Tools of Mass Deduction (TOMD - ASP ™)

Contract Document + Project Life Cycle + Organization Chart = (TOMD – ASP) ™ = Solve Problem Blindness 

TOMD – ASP ™ – What is it? It is a three-step methodology that solves problem blindness.

TOMD – ASP ™ | 3 Step Upstream Methodology

1) Develop the TOMD – ASP ™

It is not easy – but through intellect, fortitude, significant time, and attention to detail, the result is a fundamental building block that displays who does what, when, where and how things get done.

2) Planning / Project Generate the Problem - Opportunity Register

Viewing the project from a system perspective illuminates problems in the form of oversights, duplications and process issues that are lost in the thousands of words.  Through mass deduction and compiling everything on one page each problem area comes into focus and is transformed into an opportunity for improvement. 

3) Prioritize and implement the opportunities

Each opportunity is evaluated on two parameters – ease of implementation and consequence.  Though robust stakeholder dialogue, the TOMD – ASP ™ is used to develop an action plan to implement each opportunity.  

TOMD – ASP ™ - How does it work? 

The unique novel viewpoint shows who does what, when, where and how things get done. 

TOMD ASP ™ discloses process issues, gaps, duplications overlaps and misinterpretations that are missed in the thousands of words of a contract document.  It illuminates unforeseen problems that are transformed into an opportunity to save time, improve quality, enhance teamwork, while reducing disputes – claims resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in savings on major projects.


Some opportunities will be self evident while others will require significant resources, time, and effort to build agreement amongst stakeholders

The TOMD – ASP ™ and opportunity register are provided in report format to the client (and relevant stakeholder group) for review and comment. 

Typically, this will lead to a robust dialogue with stakeholders facilitated in a workshop environment.  The discussions / workshops can focus on individual or multiple opportunities involving few or many stakeholders. 

Some opportunities will be self evident while others will require significant resources, time, and effort to build agreement amongst stakeholders. 

Reaching resolution can range from straightforward agreement, to negotiated dialogue, to facilitated workshops, to mediation techniques, to value engineering analysis. 

TOMD – ASP ™ is the building block used to consult with the client – stakeholder group to plan each opportunity.  The final step is for the project team to execute the action plan for each opportunity in order of priority

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The benefit / cost ratio of TOMD – ASP ™ is conservatively estimated at 2000+ for large projects.  To put this into perspective – on a multibillion-dollar project – for a consulting fees of $100 thousandapplication of the TOMD – ASP ™ can save time, improve quality, enhance teamwork, while reducing disputes – claims resulting in $200 million in savings.  

The benefits for applying TOMD – ASP ™ included are numerous information, for critical decisions; clarification of roles / responsibilities; removal of duplications and overlap; clarification of deliverable ambiguities; positioning deliverable at appropriate timeframes; purging unnecessary requirements; aligning signatory with authority on approval documents; defining workflow for stakeholders; eliminating unnecessary roles; adding resources were needed; consolidating document approvals; improving engagement with marketplace / market sounding; automating processes; monitoring deliverables; clear terminology consistent with industry practice; consistent contract procedures; well-defined governance scope; and constant database requirements; and many other benefits.

As people or organizations, we get caught in a self-propagating cycle of “downstream work” during the delivery of projects.  We resolve critical emergencies, put out fires or deal with one problem after another, but never get a chance to go “upstream” to fix the systems that caused the problems in the first place.  The three barriers that keep us downstream are.    

  1. Problem blindness – When we don’t see a problem, we can’t fix it and start to believe that negative outcomes are inevitable and out of our control. 
  2. Lack of ownership – That problem is not mine to fix.
  3. Tunnelling – I can’t deal with that right now, there are more urgent things to do.  In the tunnel, there is only forward.  So, we wait until a time when all the urgent things are done.  But of course, we never run out of urgent things to do.

The starting point is the same, large contract document – thousands of words (analogous to pixels), with oversight of the big picture – how does it all fit together?  Given that a picture is worth a thousand words (pixels) can we bring the contract into focus with a picture?  This can be done, and it is called TOMD – ASP ™ by combining the contact document with the project life cycle and the organization structure into a process map flow chart.  

Contract Document + Project Life Cycle + Organization Chart = (TOMD – ASP) ™  

Using TOMD – ASP ™ solvers the first barrier – problem blindness – that starts us on the path to opportunities, solutions, and better project delivery.

TOMD – ASP ™ is applicable to all EPC project delivery methods.  The greater the complexity of the contract in terms of stakeholders, roles – responsibilities, internal agreements, relationships, and project duration, the greater the benefit of using TOMD – ASP ™.

The greatest benefit comes from applying TOMD – ASP ™ earlier in the project life cycle as resolving problems up front saves time and money making for a smoother project delivery.  TOMD – ASP ™ can be used mid-project for root cause analysis in support of conflict or dispute resolution.  A post-mortem TOMD – ASP ™ provides valuable lessons learned for future projects.

Including but not be limited to the owner agency, engineers, architect, design professionals, general contractors, construction team, sub-contractors, partnership(s), joint ventures, financiers, lenders, independent agents, operator, maintainer, or third parties.  During the third step – prioritizing and implementing opportunities – single, multiple, or comprehensive stakeholders are engaged though many forms of dialogue, meetings, workshops, mediated solutions, and value engineering sessions.

Including but not limited to definitions – terminology, roles & responsibilities, process flow, governance, steering committees, communication protocols, approval documents, requirements, deliverables, completion certificates (design / construction / commissioning / safety), procedures, workflow, schedule, timeframe, sequencing, milestones, deadlines, budget, project monitoring – controls, risk management, document control, quality control, information systems, payment mechanism, and submittals to name a few.

If required, including but not limited to, administration, procurement, design, construction, installation, project management – delivery, systems integration, testing, commissioning, turn-over, operations, maintenance, project closure, and lessons learned. Within a P3 environment, TOMD – ASP ™ can be used for business case development, market sounding, value for money assessment, phased procurement, commercial closure, financial closure, and risk allocation – transfer plus the other project phases mentioned previously.

The greater the complexity, words, terms, conditions, and clauses within the contract, the greater the benefit from TOMD – ASP ™ in clarifying the roles of contract parties, understanding contract processes, and performing the requirements of the contract.

Owners, agencies, consultants, general contractors, lenders, financiers, and other stakeholders should apply TOMD – ASP ™ to their projects.

TOMD – ASP ™ is the intellectual property of e-VANS Corporation invented through upstream thinking during the pandemic circumstances of 2020.  Building on our history of facilitating diverse groups towards a common goal, e-VANS Corporation welcomes the opportunity to improve your next project with the application of TOMD – ASP ™.

For more information on TOMD – ASP ™, including examples, with problem – opportunity pairs that illustrate costs, benefits and application of TOMD – ASP ™ across a range of project environments, a white paper is available for download in the side bar.