - span of control. ref DRP 3 3883, ref SDS 55 4181 New realities of
281824 - information overload is compounded by technology that increases
281825 - information, and by downsizing that results in fewer people chasing
281826 - more information. These dynamics give visibility to fundamentals of
281827 - cognitive science that "knowledge" (i.e., the connections of cause and
281828 - effect between different chunks of information) decays rapidly, if the
281829 - connections to context are not organized, aligned and analysed for
281830 - accurate retrieval when needed later.
281831 - ..
281832 - Commanders are well aware of being overwhelmed by complexity
281833 - when asked to lead too many subordinates under well established
281834 - criteria for limiting "span of control." The Information Highway
281835 - phenomenon is now making clear that "span of control" problems are
281836 - caused by a...
281838 - "window of vulnerability"
281840 - ...in the human mental process of converting information into
281841 - knowledge. (recently reported in the journal Science, Aug 1997....,
281842 - ref SDS 53 1111)
281844 - [On 990303 scientific paper reports research on limits of the
281845 - human mind in processing information. ref SDS 85 6120]
281846 - ..
281847 - This "window of vulnerability, more commonly called
281849 - "limited span of attention"
281851 - ...means that too much information hides mistakes from the conscious
281852 - mind until decisions predicated on false understandings encounter
281853 - reality (psychologists call this "reality monitoring" - see, ref SDS 6
281854 - 3488), as explained in CESPN's cost report, ref DRP 3 3883, and in the
281855 - article on the "New World Order..." in PM Network May 1996, ref OF 1
281856 - 4235. Communication Metrics discovers lack of alignment with
281857 - controlling forces in time to avoid adverse impacts from reality.
281859 - CESPN's report recommends further testing to provide the broader base
281860 - of experience Jim wants, as stated in para 2, ref DRP 3 0129. The
281861 - report identifies promising cost savings potential and quantifies
281862 - savings based on accepted management science concerning limited span
281863 - of attention. Jim's feedback can refine methodology of calculating
281864 - productivity gains for all level-of-effort management.
281867 - ..
281868 - Cost Savings from Better Management is New Field of Study
281870 - Jim noted that calculating cost savings from reducing rework by
281871 - improving management communication is a new field, per discussion on
281872 - 970926, ref SDS 57 8562, and Jim's memo on 970904, ref DRP 2 3110.
281874 - New ideas need a sponsor, a champion, someone to engage the ideas and
281875 - find opportunities for testing so they can take root and grow.
281877 - ..
281879 - I asked for a copy of the report with Jim's comments. He said he did
281880 - not make any comments from his reading last night in order to keep it
281881 - clean for distribution to others. He will make a copy and send us his
281882 - comments.
281884 - [Discussion on 971021 Jim is working on submitting comments, see
281885 - ref SDS 69 0054.]
Accountability Avoided, Turn Out the Lights
Cost/Benefit, Fear, Faith
Trial and Error Hides Inceased Costs in
Recession, Economic, Change Resisted, Feared
Risk Management Complexity Mistakes
Navy Sewer Line, RR Slope Stability
Unbelievable, POIMS/SDS without Experience
New Environment, Information Highway Needs
Leadership Overcomes Resistance to Comm
Embarass Customer Calculate Savings
Downsizing Increases Span of Control
Downsize Increase Span of Control
Sewer Line Installation
Competence Challenged by Com Metrics
581701 - ..
581702 - Competence Fear Causes Denial Managers Make Mistakes
581703 - Limited Span of Attention Suppresses Awareness of Need for Change
581705 - Jim is concerned that if he takes the CESPN Cost Savings report to
581706 - colleagues and superiors they will feel the Resident Engineer (RE)
581707 - should be doing the work performed by Communication Metrics, and that
581708 - it should be done correctly, so there is no need for cost savings.
581710 - This reflects lack of experience with Communication Metrics that does
581711 - tasks to organize, align and analyse information faster and more
581712 - accurately than the human mind can perform unaided by SDS technology.
581714 - [On 990527 personal competence worry cited. ref SDS 88 1233
581716 - [On 990924 fears about personal competence prevents executives
581717 - from adopting better management methods. ref SDS 89 0593
581718 - ..
