"Stuart Ockman is president of Ockman & Borden Associates, project management consultants based in the Philadelphia area. He started his career at Bechtel working on power projects but now specializes in project planning and control, claims management and claims avoidance. He talked recently with ENR Deputy Editor Richard Korman about the state of construction scheduling, what makes a good scheduler and how schedules are manipulated.
ENR We first met over a decade ago when you and some other old-school experts in critical-path method scheduling raised concerns about how the most popular scheduling software in the industry allowed users to "game" the results to create schedules that suited the users' purposes. Is this still a problem?
Ockman Yes. What's killing the scheduling part of the industry is that scheduling software products are available to anyone at low cost. The users rather quickly become good at using the product but don't know what they've got and don't understand that it's just a tool and the importance of honesty. Construction's a tough industry, with all sorts of agendas, and when it comes down to claims, law firms shouldn't be allowed to hire consultants that will give them any answer they are looking for. Schedulers must be intellectually honest."