MOP update underway
part 1
keeping current

by Sheldon Wolfe, CSI, CCS, CCCA


one goal for the new MOP is to remove specific references from the text

related articles:
MOP update,
Part 2

MOP update,
Part 3

MOP update,
Part 4

"Oh, no, not another revision! Didn't we just get one?!" It may seem like the MOP has changed too often in the last few years; I know there have been a couple of revisions issued since I became a member in 1987. Major changes have included the introduction of the Contract Administration and Product Representation modules, but it would be difficult to quickly point out any other change of significance.

The 1987 MOP was essentially a guide for writing specifications. Its four main parts were Elements of a Project Manual, Specification Writing Techniques, Production Techniques, and Special Applications (multiple prime contracts, allowances, unit prices, alternates, and procurement and performance specifying). Those topics live on in the latest edition, with most of the information under Fundamentals and Formats and Specifications Practice. Although I have the current edition of the MOP, I usually go to the old one if I need to find something quickly. Aside from a few more illustrations and updated references, there is little new for specifiers in the 1996 MOP.

So why are we changing the MOP?

All reference materials need periodic revision to keep current. The old MOP made this a nightmare, with its many specific references to other documents. AIA revises its main documents every ten years, and EJCDC changes even more frequently. Other materials referred to in the MOP also change, and of course none of them are on the same schedule.

One goal for the new MOP is to remove specific references from the text, placing them in a separate appendix that can be easily and inexpensively updated each year. This will give the basic document a much longer life span, as it will discuss principles that should not be subject to frequent change, such as the relationships between owner, architect, contractor, and other entities, organizational methods, and the basic elements of construction documents. The existing MOP has so many specific references that it takes a looooooong time just to find out what has changed, and by the time TechCom gets through the editing, reviewing, and publishing process the result is already out of date.

If you have comments about the MOP send me an e-mail.

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1998, Sheldon Wolfe

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