118 North Royal St.
Mobile AL, 36602

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In the early days of Critical Path Mechanics one of our clients, a well-established Florida Panhandle contractor, found that an increasing number of their contracts required Critical Path Method schedules. The principals of the firm had relied on simple bar type-schedules, prepared by hand, for many years. They viewed the preparation of a Critical Path Schedule as an additional overhead cost that was born only as a benefit for the customer. They contracted us to provide schedules to meet the specifications in their county contracts. Critical Path Mechanics recognized that this company had a culture that had functioned profitably for many years without the benefit of Critical Path Schedules. The principals of the company acknowledged that times were changing and they had to upgrade their processes in order to compete in the evolving environment. Critical Path Mechanics began the relationship by giving the client just what they wanted and encouraging...

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Engagements as Expert Witness

Expert Testimony Construction Schedule Analysis

Coltin Electric, Inc. v. Continental Casualty Company, engaged by Peter S. Mackey, Esq., Burns Cunningham & Mackey, P.C. (US District Court for the Sothern District of Alabama, Civil Action No.: 1:12—cv-00532-KD-B) JP Pate v. Baldwin County BOE, engaged by L. Bratton Rainey, III, Crowe, Rainey & Austin P.C. White-Spunner Construction, Inc. v. CWJ Contracting, Inc., engaged by L. Bratton Rainey, III, Crowe, Rainey & Austin P.C. Crestview Site & Underground,Inc. v. Okaloosa County,Florida, engaged by Doug Miller, Esq. Clark Partington Hart Larry Bond and Stackhouse (Okaloosa County 2010-CA-006484) Madison Resource Funding Corp. v. ThyssenKrupp Steel and Stainless USA,LLC, engaged by Gregory Vaughan, esq., Holston Vaughan, LLC (Mobile County Circuit Court, CV-2010-900989) Industrial Services of Mobile vs. Thysen-Krupp, engaged by Mr. Terry Hohlsonback, Ongoing L&W Supply Corporation, DBA Seacost Supply, et al vs. Dick Corporation, engaged by DCK World Wide Carr Engineering vs. Okaloosa County, Florida, engaged by Doug Miller, Esq....

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PE vs PM

Evolution of the Professional Engineer As Project Manager An ambitious and business savvy Professional Engineer (PE) finds himself suffocating in a large, sedentary firm. Convinced he can do better on his own he hangs out his shingle and opens his own firm. Operating as a professional service firm he has to ensure at least one half to two thirds of his service providers must be PEs. As his business begins to grow modestly he takes on an employee. Naturally enough this first hire is another PE. As a matter of economic, and regulatory necessity the PEs are their own CAD Technicians and project managers (PMs). The PEs are successful and the business grows. The projects grow in technical complexity and are generally profitable. A receptionist is added to the staff, then CAD technicians and finally some accounting help. Flush with success the founders are justifiably confident in their own managerial...

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construction scheduler

PLANNERS, SCHEDULERS, PROGRESSORS AND DAMNED SCHEDULERS! “Damned Scheduler!” This phrase is uttered far too frequently across this country as Project Managers, near the end of their projects, discover they will not complete on time. In many instances the scheduler/schedule is the readily available scapegoat for a multitude of ills associated with a project. More frequently the schedule is not to blame. When poor planning and scheduling are a valid weakness in project execution the author has found the following conditions to be largely responsible: Due diligence was done in preparation of the project plan and a useful schedule was produced, but it was never progressed and disregarded shortly after project start. The planning process was truncated by cloning a schedule from a previous, similar project and adopted for the current project with little modification. The schedule is progressed, but so poorly represents the scope that it is largely ignored as...

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500 year ship

In September of 2004, safely tucked away in a cottage in the back woods of South Carolina my family and I watched the eye of Hurricane Ivan pass within a few miles of our waterfront home. As soon as our neighbor gave me the damage report over her cell phone with a rapidly fading battery, I hugged my wife and my kids and got on the road to Pensacola. At every major and minor city along the way I stopped at Home Depot and Lowes, collecting key supplies along the way. At one stop in Augusta, Georgia the cashiers at the contractor’s desk asked “How can you live in a place like that?!" It did not take me a second to reply. As every school kid in the panhandle knows, Pensacola was the first settlement in Florida, but not the first permanent one. “This hasn’t happened since De Luna got...

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We have the cheapest most capable computers in the history of the world and project management software to match. Great organizations such as the Project Management Institute and the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACE International) are trumpeting the benefits of Network Analysis Scheduling. Yet, below the highest levels of the Construction Industry the use of these superb methods is spotty, at best. What is going wrong? The answer to this question is multifaceted and complex. But this paper will explore one aspect of the problem, the economics of a small to middling company employing professional scheduling methods. Using the schedules from several projects of less than $10 million the paper will show how the front loaded work load of the scheduler on a given project is a barrier to hiring a skilled full time scheduler. The paper will further explore the implications of hiring consultants and...

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"At the meeting the four experts lamented the state of scheduling. They say they see widespread abuses of powerful software to produce badly flawed or deliberately deceptive schedules that look good, but lack mathematical coherence or common sense about how the industry works." This was the bottle of champagne broken across the bow of the SS College of Scheduling at its launching. Since that time, practice standards have been published and professional certifications implemented. It will be years before we know if we have moved the meter on the quality of schedules in general. But with the publication of AACE International Recommended Practice 29R-03 Forensic Schedule Analysis, we ought to be able to detect individual flawed and deceptive schedules, particularly where the deception is the result of logic manipulation. Can we? And if we can, what can be done for parties deceived by such schedules? [pdf-embedder url="http://criticalpathmechanics.com/wp-content/uploads/Deceptive_Schedules.pdf" title="Deceptive Schedules"]

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