581719 - When any new method is developed, colleagues and superiors
581720 - resist change. Accounting, industrial engineering and more recently
581721 - CPM took decades to be adopted because managers did not feel investing
581722 - in better management was "cost effective."
581724 - On 960205 AP story reports managers waste 70% of their time in
581725 - meetings, ref SDS 8 5222, which is a huge opportunity for
581726 - potential savings.
581728 - On 970523 managers recognize that projects lose money as a result
581729 - of difficulty maintaining alignment with contract requriements.
581730 - ref SDS 10 7592
581732 - [See report on 971020 of $30M cost overruns on City Hall
581733 - renovation for City of San Francisco, expected to reach $80M. see
581734 - ref SDS 66 8855
581736 - [Mike Grebinski echos Jim's perspective on 971104. ref SDS 71
581737 - 0116
581738 - ..
581739 - Business intelligence is a powerful weapon, but some managers
581740 - have difficulty associating this solution with the problems they face
581741 - every day, and so simply deny there is a problem. ref SDS 0 2843
581743 - [On 980307 Andy Grove's book "Only the Paranoid Survive" cited
581744 - overcoming denial as a major job of leadership. ref SDS 74 3740]
581746 - [On 981027 government paid $30M to settle Oakland which was a
581747 - series of snafus that reached critical mass. ref SDS 79 9152]
581749 - [On 990127 reviewed with Jim Lovo how small snafus continually
581750 - occur that grow into problems. ref SDS 82 7399]
581752 - [On 990225 reviewed this issue generally. ref SDS 84 0000]
581753 - ..
581754 - The U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology has published a study
581755 - showing that "Information Entropy" correlates directly to cost growth,
581756 - see ref SDS 49 0611. The more popular description...
581758 - ..
581759 - Information Overload
581762 - ...is fast being recognized, as a problem that grinds management
581763 - productivity to a halt, ref SDS 56 3479, and causes huge losses in
581764 - rework and claims when managers attempt to "expedite," as described in
581765 - CESPN's report. ref DRP 3 4172 Jim recognized the problem in our
581766 - discussion on 970828. ref SDS 54 9900
581767 - ..
581768 - Jim noted that the current government policy is to downsize the
581769 - military in order to reduce costs. New methods and tools that improve
581770 - productivity and reduce costs require an initial investment for trials
581771 - and training. Better management does not always directly reduce
581772 - costs, but cutting staff does.
581773 - ..
581774 - This presents executives, like Jim, with the common risk
581775 - management conundrum...
581777 - ...how to encourage adequate front-end investment for analysis in
581778 - order to avoid deferred impacts? ref SDS 3 6592, see also the
581779 - "farming" analogy on investing, ref SDS 4 8403.
581781 - We considered the need is not felt because rework leaks out over time
581782 - through trial and error as daily "problem handling," which managers
581783 - feel is endemic to their job. The cost is buried in absorbed overhead
581784 - costs, legal fees, and extra payout on projects that are excused as
581785 - "Murphy's Law" or caused by zealous, opportunistic contractors, as set
581786 - out in the report, ref DRP 3 line 554. The prospect that proactive
581787 - problem handling can dramatically reduce cost by improving management
581788 - effectiveness is foreign and painful. It is incorrectly taken as
581789 - impugning diligence and self-worth, and so is denied under "feel good"
581790 - management practice.
581792 - $65M in claims on a $42M contract makes this point.
581794 - [On 980520 reported that Comm Metrics helped achieve favorable
581795 - settlement for government. ref SDS 77 2405]
581797 - [On 981027 government paid $30M to settle Oakland which was a
581798 - series of snafus that reached critical mass. ref SDS 79 9152]
581799 - ..
581800 - This is not a unique condition at CESPN. Hank Hatch advised
581801 - that during his tenure as CECG partnering with contract lawyers was
581802 - used to clear a backlog of claims, ref SDS 9 1968. Currently, the
581803 - combination of reducing staff and increased mission, compounded by a
581804 - rapidly changing business environment of information overload,
581805 - suggests this problem is growing again. The common name for the
581806 - problem is
581808 - "economic recession"
581810 - ...where the "house of cards" from daily overlooked issues in all
581811 - sectors, private and government, leads to a morass of rework that
581812 - finally collapses.
581814 - [See report on 971020 of $30M cost overruns on City Hall
581815 - renovation for City of San Francisco, expected to reach $80M, ref
581816 - SDS 32 line 83.]
