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S U M M A R Y
DIARY: January 28, 1999 12:16 PM Thursday;
Called Max about CEMP report on Communication Metrics.
2...HQUSACE Report Says Cost of Communication Metrics Significant
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0201 - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 415 977 8501 fax 8483
020101 - San Francisco District
020102 - Mr. Max R. Blodgett, II, P.E., L.S.
020103 - Construction Operations Division
COE Evaluation Communication Metrics
USACE CESPN CSB Review
Wider Use Communication Metrics
Experience, Need Broader Base
Denial Managers Making Mistakes Reject
Information Entropy Failed Management
Murphy's Law, Avoiding Mistakes
Reality Forces Mistakes into Span of
Information Highway Overhwhelms Span of
Examples of Needs and Requirements
Risk Management Requires Communication Manager for Information Highwa
Cost Savings $30M Loss Avoidance on USACE Oakland Harbor Project Comm
Mistakes Increase on Information Highway, Need Metrics
Correcting Corrections, Overcome by SDS
2418 - ..
2419 - Summary/Objective
242001 - Follow up ref SDS 38 0000, ref SDS 37 0000.
242003 - Max feels that CEMP found Communication Metrics is not cost effective.
242004 - A clear signal would be helpful from HQ on the need for more
242005 - experience to establish cost savings from Communication Metrics.
2423 - Progress
242401 - ..
242402 - HQUSACE Report Says Cost of Communication Metrics Significant
242404 - Follow up ref SDS 38 3960.
242406 - Max said he received my letter, ref DIP 14 0000, submitted yesterday,
242407 - ref SDS 38 3960, with link to the report, ref DRP 16 0000, issued by
242408 - Jim Lovo at CEMP-EC, originally on 990106 and per our telecon on the
242409 - snafu that delayed distribution to CESPN until 990126. ref SDS 37 4826
242411 - Max observed that Jim found Communication Metrics is useful, but the
242412 - cost is significant. ref DRP 16 2520
242414 - We reviewed Jim's explanation yesterday, which was provided through a
242415 - link in the letter to Max. ref DIP 14 9625. Jim has indicated that
242416 - the total cost of implementing Communication Metrics Corps-wide would
242417 - be significant. ref SDS 38 5655 The analysis attached to Jim's report
242418 - cites actual and estimated savings of $500K. ref DRP 15 2565 Tom
242419 - Keesling's memo which is part of enclosure 2 in Jim's report, ref DRP
242420 - 16 7500, says this savings was achieved at a cost of less than $50K.
242421 - In the discussion with Jim on 990127 he feels that saving $500K at a
242422 - cost of $50K is significant.
242424 - Max said he did not have time to review these links.
242425 - ..
242426 - He feels the report finds that Communication Metrics is not cost
242427 - effective, therefore budget constraints for downsizing present a
242428 - challenge about recommending Communication Metrics to the District
242429 - Engineer.
242431 - ..
242433 - I explained discussion with Jim on 990105 about providing a signal to
242434 - the District on the need for more experience using Communication
242435 - Metrics, ref SDS 34 6095, based on Max's request for support from HQ,
242436 - in the record for 980803. ref SDS 14 3887
242438 - Jim planned to call on 990106 to review language for accomplishing
242439 - this objective, but he did not have enough time.
242441 - Max noted that CEMP-EC's report cites the problem of information
242442 - overload, ref DRP 16 2520, but there is no guidance on taking action
242443 - to solve it. CESPN does not have a budget to address the problem.
242445 - We recalled Merry's letter on 981022, ref DRP 4 7611, stated that the
242446 - government came up with an additional $30M above the contract price,
242447 - to pay Dutra on the Oakland Harbor project. ref SDS 16 9152
242449 - Discussed investing in an intelligence role to support management
242450 - reduces mistakes that cause rework and delay, and so reduces costs.
242451 - Continual snafus, as discussed with Jim yesterday, and with Max
242452 - previously, result in managers spending most of their time fixing
242453 - mistakes. Therefore, when budgets are constrained it is even more
242454 - important to work smarter and more carefully.
242456 - Max recalled the correlation he made yesterday about Communication
242457 - Metrics being like an insurance policy. ref SDS 37 0038
242459 - I concurred that, like an insurance policy, investing in better
242460 - management is aimed at avoiding costly mistakes, and identifying
242461 - opportunities in time to take effective action. CESPN's report on
242462 - 970328 cites experience showing that Communication Metrics
242463 - accomplishes this objective. ref DRP 1 6172 The report on 971007
242464 - shows this is cost effective. Merry's letter on 981022 reports that
242465 - Communciation Metrics is even more cost effective than originally
242466 - determined, and shows the government has ample reason to investigate
242467 - means which have been shown to be cost effective in reducing mistakes
242468 - that escalate costs.
242470 - Max advised that project budgets are different. It is easier to get
242471 - money for closing a project than to pay for Communication Metrics at
242472 - the beginning to avoid paying so much for closeout.
242474 - He noted that the trend toward reduced overhead funding makes it
242475 - difficult to justify Communication Metrics support for the management
242476 - of CESPN.
242478 - Max feels the budgeting challenge requires a constructive solution.
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