The 2020 AACE Conference has gone Virtual!

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions that have been imposed on public gatherings and travel, the 2020 AACE Conference has gone virtual. Attendees can still take advantage of all the presentations, technical sessions and networking opportunities – but this year from their own home office. Of course, we would all love to be there in person, but this year we’re all adapting to the current situation to still deliver high quality content, but in a modified platform. For those who aren’t familiar with the AACE, it is one of the most respected organizations on the planet for promoting the cause of best practices in project controls and cost engineering. They provide a deep wealth of high-quality resources for all areas of project management and project controls to ensure projects are delivered on budget and on time. If you’ve never attended an AACE conference in the past, this may be an ideal opportunity to try it out, as being virtual, there’s no travel involved and the time commitments can be much more flexible.

AACE 2020 Virtual conference

My contributions as a conference speaker on behalf of 4castplus this year are in two areas:

  1. Integrating Project Procurement with Project Controls
  2. Enhancing Data Reliability

These are two topics I feel very passionate about as they can be critical, game-changing initiatives for organizations that manage and deliver construction projects.  Below I’ve provided some extracts from each presentation’s whitepaper abstracts, along with a brief description of each.  As a conference attendee, you will be able to access these and all other presentations to view at a time that fits your schedule.  Click here to view all abstracts.

Integrating Project Procurement with Project Controls is Critical for Cost Management



Here is an extract from that paper’s abstract:


“Project controls needs real-time, accurate and complete project data to be truly effective.  A significant percentage of the costs and activities of most construction projects, however, is commonly held in the purchase orders and subcontracts owned by a separate procurement department.  The challenge with this is, when project procurement is not a cohesive part of the project team, it introduces a disconnect and silo-effect that causes information delays, uncertainty and a lack of complete project visibility. This disconnect can be eliminated by integrating procurement directly into the project team and its project controls systems. This paper will explore the importance of tightly connecting project procurement with project controls to reduce risk and gain a complete, holistic picture of the project in real-time. ”


The goal of this presentation is lay out the case for embedding and integrating project procurement directly into the project team and their systems.  For many organizations however, this can go against the status quo as it’s more common for procurement to be in the hands of the finance department. This introduces a considerable impediment to the teams responsible for the successful delivery of major projects, since procurement plays such a vital role in the day-to-day good governance of the project’s finances, schedule and vendor activities.   These realities are often lost on the finance department since, what goes on in the project world, is simply not on their radar. So, an elegant compromise between projects and finance needs to be openly negotiated. 

Enhancing Data Reliability in a World of Increasing Information

This second presentation on data reliability and data integrity is a team effort between myself and two others. My co-authors and presenters are Michael French and Nick Papadopoulos.

Here is an extract of that paper’s abstract:

“Thorough, reliable information is a necessary component for making sound decisions. Although many sources of data have been available to construction users, it can many times be difficult to obtain, or it may be inaccurate.  Lately, companies have taken initiatives to compile past results to make the information available and usable for better predictions. Also, recently developed technological systems and tools are improving the quantity, quality, and timeliness of information available in the construction industry.   Although the past sources of information and the new tools are providing a wealth of additional information, a critical issue remains – ensuring the data is trustworthy.”

Data integrity is clearly a very important trend in all industries, not just construction. Project controls professionals are so heavily dependent on making quick, informed decisions, that the data that supports those decisions has become vital for the successful delivery of projects.  This presentation dives into a broad variety of methods organizations can adopt to ensure high-quality data at every step. This can include technology of course, but also includes better processes, training and overall data management.

Attending the Conference

I really hope you have a chance to attend this year’s conference. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions on these presentations or anything else you’d like to know.


See you in 2 weeks!

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