581818 - [On 981027 government paid $30M to settle Oakland which was a
581819 - series of snafus that reached critical mass. ref SDS 79 9152]
581822 - ..
581823 - Navy Sewer Line Solution Focused Span of Attention Seems Simple
581824 - Construction Management is Only One Example of New Realities
581826 - Jim cited the Navy Sewer Line matter, as an example, and recalled that
581827 - as an RE, years ago, he would not have overlooked the simple solution
581828 - discovered by Communication Metrics. ref DRP 3 8622
581830 - As a result, he feels Communication Metrics cannot be attributed with
581831 - saving money that good management should have saved anyway.
581833 - [On 990224 Major Blechinger made same point. ref SDS 83 4018]
581835 - We did not take time to review the NSL example. If USACE invested
581836 - time to discover the solution by conventional means, used by Jim
581837 - and other experienced senior people, then other matters would have
581838 - been overlooked, due to limited span of attention. Eight or so
581839 - people examined this matter and none had time to find the solution
581840 - because they lack tools and a process to expand span of attention
581841 - that shows alignment. The solution was advantageous to the
581842 - Contractor and to the railroad, and none of them found it either.
581844 - ..
581845 - Communication Manager - Intelligence Role
581847 - Some of the activity required to maintain course on the Navy Sewer
581848 - Line matter, may be helpful...
581850 - 961010 Dutra submittals defective. ref SDS 13 5839
581851 - 961010 USACE denies slope stability problem. ref SDS 13 2992
581852 - 961015 Dutra seeks $370K additional payment. ref SDS 14 0065
581853 - 961015 Dutra to correct submittal errors. ref SDS 14 4820
581854 - 961022 UPRR returned Dutra's permit check. ref SDS 15 5583
581855 - 961024 USACE directs Dutra to perform. ref SDS 15 5583
581856 - 961119 Port of Oakland asks about progress. ref SDS 18 9601
581857 - 961119 Dutra complains about Comm Metrics. ref SDS 18 4822
581858 - 961126 Dutra complains about Comm Metrics. ref SDS 19 4494
581859 - 961127 Dutra fails to correct submittals. ref SDS 20 9047
581860 - 961203 parties agree to meet. ref SDS 21 3829
581861 - 961203 prepared for meeting. ref SDS 21 3829
581862 - 961204 meet, develop solution. ref SDS 22 0859
581863 - 961204 USACE contract design adequate. ref SDS 22 7987
581864 - 961205 slope stability problem identified. ref SDS 23 9630
581865 - 961210 Dutra failed to provide information, ref SDS 24 1640
581866 - 961211 proposal to help Dutra. ref SDS 25 7056
581867 - 961212 UPRR prefers Dutra's open cut idea. ref SDS 26 9640
581868 - 961212 UPRR's standard detail inadequate. ref SDS 26 0740
581869 - 961213 UPRR waives standard detail. ref SDS 27 8592
581870 - 961219 coordinated submittals. ref SDS 29 9602
581871 - 961220 revised submittal and review schedule. ref SDS 30 9647
581872 - 961223 confirmed schedule. ref SDS 31 8456
581873 - 961230 Dutra's submittals need corrections. ref SDS 33 6404
581874 - 970102 coordinated corrections. ref SDS 34 0760
581875 - 970103 revised submittal needed corrections. ref SDS 35 0593
581876 - 970106 submittals reviewed. ref SDS 36 7404
581877 - 970107 coordinated corrections, set meeting. ref SDS 37 9769
581878 - 970107 Dutra commends SDS. ref SDS 37 4953
581879 - 971010 coordinated progress. ref SDS 38 7462
581880 - 971015 meeting delayed, submittal looks good. ref SDS 39 7306
581881 - 970206 UPRR endorses solution. ref SDS 40 9705
581882 - 970211 Dutra missed submittal date. ref SDS 41 0980
581883 - ..
581884 - As the contractor notes on 970107, this record shows an
581885 - ingredient has been added that makes management more productive by
581886 - expanding span of attention. ref SDS 37 4953
581888 - General Hatch calls it "intelligence." ref DRP 1 6172
581889 - ..
