AACE International Conference & Expo

Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering
June 14–18, 2021

The Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE International) will host their annual Conference & Expo virtually on June 14–18, 2021. The Conference & Expo convenes dedicated professionals with the world’s leading cost and project controls experts. Presentations undergo a rigorous peer-review process to ensure attendees receive the highest-quality education. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend 30 live sessions (3 concurrent live sessions daily) and unlimited access to more than 70 technical papers and presentation recordings.

Robert M. Freas, Exponent principal, Gayathri Shetty, CCM, PMP, LEED AP, Exponent senior manager, and Adam S. Lackey, Exponent manager, will present “Schedule Effectiveness versus Specification Compliance, Which Should Prevail?” on Thursday, June 17, at 8:00 AM PT/11:00 AM ET. When projects are affected by unexpected or as-built events such as unforeseen conditions, design errors and/or omissions, or owner requested changes, the contractor’s baseline schedule and execution plan are not typically realized. Industry recognized authorities recommend that project schedules be regularly updated with two purposes in mind: reflect the current status of the project and keep the schedule as an effective management tool. These objectives can be at odds with project specifications that prohibit revisions to the schedule unless approved by the owner. If the schedule is not kept current, does the schedule become obsolete and nothing more than a payment application tool? This paper will present an in-depth discussion of why the contractor should be permitted to keep the schedule current and the problems that result from this prohibition, as well as the owner’s perspective of not allowing the contractor to revise the schedule to include as-built events occurring during project execution. Possible risks that the parties can be exposed to in these situations will also be identified and discussed. Finally, this paper will present proposed solutions for the parties to consider, which attempt to satisfy the specification requirements and keep the schedule as an effective management tool.

Susan W. Bomba, P.E., Exponent principal, and Aleshia Ayers, P.E., former Exponent senior associate, pre-recorded a paper presentation titled “Once Upon a Project: Using Data to Tell the Story” that will be available for attendees to access throughout the conference. Effective reporting involves aggregating accurate and timely information and using the data to tell the story of the project. As data is in abundance and software programs abound to transform the data into eye-catching graphics, it’s critical to create effective reporting that focuses on their intended purpose. Reporting and data analysis play key roles in decision making and ultimately make a significant difference in how project health is communicated throughout the organization. By viewing reports as a communication tool instead of a static documentation of status, the project owner can translate key performance indicators and metrics into meaningful information that is actionable. This will allow the discussion to be more focused and help leadership to better understand the health and needs of a project as well as any risks to the broader organization. This paper will focus on four key areas to consider when developing reports: assessing effectiveness of key performance indicators, data automation and management, adapting the visual layout for clear data presentation, and integration of business intelligence and data visualization solutions. Using data to tell the project story will result in more effective project management and create a lasting impact.

Additionally, Winnie Hung, P.E., LEED AP, Exponent principal, will be in attendance.

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