Speakers & Sessions

Speakers at the 6th Annual NetPoint & GPM Conference

Speakers & Sessions

DAY 1

NetPoint Training

Attend this comprehensive overview of NetPoint’s latest version to learn basic concepts, new features, and important tips necessary to understanding the unique aspects of the application. This training class is a perfect precursor for any attendee wanting to get the most benefit from our conference content. To best support your NetPoint education, the class will include a free 90-day license of NetPoint.

Presented by Tim Mather, PMP

Tim MatherTim Mather is the CTO of PMA Technologies LLC and in this role provides leadership in the design and development team as well as the intellectual property efforts surrounding NetPoint. Tim is a PMP with an extensive background in project management, software development, and software marketing. Tim holds a Bachelors degree from Michigan State University pursued post graduate study of Project Management at the University of Chicago. Tim blogs about planning and scheduling at visualizetheplan.com

Schedule Reliability: Overview of Schedule IQ

In this session, learn the fundamentals of Schedule IQ™, a new NetPoint plugin for analyzing schedule reliability. Topics include working with XER files, metrics libraries (including the DCMA 14-point Assessment), healing schedules in real-time, and exporting reports to Excel. Attendees will walk away with knowing how the IQ Index™ is calculated and the quickest way to get up and running and analyzing schedules. Key reference materials will also be shared, including the IQ Index™ Cheat Sheets and the IQ Index™ Healing Guide.

Download the demo schedule to work along with the presenters.

Presented by Seve Ponce de Leon and Sergio Ponce de Leon

Seve Ponce de LeonSeve Ponce de Leon manages the design and development of NetPoint. He focuses on quality assurance and quality control, where he conducts software testing, technical documentation, and customer support. He has been a member of the NetPoint development team since 2008, and this will be his fifth time presenting at this conference. Seve has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sergio Ponce de LeonSergio Ponce de Leon manages the design and development of NetPoint, where he focuses on feature roadmaps, UI/UX design, and release coordination. He has been a member of the NetPoint development team since 2008, and this will be his fifth time presenting at the NetPoint & GPM Conference. Sergio is pursuing an M.S. in Information with specializations in Human-Computer Interaction and Information Analysis and Retrieval from the University of Michigan.

Removing the Early-Dates Bias in CPM Risk Analysis

The Critical Path Method (CPM) schedules activities to start on early dates, which results in an unrealistic completion distribution in CPM risk analysis. CPM risk analysis tools, thus, cannot model what commonly occurs when a project unfolds and activities start on dates later than early dates due to floating or pacing decisions based on schedule progress. Graphical Path Method (GPM®) risk analysis allows activities in each realization to float as a function of random sampling and decision rules, accurately modeling the real world where activities are delayed to take advantage of total float.

This presentation demonstrates how the early bias in CPM risk analysis leads to optimistic completion distributions, and how GPM risk analysis corrects for the early bias by allowing floating and pacing scenarios. A novel approach is also introduced for developing a bounding completion distribution envelope for selecting realistic probabilistic completion dates and for monitoring safe-float use as the project progresses.

Presented by Vivek Puri, PhD, PMP, EIT

Vivek PuriDr. Vivek Puri completed his bachelor’s degree from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh (India) and his master’s degree from Indian Institute of Technology Madras in Chennai (India). He then earned his doctoral degree in civil engineering from Purdue University, with a specialization in construction engineering and management. His doctoral work was in the area of simulation applications for construction planning. After his graduation, he joined PMA as a research engineer to identify, improve, and develop NetPoint and NetRisk.

How to Produce a Convincing Schedule Delay Analysis

Too often, expert reports summarizing and/or rebutting the results of a schedule delay analysis include extensive discussion of the schedule delay methodology used by the experts (e.g., both the plaintiff and the defendant’s expert). The pros/cons of the methodology used are quickly lost, however, and/or “eyes glaze over” of most triers of fact, whether a judge, arbitration panel, or jury. At the end of the day, most convincing to the triers of fact are a simple, chronological story of what happened on the project and the identification of the delays that delayed completion of the project or of other relevant contract milestones, supported (hopefully) by contemporaneous records and the party/ies responsible under the terms/conditions of the contract.

