Interface Management

RT-302 Topic Summary
RT 302


The emerging discipline of Interface Management (IM) for managing communications, relationships, and deliverables has become more and more critical with the proliferation of increasingly larger and more complex global capital projects. In an effort to establish a coherent industry approach to IM, RT-302 identifIed standard IM terms and effective practices for owners and contractors facing interface issues. The team also developed The Interface Management Implementation Guide (IMIGe) which includes IM-related definitions, as well as an IM Maturity Model. The Project Interface Risk–Impact (PIRI) tool was created as a decision-making guide that helps users identify the extent of IM implementation required for a specific project. The increased communication and alignment of IM leads to lower project risk profiles and higher project performance.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Established Standardized Terminology

Standardized terminology and definitions are important to the adoption of the Interface Management process. Key terms include:

  • Interface Management (IM)
  • Interface Stakeholder
  • Interface/Interface Point (IP)
  • Interface Agreement (IA)
  • Interface Action Items (IAIs)
  • Interface Control Document/Drawing (ICD)
  • Interface Data Register (IDR)
(RS302-1, p. 5 or RR302-11, Appendix B, pp. 142-144)
Reference: (RS302-1)

2 : Fast Track Project Focus

Projects on a Fast Track are primary beneficiaries of Interface Management (IM) which should begin in the concept stage of a project. (RS302-1, p. 16, Figure 6)
Reference: (RS302-1)

3 : Large Value EPC & EPCM Project Focus

IM is primarily adopted on industrial high dollar value projects which utilize EPC and EPCM delivery strategies involving large numbers of stakeholders. IM is used to address 17 project risk and complexity factors, including: 

  1. Cost (highly-competitive bid)
  2. Schedule (condensed cycle time)
  3. Scope (extended/unfamiliar, poorly defined scope)
  4. Execution risk (unknowns)
  5. Number of joint venture partners (EPCs/owners)
  6. Technology (new and complex)
  7. Existence of large number of suppliers/subcontractors
  8. Multiple engineering centers
Reference: (RS302-1)

4 : Impact of Early Implementation Defined

Early implementation of IM enhances the following attributes for project success:

  • Definition of deliverables
  • Definition of roles and responsibilities
  • Quality and clarity of information flow
  • Timely flow of information
  • Agreeable deadlines
  • Managed collaboration
  • Responsibility allocation
  • Knowledge exchange
  • Traceability
Reference: (RS302-1)

5 : Implementation Tool #1

IR302-2, Interface Management Implementation Guide (IMIGe)

How to implement IM and determine the appropriate levels of IM needed. The guide also is useful for determining the requirements of each level and the methods for implementing them. 
  1. Interface Complexity Assessment Tool (ICAT) The ICAT is used to measure the criticality of interfaces between two project interface stakeholders and prioritizes every pair of interfaces based on interface influencing factors identified by the project team. Interface Complexity Factor (ICF), Interface Influencing Factor (IIF), Interface Weighting. 
  2. Project Interface Risk-Impact (PIRI) Matrix The matrix is a high-level decision making guide used to identify the extent of IM implementation needed for a project based on interface complexity and risk level.  
Reference: (IR302-2)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved cost, Improved performance/achieved success, Reduced/improved risk, Improved predictability

Research Publications

Interface Management - RR302-11

Publication Date: 04/2015 Type: Research Report Pages: 158 Status: Reference

Interface Management Implementation Guide - IR302-2

Publication Date: 10/2014 Type: Implementation Resource Pages: 55 Status: Tool

Interface Management - RS302-1

Publication Date: 10/2014 Type: Research Summary Pages: 22 Status: Supporting Product

Presentations from CII Events

Session - Interface Management – An Emerging Project Management Discipline

Publication Date: 08/2014 Presenter: Number of Slides: 52 Event Code: AC2014