Assessing the Maturity and Accuracy of Front End Engineering Design to Support Phase-gate Approvals

RT-331 Topic Summary
RT 331

Overview

Assessing the maturity and accuracy of front end engineering design (FEED) to support phase-gate approvals is a critical task with significant impact on overall project success. Poor scope definition during FEED has been shown to be a major cause of project failure. The FEED MATRS tool directly addresses this problem; it is an easy-to-use tool to enhance the predictability of cost and change order performance of large industrial projects.

FEED MATRS (which its authors pronounce "feed matters") builds on the methodology of PDRI and other CII tools. FEED MATRS was developed to help project teams effectively measure the engineering design effort during FEED. The tool consists of 46 engineering design elements and 27 accuracy factors that should be addressed during FEP. FEED MATRS generates two separate scores for a project: a maturity score and an accuracy score. Both are normalized to a 0-100 scale and then plotted on a maturity-accuracy matrix. The matrix is divided into four quadrants and gives users a high-level understanding of where their large industrial project stands at the end of detailed scope or Phase Gate 3.

In order to test the FEED MATRS tool, RT-331 organized four industry-sponsored workshops at various locations across the United States and Canada. Overall, the projects in this sample were submitted by industry professionals from 31 different organizations, with an average project cost of approximately US $276 million. The sample of 33 projects represented over $8.83 billion in total installed cost, with projects completed in six countries and nine U.S. states.

The RT-331 research shows that FEED maturity and accuracy values are effective in predicting project success. Projects with high maturity and high accuracy outperformed those with low maturity and low accuracy by 24 percent in terms of cost performance and by 12 percent in terms of change performance. FEED MATRS was also tested on current in-progress projects and helped participants identify critical planning issues during the FEED of their projects. FEED MATRS provides a number of important uses and functions for the project team.

Follow-on research could complete the same assessment for infrastructure and building projects.

Key Definitions

Front End Engineering Design (FEED) – A component of the FEP process performed during detailed scope (Phase 3), consisting of the engineering documents, outputs, and deliverables for the chosen scope of work.

Maturity – The degree of completeness of the deliverables to serve as the basis for detailed design at the end of detailed scope (Phase Gate 3).

Accuracy – The degree of confidence in the measure level of maturity of FEED deliverables to serve as a basis of decision at the end of detailed scope (Phase Gate 3).

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Definition of Front End Engineering Design

For the first time, front end engineering design has been defined in a consensus manner as: “A component of the FEP process performed during detailed scope (Phase 3), consisting of the engineering documents, outputs, and deliverables for the chosen scope of work.

Reference: (RS331-1)

2 : Impact on Performance

Projects with high maturity and high accuracy (HMHA) outperformed those with low maturity and low accuracy (LMLA) by 24 percent in terms of cost performance and by 12 percent in terms of change performance.
 

Performance Maturity Score and Accuracy Score
HMHA
M>80, A>76
HMLA
M>80, A<76
LMLA
M<80, A<76
Cost
(N=32)
2% below budget (N=11) 6% above budget (N=9) 22% above budget (N=12)
Change Orders
(N=31)
4% of budget
(N=12)
9% of budget
(N=8)
16% of budget
(N=11)
Reference: (RS331-1)

3 : Developed Front End Engineering Design Maturity and Accuracy Total Rating System (FEED MATRS)

RT-331 developed the FEED MATRS, a new tool that combines maturity and accuracy measurements to assist project teams in evaluating FEED for their projects.

Reference: (RS331-1)

4 : Testing of In-Progress Projects

RT-331 tested its FEED MATRS tool on projects in progress to observe its effectiveness in helping project teams complete FEED activities. These exercises showed the value and capability of the tool, which helped participants identify critical planning issues during the FEED of their projects.

Reference: (RS331-1)

5 : Objective Measure for Accuracy

The RT-331 research, perhaps for the first time, has added a new dimension to evaluating FEED deliverables. The accuracy assessment portion of the FEED MATRS tool includes 27 accuracy factors that provide additional Phase Gate input.

Reference: (RS331-1)

6 : Only a Portion of the Output

While the FEED MATRS tool correlates FEED maturity and accuracy scores with project performance, another valuable output from the process is the insights that can be gleaned from the remarks, lessons learned, and coordinating tasks identified during the assessment session. By using these additional findings, executive leadership can better assess where and how to commit limited resources to enhance project performance.

Reference: (RS331-1)

Key Performance Indicators

Quantitative: Cost Change; Change Order Performance Qualitative: Financial Performance Matching Expectations; Customer Satisfaction

Supporting Resources

Presentations (CII Annual Conference & Workshops)

Session - Assessing the Maturity and Accuracy of FEED to Support Phase-gate Approvals

Publication Date: 08/2017 Presenter: Number of Slides: 56 Event Code: AC2017


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