was assigned to VDOT's Scheduling & Contract Development Division.
Full training in the improved scoping system and the estimation tool is crucial to success. VDOT adopted an early version of the PCES as its official estimating tool in the fall of 2002 and used it to update its Six Year Improvement Plan. The tool was implemented very quickly. This provided the advantage of a statewide tool for the agency, but in some cases, the users lacked training and this affected the early cost estimates made with the system.
Involving the districts and getting ongoing feedback required frequent telephone calls and emails, but it probably resulted in more "buy-in" and acceptance than would
otherwise have been the case. A change of this magnitude is a huge adjustment for staff. The researchers learned that the implementation of such a system is met with every emotion from skepticism to complete acceptance. The group may have spent more time than was needed for purely technical reasons to develop particular worksheets. Some of this time involved answering many questions and convincing others that the change was a good idea. Even though the many previous estimation approaches were clearly flawed, some staff resisted putting their trust in the PCES.
Support from upper management is critical to the successful agency-wide implementation of such a new way of doing business.