A recent front-page article  in the Wall Street Journal suggests that “analytics leads to longer games with less action.” The WSJ then takes 50 column inches to explain how “that makes baseball, whose early use of big-data strategies was embraced by the business world in general, a case study in its unintended consequences.”

Hey, I learned that in high school physics when taught “measurement impacts that being measured.”

In my practice of helping contractors not only get their projects in on time, but early, so that they can earn a bonus or save perhaps months of overheads, and  in my classes at Drexel and Temple Universities, and at my Construction CPM Conference, and in my efforts to help software developers improve their products, I do a few things. I stress the effort to collect, enter, calculate, interpret and disseminate data tthat adds a parasitic expenditure to our endeavor for time and cost improvement. Asking the carpenter to put down the hammer after each swing to record that effort on his or her iPhone, then to pick up the hammer to swing again, will not improve productivity nor speed project completion.

Requiring the contractor to cost-load to the penny tasks split to match a cost code system (apparently placing rebar is a different cost code than tying rebar, thus requiring separate “activities” in at least one agency’s CPM specification) neither help track nor control the project.

It does employ a whole lot of field clerks.

We readers and contributors to ENR need to continue the conversation on how to minimize the upfront and especially the continuing efforts to plan, then schedule, then track, then forecast impacts and perhaps adjust our plans, all to complete our projects as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.

Perhaps some will share via commenting here, some will discuss with the sales personnel of software providers, and some will join me at Construction CPM Conference, New Orleans, from January 30 to February 2, 2018.