PDRI Tool for Small Industrial Projects (Best Practice)

RT-314 Topic Summary
RT 314


The Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) for Small Industrial Projects is a powerful and easy-to-use tool that offers a method to measure project scope definition for completeness, by providing descriptions of critical elements to allow the project team to quickly identify project risk factors related to the desired outcomes for cost, schedule, and operating performance. The PDRI is designed for use during front end planning, which includes feasibility, concept, and detailed scope definition.  

A significant feature of the PDRI-Small Industrial Projects is that one can quickly go through an assessment and evaluate scope definition on both process and non-process types of industrial projects. The PDRI-Small Industrial Projects functions as:

  • checklist that a project team can use for determining the necessary steps to follow in defining the project scope
  • A listing of standardized scope definition terminology for small industrial projects
  • An industry standard for rating the completeness of project scope definition to facilitate risk assessment and prediction of escalation potential for disputes
  • A means to monitor progress—when used successively—at various stages of the front end planning effort
  • A partial forensic assessment tool for evaluating design and construction readiness a tool that promotes communication and alignment between owners, designers/engineers, and construction contractors by highlighting poorly defined scope

Proper scope definition during front end planning will improve both the cost and cycle time needed to design and construct capital facilities.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : PDRI Tool Elements

The PDRI-Small Industrial Projects offers a comprehensive checklist of 41 scope elements in a score sheet format. Each element is weighted based on its relative risk and importance to the other elements, illuminating areas that need further work for a successful project.

These elements are organized into three main sections, each broken down into a series of categories (8), and then elements (41). (IR314-2, p. 9)

Reference: (IR314-2)

2 : PDRI Score and Meaning

A low PDRI score represents a project that is well defined and, in general, corresponds to an increased probability of project success. Higher PDRI scores indicate that parts of the project lack adequate definition. Small Industrial Projects shows that projects with a PDRI score <300 tend to perform better than those >300 in terms of cost, schedule, and change orders. (IR314-2, p. 35)
Reference: (RS314-1)

3 : When to Use the PDRI

Employing the PDRI at optimum times based on project size, complexity, and duration supports improved project performance. (IR314-2, p. 19)

PDRI Early Review – High level assessment of the project following feasibility, typically at the initial kick-off meeting. PDRI Section, Basis of Decision, should be well defined. FOCUS: Align team around project objectives, communication and stakeholder expectations. Typical PDRI score: 400-800

PDRI Final Review – Final assessment of the project, at the end of front end planning. The project team has identified risk issues and is developing or has put mitigation plans in place. Typical PDRI Score: 150-400, with a target of 300 or below.

Reference: (IR 314-2)

4 : Implementation Tool #1

IR314-2, PDRI – Small Industrial Projects

It is a powerful, easy-to-use tool for measuring the degree of scope development.It identifies and describes each critical element in a scope definition package for a small industrial project. It enables project teams to identify project risk factors related to desired outcomes for cost, schedule, and operating performance. Also captures mitigation action items and evaluates the completeness of scope definition at any point prior to detailed design and construction.

Resource includes:

  1. Macro enabled excel spreadsheet for assessment
  2. Unweighted Project Score Sheet (Appendix A)
  3. Weighted Project Score Sheet (Appendix B)
  4. Element Descriptions (Appendix C)
Reference: (IR314-2)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved cost, Improved schedule, Improved quality (reduced errors & omissions)

Research Publications

Development of the Project Definition Rating Index for Small Industrial Projects - RR314-11

Publication Date: 08/2016 Type: Research Report Pages: 263 Status: Reference

Front End Planning Tool: PDRI -- Small Industrial Projects - RS314-1

Publication Date: 12/2015 Type: Research Summary Pages: 32 Status: Supporting Product

Project Definition Rating Index -- Small Industrial Projects - IR314-2

Publication Date: 09/2015 Type: Implementation Resource Pages: 105 Status: Tool

Supporting Resources

Presentations (CII Annual Conference & Workshops)

Plenary Session - Great Taste, Less Filling: PDRI Small Industrial Projects

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 16 Event Code: AC2015

Implementation Session - Great Taste, Less Filling: PDRI Small Industrial Projects

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 73 Event Code: AC2015