New POMS Article Authored by PPI Technical Director Mark Spearman, PhD

In ongoing advancement of the science governing capital project delivery and operations management everywhere, PPI’s Technical Director, Dr. Mark Spearman and his co-author, Dr. Wallace Hopp have published “The Case for a Unified Science of Operations.” The article is refereed and published by the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS), one of the world’s premier research journals according to Business Week and the Financial Times.

Drs. Spearman and Hopp make the case that many failures in cost and on-time delivery performance in project delivery and in traditional manufacturing stem from a fundamental gap in understanding. For Engineering and Construction, project schedules, BIM databases and 3D simulations are highly valuable, but these approaches are prescriptive and do not effectively predict project behavior.  Operations Science provides basic descriptive relationships to fill a major gap in understanding and thereby achieve higher rates of project delivery success than simply using common project management tools and approaches.

For example, the laws that governments pass and enforce are prescriptive descriptions for human behavior—a government may set a freeway speed limit at 55 mph (~90 kph). However, a descriptive representation of human behavior would look at actual driving speeds. Likewise, project schedules provide a prescriptive description of project delivery performance but projects don’t behave according to a published project schedule. The Operations Science proposed in the article provides descriptive science that enables project professionals to understand the actual behavior of their projects and thereby take necessary action to deliver projects on-time and on-budget.

Read more and download the full article here:

About PPI

PPI works to increase the value Engineering and Construction provides to the economy and society. PPI researches and disseminates knowledge related to the application of Project Production Management and technology for the optimization of complex and critical energy, industrial and civil infrastructure projects.