Thinking out LOUD! - Think 'Planning'

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Article Index
Thinking out LOUD!
Introduction
Primary Intent
Long History
'Element' Misunderstood
Use in Heavy and Civil?
Not a WBS!
Think Modular Use
Abstraction
Usage of the term 'level'
Omit Reference ID's
Think 'Planning'
All Pages
Think like a Planner!

Many writers and authors of new UNIFORMAT II classifications have difficulty in settling on the right level of detail at which to pitch an ‘element’. As a suggestion they may find that in stepping back from their knowledge (and consequently detailed thinking) as an estimator, designer, or constructor, they’ll begin to better ‘see the wood for the trees’, or in other words see the bigger picture. Doing so, and thinking as a planner, specifically a cost planner, can be an important step forward. In essence, for UNIFORMAT II purposes, it is important to see (envision) the primary, functional, component parts of any constructed entity before they are designed and detailed.

This point really can’t be stressed strongly enough. The whole concept of UNIFORMAT II is to set realistic budgets before the design has been commenced, giving the client a better opportunity to understand the impact of their proposed action, and be able to compare the succeeding increasing design detail with this budget during the cost control phase. So, appropriate elements are those that can be seen, and modelled, with no design detail available (cost planning), and, with the subsequently more detailed estimates, be easily summarised back to those same elements (cost control), and finally, upon design completion, easily summarised and analysed (cost analysis) for use in the ‘feed-forward’ process for future cost planning work.

While admittedly not a wholly satisfactory explanation, elements can be likened to those essential parts that are often apparent when sketching an outline of any proposed new entity on the ‘back of an envelope’ or ‘on a restaurant napkin’.

Thinking like a planner, and not like an estimator/designer/constructor (with all the available detail and design solutions in hand), can greatly assist in understanding the fundamental concept of allocating reasoned sums of money, or reasoned description, to functional elements of the constructed entity. The intent,as I’ve often been heard to state, is to ‘create simplicity out of complexity’

ALH
2012.09.06