Technical Program Abstracts

(DEV) Professional Development

(DEV-3045) Problem Analysis using Statistical Safeguards

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Gregory J. Whiteside, PE CCP; James D. Whiteside, II


There are seven rules that define and substantiate causality. The very first task to any analysis is to define the problem what is necessary and sufficient to define discovery boundaries. Developing a hypothesis requires problem definition. The analyst must have some experience in the subject matter to make a creditable conjecture about the phenomena that is occurring. Proving causality normally results in compromise because there is insufficient data, time, experience, etc. Therefore, when causality cannot be determined, there must be statistical safeguards in place to keep the conclusions of the analysis within the acceptable discovery boundaries.  When causality cannot be proven, the study is simply a statistical analysis resulting in a correlation they may not be valid, applicable, or significant.

(DEV-3224) 14 Key Areas to Improving Your Cost and Schedule Team’s Performance

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Stephen Beck


Managing technical cost and schedule staff is different than other groups of staff. Cost and schedule staff have unique technical requirements as well as normal leadership and managerial needs. Over the last 20 years I have developed a unique 14 step system that I use on my projects. It's a system that helps clarify roles, responsibilities and expectations. It's designed to eliminate stress on staff and managers. The system is normal and relatively simple to implement. The system does require discipline however it will maintain a consistent rhythm of growth and development staff members. The system is written in order of complexity, it can be seen as a continuous growth process. The steps are meant to be mastered to achieve excellence in cost and schedule control. Here are the 14 steps.

1 – Key Performance Objectives

2 – Check Lists

3 – Desktop Guides

4 – System Description

5 – Procedures

6 – Software Training and On the Job Training (OTJ)

7 – Traceability Checks

8 – Surveillances

9 – 32 Criteria

10 – The Contract

11 – Customer/Government Guidance

12 – Training and Mentoring Others

13 – Master your weekly and daily schedules

14 – Improving your interpersonal skills

(DEV-3247) Project Controls Ethics - Codes, Conduct, and Culture

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Dr. Alexia A. Nalewaik, CCP FAACE


Many professionals in project controls, project management, and quantity surveying are members of professional institutions. As members of those organizations, they are typically bound by an aspirational and mandatory Code of Ethics - or several codes, if they are members of more than one organization. This paper explores key concepts and recurring themes in the ethics codes established by project-related professional institutions. The author then identifies typical ethical lapses and grey areas in project controls, reflects on recent surveys of project professionals, raises questions about loyalty and good character, and discusses whether an ethics code is sufficient to achieve normative ethical behavior in today’s workplace.

(DEV-3274) Delivering Virtual Master’s Degree in Cost Engineering to Foreign Students

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Varan Suppiah Karunakaran, PE


Significant number of students from underdeveloped countries relocate to developed countries for quality educations. This outlays a large amount of money, a possibility of leaving their current earnings, depart their love ones, etc for these relocating students. This paper, conversely, analyses the success stories of other professional bodies delivering postgraduate degree courses in collaboration with universities to facilitate the required quality education for every student in the world. With the technology advancement, this paper proposes an appropriate mode of delivery for a cost-effective affordable advanced world knowhow for learning from any location. Furthermore, the paper analyses dearth of education avenues on the specialised cost engineering education. Moreover, the paper analyses with reasons to accommodate appropriately the current and potential future certificates of AACE within the course. A designed university program enriching with related subjects such as System Engineering, Project Management as well as associated sustainability, safety, resources, procurement, quality and contracts etc will also be assessed. Finally, how AACE can deliver the course directly with great benefits bringing in terms of increased membership and monetary values to AACE. Contrariwise, the presented system that can prevent brain-drain from underdeveloped countries.

(DEV-3276) The Professional Mentor-Mentee Partnership Approach - A Value Added Experience

Author(s)/Presenter(s): Rohit Singh, P.Eng.


This paper summarizes my 2018 professional mentoring experience; a 6- months phased professional mentoring program, based on face to face interactions on a weekly basis with 2 Mentees. This took a high level of commitment from both mentor and mentees; the lessons learned from this mentor-mentee experience are shared in this paper.

As a teacher in South America, I have experienced the value of enhancing the learning experiences of pre-university students   This background combined with over 30 years practical experiences as a Project Controls Consultant in Oil and Gas, Mining, Nuclear and Infrastructure enhances my ability for providing value as a mentor. Apart from the qualification and experience of the mentor, it is also invaluable to follow a professional approach to mentoring.

The following steps were incorporated in this professional approach:

1.            The phases of the partnership

2.            The Interview processes

3.            The partnership agreement to enhance professionalism

This 3- step approach established the framework for the Mentor-Mentee partnership. A necessary partnership, which for you, the AACE members can make that difference in your career!

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