581890 - CESPN's report sets out in para 6 changes in the business
581891 - environment that make it more difficult for people to recognize nuance
581892 - and alignment due to information overload. ref DRP 3 4172
581894 - Jim acknowledged this change in management practicee during our
581895 - discussion on 970828, ref SDS 54 9900, ref SDS 54 9109.
581896 - ..
581897 - Chuck Shoer, Jim's former boss, who has since retired, noted in
581898 - a discussion on 970310 that USACE stopped the practice of having the
581899 - RE or someone prepare a daily diary, which forces people to pause and
581900 - think about alignment with requirements that impact the price of the
581901 - work. ref SDS 43 2325 This change conflicts with CCA Guide which
581902 - requires records of all elements that impact the price of the work,
581903 - per review on 970317. see ref SDS 44 5602
581905 - The change reflects trends to reduce records in hopes of avoiding
581906 - liability for mistakes.
581908 - [On 971202 USACE policy is to "stress" managerial accountability,
581909 - yet managers actually fear accountability, and so need support to
581910 - accomplish USACE policy. ref SDS 73 2837]
581912 - ..
581914 - These are new realities since the time when HQ staff performed RE
581915 - work.
581917 - Chief of Engineers has noted that USACE needs to address new realities
581918 - to prepare for the 21st century, see CESPN report, ref DRP 3 0129 and
581919 - ref SDS 46 8278.
581921 - Communication Metrics provides a direct path to accomplish that goal.
581923 - Of course, if new realities do not impact USACE performance, then
581924 - there is no need to prepare for them. The record, however, indicates
581925 - new realities in fact are being felt everywhere.
581927 - [On 971202 at presentation to HQ USACE, Jim asked about these "new
581928 - realities. ref SDS 73 3231]
581930 - [On 981027 government paid $30M to settle Oakland which was a
581931 - series of snafus that reached critical mass. ref SDS 79 9152]
581933 - [On 981119 Jim Lovo cited self-evident benefits of Communication
581934 - Metrics to solve information overload. ref SDS 80 2272]
581936 - [On 990126 HQ snafu caused delay and frustration. ref SDS 81 4368]
Psychologically Demanding Com Manager
Com Manager Buffers Shock of Management Details
670501 - ..
670502 - Leadership Raise Issues Not Temperatures, Avoid Political Blame Game
670504 - The challenge of leadership is how to raise awareness of impending
670505 - problems caused by new realities of a changed work environment, as
670506 - discussed above, ref SDS 0 2227, in time to change course, when those
670507 - working hard everyday do not feel the need for change because they are
670508 - so busy fixing problems? When things are hectic, people want to wait
670509 - to save money, a classic characteristic of crisis management.
670511 - [On 990325 example at SFIA $4B program. ref SDS 86 9482]
670512 - ..
670513 - Can we sound the alert without causing ill will?
670515 - Economic boom key reality increasing risk due to lack of personnel
670516 - strength. Requires dedicated risk management.
670518 - ..
670519 - Examples Information Overload Manifesting New Realities
670521 - We considered our telecon on 970926 revealed miscommunication
670522 - between Jim and Tom which extended review of Communication Metrics
670523 - by a month. This kind of "rework" is a pervasive problem caused
670524 - by a changing business environment that prevents effective
670525 - management because there is not enough time to review, to think,
670526 - to prepare, to follow up. ref SDS 56 3479
670528 - We did not discuss Jim Lovo's difficulty reviewing Communication
670529 - Metrics due to lack of time. ref SDS 62 1111
670531 - [On 981119 Jim Lovo cited benefits of Communication Metrics to
670532 - solve information overload. ref SDS 80 2272]
670534 - [On 990126 HQ snafu caused delay and frustration. ref SDS 81
670535 - 4368]
670537 - "...Focuses and Initiatives" section on CEMP-E Web page shows no
670538 - activity for the past year. ref SDS 62 8492
670540 - ...Staff Meetings on CEMP-E Web page has no activity since March
670541 - 1997.
670542 - ..
670543 - This likely reflects there has not been enough time to
670544 - prepare the record, or the record has not been submitted to
670545 - the Web manager, or no one has noticed the record has not been
670546 - updated, indicating they were not being read, or the
670547 - information is now being distributed in another manner, in
670548 - which case these entries should be removed from the Web page.
