What is the Function of a Good Technical Paper?

By Michael Pearsall, P.Eng., CVS, CVM, FICE, FEC – Director of Conferences, SAVE International

The big news this month is that the deadline for paper submissions for the 2019 Value Summit has been extended until December 3. We all know it takes time to prepare a good paper for the Summit. The paper evaluation team looked carefully at our schedule and decided we could extend the call for papers by a couple of weeks to give you some more time.

Preparing a paper can be a daunting task and I’m sure there are some out there who think the theme “Move Mountains with VE” may be a reference to the work involved in preparing a paper. However, preparing a good technical paper doesn’t have to be equated to the work of moving a mountain.

I often start by looking at my recent study reports. Papers based on a recent study are usually quite easy to write, with the hardest part usually being summarizing all the study work down to the maximum page limit. Fortunately, I always include an executive summary in reports and that is a good starting point for a case-study paper. This could be on manufacturing, business process or any number of capital works projects to name a few.

Maybe you have recently completed a series of projects that outline a program or an innovative approach? Can you start with putting the executive summaries together? How would you tell your friends about what you have been doing? This is often a good place to start.

Some people like to spend time writing a good abstract then let their paper expand from there, others like to write the paper then do an abstract. Either way can produce good results.

We are always looking for academic papers that push the limits or expand into new territory. Don’t feel that you have to be a professor at your local university to do a paper like this. I have seen many quality research-level papers from average practitioners.

What is most important is sharing your stories, successes and lessons learned with others. The Value Summit is about networking and knowledge transfer. Good technical papers not only help you share VM and others learn VM, but they can also help you start discussions and open dialogue with your peers.

Yes, preparing a paper can be a daunting task, but it is also so rewarding when you share this with others. Please consider what you can share and contribute at the 2019 Value Summit.

Please be sure to review the official Call for Papers and Workshops and keep in mind that we will be asking authors to clearly demonstrate how their paper ties to one or more of our core competencies. Function analysis focused and facilitation focused sessions are always popular and fit well with our core competencies.

We are also looking for pre-Summit workshop submissions. In addition, we will once again be offering VMF 1 and VMF 2 as post-Summit training, so block your calendars now if you are interested.

Lastly, it is never too early to jump in as a sponsor for the Summit. Sponsorship is very important – without it, we cannot have a quality event at a reasonable cost. Please start now considering sponsorship opportunities.

Your enthusiastic and dedicated 2019 Value Summit planning committee with the help of the Cascadia Chapter is off to a running start and we look forward to seeing you in Portland.

Please plan on being in Portland, Oregon June 8-11, 2019 for the 2019 Value Summit.