The speakers will discuss how critical the use of graphics is to producing a convincing schedule delay analysis (e.g., using a combination of graphics both in CPM format as well as by simple tables, curves, and histograms showing planned-versus-actual progress, production rates, productivity). The authors have found triers of fact understand non-CPM graphics much more readily than graphics strictly in CPM format.

Presented by Gary Jentzen and Don Fredlund

Gary JentzenGary Jentzen, PE, JD, LEED AP is an expert in large, complex claims and change order analyses, negotiation, and resolution, and in various other forms of dispute resolution. He has significant expertise in and knowledge of all aspects of claims and change avoidance review/evaluations that include cost and schedule administration and control, and scope and change order control. He has provided expert analysis and testimony, and he has significant experience working on large, complex claims analysis and dispute resolution assignments and he has testified in dispute forums that include dispute review boards, mediations, arbitrations, and litigation.

Don FredlundDon Fredlund, PMP has managed or has assisted in evaluating hundreds of change order disputes, time extension requests, requests for equitable adjustment, and claims related to the following types of issues: delay; acceleration; disputed changes; differing site conditions; defective specifications; damage calculations; cost/schedule administration; effects of changes on productivity and schedule performance; and project/construction management practices. He has performed fact finding, has analyzed and published expert reports, and has testified as an expert on entitlement and damages related to those issues. He has also participated or has provided testimony in many types of venues and dispute resolution processes, including negotiations, mediations, arbitrations, litigation, and administrative hearings.

DAY 2

Keynote Address
Automate This: Solving the Weather Conundrum

In this keynote, Dr. Gui unveils how Schedule IQ™ and NetPoint® provide planners an algorithmic solution to the weather planning problem. This vast improvement over current weather methods obviates having to adjust durations for weather (only to see the adjustments invalidated as the schedule is updated and as activities shift into different months) or using weather calendars to impact early dates (only to end up with a float-ruining scenario). The GPM approach to weather planning relies on a weather pass that algorithmically generates weather-adjusted durations and weathered early dates based on customizable profiles of historical weather averages from NOAA databases.

Presented by Gui Ponce de Leon, PhD, PE, PMP, LEED AP

Dr. GuiDr. Gui Ponce de Leon is one of our nation’s foremost planning and scheduling experts. His professional experience includes roles as investor’s developer, construction manager, program manager, and EPC contractor planner/scheduler. Dr. Gui has continually pioneered innovations in project management throughout his 40-year career. With GPM, he is on a quest to transform scheduling from a task performed by specialists using a “black box” to stakeholder-centric processes that promote collaboration, enhance stakeholder interaction, and inherently result in reliable schedules.

Using Schedule IQ & NetPoint to Weatherproof your Schedule

Incorporating accurate estimates of workday losses due to weather has finally become practical with the introduction of NetPoint 5.2. Join Seve and Sergio as they demonstrate Schedule IQ’s weather analysis functionality and provide context for the innovations presented in the keynote. Attendees will learn how to use NOAA historical weather data to improve the reliability of their schedules and get a preview of the forthcoming weather profile and weather mode features.

Download the demo schedule to work along with the presenters.

Presented by Seve Ponce de Leon and Sergio Ponce de Leon

Seve Ponce de LeonSeve Ponce de Leon manages the design and development of NetPoint. He focuses on quality assurance and quality control, where he conducts software testing, technical documentation, and customer support. He has been a member of the NetPoint development team since 2008, and this will be his fifth time presenting at this conference. Seve has a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sergio Ponce de LeonSergio Ponce de Leon manages the design and development of NetPoint, where he focuses on feature roadmaps, UI/UX design, and release coordination. He has been a member of the NetPoint development team since 2008, and this will be his fifth time presenting at the NetPoint & GPM Conference. Sergio is pursuing an M.S. in Information with specializations in Human-Computer Interaction and Information Analysis and Retrieval from the University of Michigan.

University of Michigan Research Case Study: Investigating the Applications of NetPoint for Level 3 Schedules

Join the University of Michigan research team as they present their research project exploring the application of GPM and NetPoint to a level 3 construction schedule and their experience using NetPoint to build a detailed level 3 schedule. The team will share their findings on building and managing a detailed level 3 NetPoint schedule, including the team’s recommendation to implement a tabular interface to allow changes in a dashboard to instantly update the schedule, and maintain the benefits of real-time planning while also streamlining the entry and editing of bulk data. It is the teams’ belief that if NetPoint were to provide the level 3 tabular dashboard, it would easily become the industry standard for construction scheduling software.