670550 - However, if the record is valuable to the Web page, then the
670551 - loss of the record impacts performance. As the now world
670552 - famous private criminologist testified in the O.J. Simpson
670553 - trial: "Something wrong!"
670555 - ...Missions and Functions omits mention of Project Management,
670556 - Risk Management, Scheduling, Change Management (to implement
670557 - CEFMS, PROMIS, RMS, and reorganization)
670559 - ...RMS implementation has slipped from 970901 to 98....
670560 - ..
670561 - ...Change Management supported by CERL PL-B -- Jim advised
670562 - today he is not aware of this program being used at HQUSACE, ref
670563 - SDS 30 3489.
670564 - ..
670565 - Per our discussion on 970926, ref SDS 57 8334, specific cost
670566 - savings were not included in the original Communication Metrics report
670567 - because doing so engenders "finger pointing," rather than focusing on
670568 - improving work process, ref SDS 32 8823. We need to raise issues not
670569 - temperatures. ref SDS 47 5992
670571 - There must be a way to help people recognize opportunity without being
670572 - critical of their expertise and diligence.
670575 - ..
670576 - Denial is Not Just Another River in Egypt
670578 - We considered the CIA intelligence role of organizing and analysing
670579 - information does not cause the Commander-in-Chief to feel he is not
670580 - intelligent and diligent, because the need is evident that a constant
670581 - flow of information is overwhelming without intelligence support.
670583 - The emerging new reality of fewer people chasing more information due
670584 - to a changing business environment, means that an intelligence role is
670585 - needed to expand span of attention on a broader scale.
670587 - [On 971202 discussed "new realities" at meeting with HQUSACE. see
670588 - ref SDS 73 3231]
670589 - ..
670590 - Leadership is needed to help people overcome fear, ignorance and
670591 - denial. compare ref SDS 0 4814 and ref SDS 0 2849, with the record at
670592 - ref SDS 0 3428,
670594 - [On 980307 Andy Grove's book "Only the Paranoid Survive" cites
670595 - denial of need for better methods is a universal problem that
670596 - challenges successful leadership. ref SDS 74 3740]
670598 - [On 980403 Max Blodgett, Chief CESPN-CO, noted need for leadrship
670599 - to introduce Communication Metrics. ref SDS 76 4129]
Ludites Last Bastion, Managers, Fear SDS
Leadership Broader Vision, SDS Discovers
710501 - ..
710502 - Leadership with Broader Vision Helps Overcome Fear of Change
710504 - Managers are the last "bastion of Ludites" who fear technology that
710505 - changes their work practice, per discussion with Jim below on building
710506 - faith. ref SDS 0 0941
710508 - This takes leadership with a broader vision to overcome denial and
710509 - fear of change, per discussions with Max on 970728. ref SDS 51 9774
710511 - Examples are discussion with Max and Tom on 960924 ref SDS 12 9972;
710512 - and with Tom on 961101, ref SDS 16 8888, and later with Tom White on
710513 - 961105, ref SDS 17 1220.
710515 - [On 980307 Andy Grove's book cites denial as common problem for
710516 - successful executives, ref SDS 74 3740, which strong leadership
710517 - must find a way to overcome one way or the other. ref SDS 75 1566]
710519 - [On 990505 "attitude" prevents people from using Communication
710520 - Metrics. ref SDS 87 4732
710522 - [On 990527 strong cultural forces prevent people from using SDS to
710523 - save time and money. ref SDS 88 1233
710525 - [On 000419 Luddite mentality prevents people from using online
710526 - books. ref SDS 90 0673
Reengineer = Fewer Managers + More
Risk Management Requires Communication
Communication Metrics Risk Management,
Little Deviations Lead to Big Problems
Truth Moving Target on Information Highway,
Fewer People Chasing More Information
Experience SDS/Communication Metrics Only
Reengineer Communication SDS Improves Management Adds Metrics Alignme
Cost Savings Reengineer Reduce Staff or Expand Mission Empowers Colla
901301 - ..
901302 - Expanding Mission, Reduced Strength Requires Communication Metrics
901304 - Follow up ref SDS 57 2955.
901306 - Jim said that recently HQ USACE fired 13 people and their budget has
901307 - been further constrained, per Jim Lovo's comment about current focus
901308 - on downsizing. ref SDS 62 1111
901310 - Jim feels that firing people due to budget reductions means there is
901311 - no budget for using Com Metrics to save time and money, because the
901312 - savings are not well enough established, discussed further below.
