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I love some surprises — unexpected snow on Christmas Eve or old college mates calling out of the blue. But surprises on a construction site? No thanks. I hate them. Construction "unknowns" consume time, energy, and profit. And nothing is more humbling than bringing five subcontractors to a halt after spending a week coercing them to hurry up. After years of designing and building, my partner and I realized that carpenters are only as good as their tools and general contractors are only as good as their systems. So we got serious about planning. As my partner Marianne put it, what we needed was "a case of boredom": a scheduling system designed to make our work brainless. We figured the