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  • 1.  Keeping efficient workflow, and not getting sued.

    Posted 04-01-2024 08:06 AM

    I want to open up this thread for folks to share the ways that insurance and the threat of litigation impact our practice (beyond basic civic responsibility) and solutions to keep up the quality and efficiency of our work product without taking on excess risk.  We all practice in a highly regulated world where we're often caught in between the conflicting financial interests of outside parties.  This article is one of many recently that has got me thinking about this issue, and I figure Collaborate is a great platform to share ideas and best practices.

    I'll start off with one which is mentioned in the article above: owning mistakes.  Within a design firm, engineers own up all the time to build trust with supervisors--but out in the field, we can never say that we goofed, even if we kinda sorta did.  It contributes to CMs feeling like engineers are pedantic and clueless, and causes friction across the team.  I don't have a great fix for this, but I do think that listening for contractor preferences and quickly delivering a cost-neutral solution (when feasible) helps to smooth over any animosity and get the project back on track when issues come up.

    I'd love to hear other examples, and any creative solutions.  Appreciate any and all contributions!

    Christian Parker P.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Project Engineer
    Chicago IL

  • 2.  RE: Keeping efficient workflow, and not getting sued.

    Posted 04-08-2024 10:41 AM
      |   view attached

    Hi Christian.

    Thought this paper might be of interest.

    "Biases in construction project dispute resolution,"
    Sai On Cheung and Keyao Li
    City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
    Purpose – This study aims to propose a framework of bias in construction project dispute resolution
    (CPDR hereafter).


    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880


  • 3.  RE: Keeping efficient workflow, and not getting sued.

    Posted 04-19-2024 01:23 PM

    The article is a great pick from the ASCE-Source Claim Reduction monthly series.

    Most industrial policy and management documents – have some sort of guidelines on many such issues.

    • One thing that occurs to me – is that most often we do not give enough importance to mentioning, discussing or making the client aware of certain things. The examples of such things include: limitations, assumptions and constraints of a certain project. They are there in all projects – the extent of which varies according to the nature of projects.

    • Clients tend to expect some sort of miracles from an engineer at a low cost – but, in reality no such thing could possibly exist. One particular example is the data or information – the quality and quantity of which are very crucial to the soundness of a project. Data qualifiers such as: regional vs site-specific, coarse-resolution vs fine-resolution in space and time – all these and more are important factors for the soundness of a project.

    • Therefore, mentioning them upfront during the work-processes benefit both sides and the project.



    Dr. Dilip K Barua, Ph.D

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