Routledge Construction is pleased to share with you our author Q&A session with John E Schaufelberger & Len Holm! Authors of Management of Construction Projects, John E Schaufelberger and Len Holm talk about their title and what makes it so unique.
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Please introduce yourself, what is your academic and professional background?
JS: After serving 30 years as a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, I have taught construction management at the University of Washington since 1994.I received my Ph. D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois and taught engineering at the United States Military Academy in the early 1970s.As a contracting officer for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, I managed construction projects in Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. I have served as the Dean of the College of Built Environments since the fall of 2013.
LH: I have been in the construction industry for over 40 years, starting out as a carpenter and working my way through project management into construction firm owner, author, owner’s representative, and expert witness. I picked up three degrees along the way from the University of Washington. I have taught at the UW since 1993, 100 courses, 13 different topics, over 3300 students.
What motivated you to write Management of Construction Projects?
JS: We were motivated to write the book to provide a construction project management text written from the perspective of the builder. We could not find any available on the market as all published project management books seemed to be written from the owner’s or the owner’s consultant’s perspective. None of the existing books were suitable as a text for the construction project management course that we are teaching at the University of Washington.
LH: The first edition of this book was largely based on an unpublished manuscript that I wrote in the early 1990s. All of the texts out there were based on the owner’s perspective, not the contractors. I surveyed over 100 contractors and asked them what I should be teaching project management students and that formed the basis for that first manuscript. This second edition with Routledge has a new and larger case study and all of the latest PM topics including LEED, Lean, BIM, Leadership, and many others.
Can you describe the book in one sentence?
JS: The book addresses the major challenges to be faced by a constructor’s project manager and provides tools to manage those challenges.
LH: This book provides all of the project management tools new graduates and industry professionals alike need to be successful in the construction industry.
Who would be interested in reading your book and what do you hope resonates with the reader?
JS: Anyone who is interested in learning about the constructor’s role in managing a construction project and the central role that the project manager plays in leading the construction team in executing a successful project.
LH: Students love our book as it is written in clear and concise language. It is not a research book, but rather a book of project management tools that the student requires on the jobsite. Contractors also enjoy our book on their shelves at work as a reference tool as well as an in-house training tool.
What makes your book stand out from its competitors?
JS: The primary features are the constructor’s focus, a single case study used throughout to illustrate application of the tools provided, and the applied approach to explaining issues to manage project execution.
LH: Many points made above: Project Manager’s Toolbox, Not Research, Clear Language, Contractor’s Perspective, One Case Study used throughout, Great support documents for students and professors on the Web
What one piece of advice would you give to students studying Construction today?
JS: Understand that construction is about more than assembling project components to create the final project. Construction is very much a people business. Project managers must develop great people skills if they are to be successful in an increasingly collaborative work environment.
LH: Stay flexible with all of the new topics in the field, but do not become over-specialized in some of the computer applications such that you don’t get a chance to put your boots and hard hats on and walk the jobsite. That is where the true learning is.
Tell us an unusual fact about yourself.
JS: I never intended to write textbooks. I only did so because I could not find suitable texts for courses that I was teaching.When I complained to a book publisher, it was suggested that perhaps I should develop a suitable textbook. That led to the publication of six construction textbooks.
LH: My father was a small general contractor. He used to pull me out of school when I was only 10 years old when he had a concrete pour scheduled or needed to get a roof on before the snow came. I went to college on a scholarship to become a medical doctor, but when I discovered the academic and professional field of construction management, I was hooked. I live and breathe construction, 24-7.