Presented by Dr. Carol Menassa, Dr. Vineet Kamat, Naga Veena Tarlana, Vishal Shah

Carol C. MenassaDr. Carol Menassa is an Associate Professor and John L. Tishman Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan (UM). Her current research focuses on sustainability of buildings and infrastructure systems. Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Construction Industry Institute, the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and the Wisconsin Energy Research Consortium. Menassa is the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Early Career Researcher from Fiatech, 2015 CII Distinguished Professor Award and 2014 NSF Career award. She also received 2016 Best Paper Award from International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, the 2015 Best Paper Award from Journal of Management in Engineering, the 2013 Best Paper Award from the ASCE International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineer, and the Distinguished Young Alumni Award from the American University of Beirut.

Vineet R. KamatDr. Vineet R. Kamat is a Professor of Construction Engineering and Management at the University of Michigan. Dr. Kamat received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2003; a MS in Civil Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2000; and a BE degree in Civil Engineering from Goa University in India in 1998. Dr. Kamat’s research has been published in 60 peer-reviewed journal publications and 70 conference papers to date. He has presented his work in 35 invited talks throughout the world. Dr. Kamat has served as the Chair of the ASCE Construction Institute’s Construction Research Council, and as a Member of the Board of Governors of the ASCE Construction Institute. He was awarded the 2015 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize by the American Society of Civil Engineers. He has also received the Daniel W. Halpin Award for scholarship in construction from the American Society of Civil Engineers; two Outstanding Researcher Awards from FIATECH; and two Outstanding Young Alumnus Awards from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech. He has also received three ASCE Best Paper Awards, from the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, and the Construction Research Congress.

Naga Veena TarlanaNaga Veena Tarlana completed her Master’s Degree in Construction Engineering and Management in December 2016 from the University of Michigan. She had an unique opportunity to work on GPM and NetPoint through the Industry oriented course CEE 530 – Construction Professional Practice as part of her graduate education, under the guidance of PMA mentors. She is currently working at DPR Construction in the Redwood City area in California.

Vishal Shreyans ShahVishal Shreyans Shah completed his Master’s Degree in Construction Engineering and Management in December 2016 from the University of Michigan. He had a unique opportunity to work on GPM and NetPoint through the Industry oriented course CEE 530 – Construction Professional Practice as part of his graduate education, under the guidance of PMA mentors. He is currently working at Skanska USA Building, Inc in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

Successful Interactive Planning Sessions & Efficient Transition Between NetPoint and P6

PMA is providing project controls to an international pharmaceutical company and is helping deliver an expansion program (>$500M) with projects located in both the US and in China. PMA is currently working with the owner, designer, and CM during preconstruction to provide schedule planning and development services.

This presentation will provide insight into the lessons learned for conducting successful interactive planning sessions (IPS) and the benefits of utilizing NetPoint (& GPM) for planning exercises. We will also cover the transition from schedule planning to schedule development and when to utilize NetPoint versus Primavera as the scheduling platform, as each platform provides distinct benefits. The presentation will also address the transition between the schedule software systems and how to reap the benefits of each while minimizing administrative effort and while supporting ongoing schedule planning and development efforts.

Presented by Dennis Lucey III, PMP, LEED AP, MCPPO

Dennis LuceyDennis Lucey has developed, implemented, and managed project controls systems that have delivered effective management tools and successful project completion for over 15 years. Dennis has both project and program experience in project controls, design, construction management, and project management in public and private sectors. With PMA, he performs project scheduling and planning, contract management, schedule and cost controls, time entitlement, and claims analyses for several projects. Industry sector experience includes residential, academic, biopharmaceutical, office/retail, highway, and water/wastewater projects.

Leveraging NetPoint for Planning, Coordination & Analysis on the Harvard Allston Science Program

In 2005, Harvard University began developing a new Science and Engineering Campus in Allston, MA. The program was put on hold due to the declining economic environment in 2008 but was reinitiated in 2013. This program consists of 5 Harvard University departments/schools; 13+ integrated projects; 20+ federal, state, and local permitting/approval agencies; $1 billion total installed cost; 7 prime designers; and 4 construction managers. The complexity of the program coupled with the complexity of the university’s administrative structure required the implementation of a robust schedule management plan capable of coordinating all program activities.

