The Construction CPM Conference is less than two weeks away so now is the last chance we'll have to talk about what we will do there and for you to make last-minute plans to attend.

We hope to help practitioners of professional planning and scheduling perform better, faster and smarter. Our program invites vendors of CPM and supporting software to further educate and train our attendees in both advanced features of their current software tool and basic navigation of alternate tools. Our program invites experts to share nuances of the fundamental theories of CPM and basics of affiliated fields in cost, EVM, risk, BIM, and the productivity tools of linear, lean and other systems of scheduling.

Join us at the Swan Resort at Disney World Florida from January 10-13 to learn CPM and learn the benefits of professional planning and scheduling for your organization. We have planned over 20 hours of continuing education in six concurrent tracks, ranging from "how to use" a software product to our "Litigation Track" accredited by the Florida Bar for legal education. Meet and mingle with 250 of the world's top CPM experts.

While we have panelists who will describe new and breaking developments, our focus is on spreading knowledge. Other conferences by technical associations, such as the AACE (Association for Advancement of Cost Engineering International,) float new ideas for for consideration and for adoption after stringent peer review. About 50% of our conference attendees belong to one or more of such organizations.

We all work to teach and train our attendees and members to be better planners and schedulers.

What we are missing is an organization to teach the employers and the employers of the employers of our audience what we do and how we can better serve the end users. What we are missing is an organization to inform those who most need our help, that such help is even possible.

Consider the average loan officer reviewing a developer's proposal for a large and complex project.

Spreadsheets of projected costs and possible ROI (return on investment) are raked with a fine-toothed comb. Sole-source procurement is frowned upon and the developer must list multiple vendors to prove viability should the lowest bid be reneged on. And then there is the element of time. The project is based on timely return on investment. The entire enterprise may ride on being first to market or meeting a stipulated deadline. Of course the lender will accept the verbal promises of the developer.

Maybe the lender will require a bar-chart drawn with a crayon or similar analytical assurance.

What our industry needs is someone to teach these loan officers that they can demand and get further assurances of timely completion, including analyses indicating the likelihood of on-time, late by one month, late by three months and so forth. But even the largest consultancy firm has neither the resources nor the potential return on such investment to warrant the promotion involved.

Who does? Perhaps we should ask the software industries that have acquired our CPM scheduling technologies and already have a foothold in the back office operations of the lenders to lead this endeavor?

Let's talk about that in Florida later this month. Hope to see you there.