901313 - ref SDS 0 0941 Since, as he noted, managers should be saving the
901314 - money that Com Metrics saved, he cannot propose spending money on Com
901315 - Metrics, per above, ref SDS 0 2849, because this is unnecessary
901316 - overkill. His boss would be shocked by proposing to use intelligence
901317 - for saving time and money.
901318 - ..
901319 - He advised that Congress has passed legislation that moved
901320 - management of a particular waste classification (nuclear?) from DOE to
901321 - USACE, but they did not provide funding for this increased mission.
901323 - This creates a high risk environment where more work is being managed
901324 - by fewer people, and leads directly to conditions cited by Hank Hatch
901325 - where a backlog of claims accumulates because of inadequate attention.
901327 - Limited span of attention is not a Corps of Engineers problem. It is
901328 - endemic to a changing business environment that effects private and
901329 - public sector alike. The Corps has heightened vulnerability because
901330 - it is less able to "buy off" effects than say an Intel or a Microsoft.
901332 - [Discussed with Mike Grebinski on 971104 economic impact of
901333 - building boom and low unemployment, and CESPN unable to hire
901334 - needed staffing; problem can be solved by Communication Metrics,
901335 - ref SDS 71 line 093108.]
901336 - ..
901337 - Communication Metrics makes it possible for fewer people to do
901338 - more work with fewer errors by adding intelligence to information that
901339 - integrates time, analysis, documents, subjects and people.
901341 - If Communication Metrics were used at HQ for a month or so, suddenly
901342 - it would be clear that there are a lot of factors that impact daily
901343 - performance that are being overlooked. This does not mean HQ managers
901344 - are not diligent nor highly capable. It means Communication Metrics
901345 - is a powerful microscope that discovers more critical details than are
901346 - evident to the busy mind. Initially, managers feel defensive. They
901347 - complain that Communication Metrics is too detailed, ref SDS 17 1220.
901348 - They are unsure if this is a sound method, ref SDS 12 9972. But in a
901349 - month they begin to recognize that fixing little problems makes big
901350 - problems go away under the rule cited by Aristotle 4,000 years ago:
901351 - ..
901352 - The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied
901353 - later a thousandfold. ref OF 1 line 36.
901354 - ..
901355 - On the Information Highway of today, truth is a moving target.
901356 - People begin to feel a big weight come off their shoulders as
901357 - Communication Metrics provides the power to gain command and control
901358 - of the work.
Wider Use Comm Metrics
970601 - ..
970602 - Develop Support at CESP Division, Mike Grebinski
970604 - Jim will call Mike Grebinski, Chief of Construction in CESP, to see
970605 - about developing support for a broader test of Communication Metrics.
970607 - Max Blodgett had planned to contact Mike about Communication
970608 - Metrics, but this got deferred in the morass of a follow up
970609 - contract for Communication Metrics that later foundered, ref SDS
970610 - 50 line 162.
970612 - Possibly interest can be generated for CG to assist CESPN-DE in
970613 - supporting Communication Metrics, or another setting can be found for
970614 - the test.
970615 - ..
970616 - Tom Keesling was considering notifying the Los Angles
970617 - District about Communication Metrics, ref SDS 52 line 294.
970619 - [See discussions with Mike Grebinski on 971104, ref SDS 71
970620 - line 245.]
970624 - ..
970625 - Review by USACE CERL PL-B, Dr. Moonja Kim for Change Management
970627 - I explained discussions with Moonja yesterday and her suggestion that
970628 - a partnering arrangement might be developed for Communication Metrics
970629 - to support her mission to provide Change Management, ref DIP 2 line 29
970630 - and telecon with Moonja on 971017, ref SDS 63 3489.
970632 - I advised that Moonja may contact Jim about potential of Communication
970633 - Metrics to support USACE. ref SDS 63 3489
970635 - Jim indicated reduced budgets limit funding for research.
100 Subjects Typical SDS Record
Changed Business Enironment Information
Difficult to Calculate
Felt Need Reduced Costs Absorbed Reduced
Span of Attention Enhanced by SDS
Facilitating Meeting Begins with SDS Record
Preparing for Meetings
Knowledge Worker Communication Manager
Com Manager Different Tasks from Traditional Management
Com Manager Ensures Time is Invested in Metrics Using Tools
Be Prepared SDS Provides 80% of Preparation Automatically
AI15 - 1103 called Jim back
AI1601 - ..