This presentation will focus on how NetPoint has been utilized to develop summary schedule reports, analyze schedule fragments, facilitate interactive planning, and evaluate schedule variances. Key results have included improved communication between all project stakeholders, structured permit/approval outreach with governing agencies, and coordinated construction activity phasing across projects and construction managers.

Presented by Brian Chase and Chad Rowland

Brian ChaseBrian Chase received a bachelors in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1982 and was subsequently hired by Turner Construction Company. Brian has spent the last 35 years working his way through various positions including field operations and purchasing and is currently a Construction Executive with overall responsibility for laboratory, healthcare, data centers and other complex projects located within the Boston marketplace. Brian is currently responsible for the Harvard Science and Engineering Complex Project located within Harvard’s Allston Development.

Chad RowlandChad Rowland graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Biosystems Engineering and an MS in Civil Engineering. Upon graduation, he worked for a Fortune 500 engineering, procurement, and construction firm and was able to gain design and construction experience in many areas, including pharmaceuticals, downstream chemical processing, nuclear power, mining, and manufacturing. Chad’s roles on various projects included project engineer, engineering manager, project controls manager, and project manager. Chad joined PMA in 2014 and is currently focused on the higher education construction sector with an emphasis on cost, schedule, and project information system implementation.

Simplifying the Complex: NetPoint’s Role in a Multibillion Dollar Greenfield Construction Project

PMA’s Tim Mather and Dan Molnar of Shire will explain NetPoint’s role in collaboration and communication with Shire in constructing a 100-acre Greenfield Campus in Covington, GA. The campus includes 1.2 million square feet of building space, including a wastewater treatment facility; manufacturing buildings; laboratory buildings; administrative buildings; and a central utility building. The campus will separate plasma components, purify them, and make life-sustaining therapies used to treat burn victims and patients with immune disorders, hemophilia, and other medical conditions.

Presented by Dan Molnar & Tim Mather, PMP

Dan Molnar has over 25 years in Capital Project and Program Management in Pharmaceutical Industry. He has experience in all phases of phases of pharmaceutical capital management from concept development through licensure. He has directly supported projects within the US, Puerto Rico and Ireland. He has also developed and maintain global portfolio management systems. In many of his roles he has deployed innovative and effective tools to facilitate communication throughout the organization. Currently, he is the Project Services Leader for a $1B+ biopharma greenfield program being constructed in Social Circle Georgia.

Tim MatherTim Mather is a collaborative, innovative, business-minded executive with a talent for aligning information technology with the goals and objectives of a business. He orchestrated the launch of PMA Technologies LLC and its flagship product, NetPoint®. Tim has extensive experience in program and project management, P&L, executive leadership, analysis, business processes, business development, software development, and implementation.

The Miracle on Second Ave: Less is More for the Second Avenue Subway

Phase 1 of this new $4.5 billion subway line on the east side of Manhattan between 96th and 63rd Streets consists of four new stations and two miles of tunnel. It successfully achieved revenue service by the December 31, 2016 deadline in the grant agreement issued by the FTA.

This presentation explains how NetPoint was used to help make critical decisions related to accelerating the project when the governor of New York mandated on an on-time completion, despite earlier delays. Recognizing that the traditional scheduling tools provided too much detail, which obscured the critical interface points between multiple contracts, the program abandoned P6 in favor of Netpoint. Netpoint’s graphical interface allowed the project executives to rapidly identify potential delays and address them in real time. This project is a shining example of how miracles can still happen if proactive managers are supported by easy to understand project controls data.

Presented by Bruce Stephan, JD, PE, PMP

Bruce StephanBruce Stephan is a nationally recognized civil engineer and attorney with 30+ years of experience on engineering/construction projects, who just can’t resist getting his boots dirty to help save troubled projects. His distinguished career includes representing public owners and general contractors, as well as providing professional construction consulting worldwide. His award-winning experience includes numerous project delivery methods; dispute resolution; complex change order negotiation; claims analysis; schedule management; technology solutions; and management consulting on public CIPs. He is a frequent lecturer on how to achieve successful project outcomes, and has consulted with numerous public agencies to implement industry best practices.


The full agenda is in development and subject to change. Please check back often for updates.