April 15, 2021
Poor Preparation means Lost Opportunity

I keep hearing about projects that are missing their budgets in both costs and schedule.

One recently started up with everyone running around patting themselves on the back when from the financing forward it has not been a great project. I suspect it is $150 million over what it would need to be (and no, it is likely not the project you think it is; there are several examples out there like this despite my personal thoughts being about a certain one).

I am hearing from contractors that are going on pre-bid site reviews where it is clear the owner is not prepared. The site review for a multi-hundreds of million project was simply a hand waving exercise.

Folks, you must prepare for your large project. You don't have to do all the planning and engineering before you go out for bids, but you must do a reasonable amount, likely 30% of the total or even a bit more.

Our industry is setting itself up to be a full employment opportunity for construction lawyers.

Perhaps that is good, too. It keeps me in construction expert witness work, even though I would rather, as an industry, we did a good job to start with and stop all this nonsense.

What is your opinion? Drop me a line at jim.thompson@ipulpmedia.com. I would like to hear from you.

Young Engineering Manager of the Year, call for nominations

We are looking for an individual who has done an extraordinary project, one that almost defies belief. Its extraordinary features can be schedule, technology, cost or all three. There is an age limit on the manager eligible for this award: they must be under 35 years old when they completed the project.
We have often gotten nominees that go something like this, "I nominate Joe because he has done a great job of running our engineering department for the last fifteen years." Quite frankly, we are not interested in such nominees.
However, if you know someone who has led a very exceptional project in the recent past (the last two or three years) and meets our age requirement, we want to know about it. We want to honor them and hold them up as an example for Engineering Managers in every pulp and paper mill around the world.
Just send your nomination, with as much details as you can provide, to jim.thompson@ipulpmedia.com. We will seriously consider it.
Current Patent Activity is available here.

Please write when we tickle your brain cells! Email jthompson@taii.com