AI1602 - Span of Attention is Recognized But Hard to Quantify Cost Impact
AI1604 - I asked if Jim recognized the difference between the typical level of
AI1605 - impacts recognized by managers and the complexity of subjects actually
AI1606 - tracked by Communication Metrics? ref SDS 58 line 659.
AI1608 - Jim recalled there is a substantial difference, ref DRP 3 5443.
AI1610 - However, managers typically deny this difference causes additional
AI1611 - work because it is hidden from their attention.
AI1613 - [On 980307 Andy Grove's book "Only the Paranoid Survive" cites
AI1614 - denial of managers that new realities require new work practices.
AI1615 - ref SDS 74 3740]
AI1619 - ..
AI1620 - Communication Manager Supports Being Prepared
AI1622 - Jim asked if the Communication Manager is an active player in meetings
AI1623 - to alert commanders and managers that matters have been previously
AI1624 - addressed?
AI1626 - I explained this is a concern of CESPN-DE, ref SDS 48 line 285.
AI1628 - There can be situations where the Communication Manager facilitates a
AI1629 - meeting, but typically the role is to obtain clarification and work
AI1630 - behind the scenes like a leadership aide, or an intelligence officer,
AI1631 - that provides organization and checks alignment and identifies
AI1632 - proactively matters that require attention in order to avoid rework.
Conway, Lynn New System of Knowledge
Shocking New System of Knowledge
Faith, Belief in Valuable Results and
Shocking SDS Record Organization of Complexity, Cost Savings
Microcosm Power to Organize, Link Complex
Experience SDS/Communication Metrics Only
AX0901 - ..
AX0902 - Extended Test Needed to Build Faith in Communication Metrics
AX0904 - Jim's main point is that we have to overcome the "black box" quackery
AX0905 - label that could be attributed to cost savings that are outside the
AX0906 - experience of seasoned managers and commanders. He noted that the
AX0907 - cognitive science concept of span of attention is well established in
AX0908 - the military under the related idea for span of control, there is no
AX0909 - history or cultural support showing how this effects cost, per above.
AX0910 - ref SDS 0 8853
AX0912 - Denial of problems requires leadership, as discussed above. ref SDS 0
AX0913 - 4814
AX0915 - Lack of experience with Communication Metrics, i.e., fear and
AX0916 - ignorance, reflects Lynn Conway's observation about introducing SVGA
AX0917 - technology in the 1970s:
AX0919 - "How can you take methods that are new, methods that are not in
AX0920 - common use and therefore perhaps considered unsound methods, and
AX0921 - turn them into sound methods?" ref SDS 11 1368.
AX0923 - [See discussion with Max Wideman on 971023 where Cognitive Scinece
AX0924 - is viewed as "black box" methodology, ref SDS 67 8288.]
AX0925 - ..
AX0926 - Seasoned managers and executives at Intel resisted SVGA
AX0927 - technology as unsound, untried, foreign and flatly uneconomical
AX0928 - computer chip design. However, a Japanese firm gave Intel an order
AX0929 - for SVGA chips that paid Intel to produce the technology. As a
AX0930 - result, according to George Gilder in his book "Microcosm", Intel
AX0931 - discovered the counterintutive idea that gaining control over lower
AX0932 - levels of organic structure yields tremendous power. Previously, "big
AX0933 - is better" had been the credo in the mainframe world. Today the very
AX0934 - people who fought the hardest against SVGA technology at Intel are
AX0935 - hailed as industry titans and engineering geniuses because they were
AX0936 - fortunate to get an opportunity to discover that an idea they
AX0937 - considered unsound, was in fact a good idea.
AX0939 - USACE purchased Communication Metrics services in 1996. It produced
AX0940 - promising results, ref DRP 3 line 34. We need to grow these results to
AX0941 - help savvy, experienced managers discover that Communication Metrics
AX0942 - applies the power of the microcosm to the practice of management by
AX0943 - expanding span of attention by an order of magnitude so that the
AX0944 - microprocessor can at last benefit managers, rather than adding to the
AX0945 - burdens of managers who, today, cry out that they do not have time to
AX0946 - think, ref DRP 3 line 582, ref SDS 58 line 552.
