As a professional planner-scheduler I often hear the question: "The project manager or superintendent’s estimates of duration for activities these past three weeks has been low. Should I adjust her duration estimates going into the future? Is failure to make such adjustments understating the warning that our updates are to provide?”

That kind of comment is linked to an important issue percolating at the American Association of Cost Engineers, where I am a volunteer.

An AACE Recommended Practice on the measurement and use of past trends to forecast future progress and project completion dates is now out for public comment. AACE's leaders gave me permission to share the document with ENR viewers as we collect comments.

The recommended practices attempts to answer the question that boils down to this: If the contractor is not currently meeting its duration commitments, then why do we simply assume that they will suddenly start meeting the baseline production rates when we forecast (i.e. present an update)?”

According to the recommended practice, the response begins with inquiring “whether such past performance is part of a trend or mere random variation or a series of unrelated bad luck.” Later it discusses what to do if such a trend has developed.

To help viewers who aren't involved with AACE, I have uploaded the draft to my website and you can download it. Please comment using Microsoft Word mark-up features and then email the comment to This is a difficult topic and I expect quite a few alternative viewpoints.

On another matter, don't forget that this year's Construction CPM Conference will be held on January 10-13, 2017 at the Swan Resort at Disney World, Fla. While there's more information at, I can tell you that our keynote speakers will include the current president of AACE and a past president of the Associated General Contractors. Our litigation track keynote will be by a past president of the ABA Construction Forum. Other sessions will be led by industry superstars, and still other sessions will be led by rising talents with new ideas.

At the conference, you can explore and train on a variety of CPM software products and pick up some "how to use" skills on three or more software solutions. You'll also be able to expand your skill sets with sessions on estimating, cost, risk, BIM, lean and linear methods. Our Prime Directive is to explore leading edge CPM scheduling concepts. To seek out new expert schedulers and software solutions. To boldly go where no scheduling conference has gone before.

Please get in touch with me with any questions.