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By Authored by Ralph S. Spillinger in conjunction with the Federal Facilities Council, Standing Committee on Organizational Performance and Metrics, National Research Council

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The information age is all about calculating, validating, documenting, and communicating information. It has already caused a profound transformation of the facility acquisition process, with that transformation continuing to accelerate. Slide rules have given way to calculators and computers. Drafting tables, T-squares, and triangles have been replaced with computer-based automated design and engineering. Construction documents are now stored, published, and distributed electronically rather than through massive paper trails.

Incorporating the best practices into one’s own process, measuring the results achieved, and documenting the extent of improvement. Several organizations have conducted benchmarking activities within the construction industry, including IPA of Reston, Virginia. IPA’s database encompasses metrics from over 2,000 individual projects valued at over $300 billion and accomplished by approximately 60 companies. Although the IPA database is proprietary, IPA has collaborated with research studies such as The Business Roundtable white paper The Business Stake in Effective Project Systems.

The meetings with headquarters staff are limited to three to four hours in length. The ANG no longer conducts technical design reviews at the headquarters level due to the time involved and a lack of staff resources. ANG holds A/E firms responsible for the completeness and technical adequacy of their designs. The ANG facility engineering staff has downsized approximately 10 percent since 1994. Additional downsizing is anticipated, thus prompting an ongoing review of current facilities engineering practices and processes.

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