AX0949 - ..
AX0950 - USACE Business Process Initiatives Not Studied for Cost Savings
AX0952 - Follow up ref SDS 57 2724.
AX0954 - Jim noted that Project Management and Partnering were not implemented
AX0955 - based on a cost/benefit calculation. There was faith in the prospects
AX0956 - of the methods and so they were tried.
AX0958 - [On 980630 article in Project Management Journal says it is
AX0959 - unusual and difficult to calculate cost savings for methods to
AX0960 - improve management productivity. ref SDS 78 0606]
AX0962 - Bob Little at Sandwall on the 1994 PMI Symposium asked me to keep
AX0963 - developing POIMS technology because people need to experience new
AX0964 - methods to gain "faith" needed to try them. ref SDS 1 6007
AX0965 - ..
AX0966 - Morris Jones at Chips and Technology wants me to keep
AX0967 - developing this stuff so people will gain "faith." ref SDS 5 5090
AX0969 - He feels RMS was necessary to stop the waste of every command trying
AX0970 - ad hoc systems to make technology useful to manage projects. This,
AX0971 - however, will not make RMS cost effective in improving the quality of
AX0972 - management, see for example meeting on 970320. ref SDS 45 0000
AX0975 - ..
AX0976 - Communication Metrics Needs More Exposure in USACE to Build Faith
AX0978 - Jim feels we need to develop broad-based faith in Communication
AX0979 - Metrics methodology, per discussion above, ref SDS 0 1217, and that
AX0980 - can only be accomplished with more experience, per telecon with Morris
AX0981 - Jones at Chips and Technologies on 950223, ref SDS 2 3003; with Tom
AX0982 - Keesling and Max Blodgett on 960924, ref SDS 12 5638; with Tom White on
AX0983 - 961105, ref SDS 17 1220.
AX0985 - [See discussion with Jim on 971029, ref SDS 69 0000.]
AX0987 - [Discussion with Tom on 971030, ref SDS 70 0000.]
AX0989 - [See discussion with Moonja Kim on 971104, ref SDS 72 7557.]
AX0990 - ..
AX0991 - So it is critical to find an opportunity to perform a wider
AX0992 - scale test to validate results from the first application.
AX0996 - ..
AX0997 - Former CG Hank Hatch Might Contribute
AX0999 - I asked if it would be helpful for Hank Hatch to contribute?
AX1001 - Jim feels Hank is well respected and that his support could be useful
AX1002 - at the Division level.
AX1004 - He asked about Hank's exposure to Communication Metrics.
AX1006 - I explained background on Hank's characterization of Communication
AX1007 - Metrics in the 970328 report, ref SDS 42 line 103, as providing
AX1008 - intelligence to organize and analyse information to make leadership
AX1009 - effective, ref DRP 1 line 100, ref SDS 7 line 158.
Wider Use Comm Metrics
B20501 - ..
B20502 - Jim Called Mike Grebinski in CESP on Communication Metrics
B20504 - He advised of having notified Mike about Tom Keesling's report on
B20505 - potential cost savings for S&A, and that it may support recent
B20506 - instructions to reduce costs of operations set by HQUSACE.
B20508 - Mike was surprised he had not received the report from CESPN, since he
B20509 - is located two floors above the District office. He will investigate.
B20510 - It was unclear whether he will report back to Jim on his research and
B20511 - findings.
B20513 - [See follow up, Mike will submit a report to Jim OA 971030 ref SDS
B20514 - 65 line 86.]
B20516 - [On 971029 possible slippage reporting to Jim, ref SDS 68 line
B20517 - 99.]
B20518 - ..
B20519 - Jim indicated to Mike that he will get a call from Rod Welch to
B20520 - follow up.
B208 - 1142 called Tom Keesling
B20901 - Advised of above understandings.
B212 - 1225 called Mike Grabinski 415 977 8031
B213 - ..
B21301 - Talked to Barbara. She said Mike is at lunch. Left my name and
B21302 - number to follow up telecon with Jim Jones this morning.
B216 - 1604 called Mike back
B21701 - Left voice mail message I am following up discussion with Jim Jones,
B21702 - per above.
Distribution. . . . See "CONTACTS"