Support for Pre-Project Planning (Best Practice)

RT-213 Topic Summary
RT 213

Overview

Front end planning is arguably the single most important process in the facility project life cycle. It is focused on creating a strong, early link between the business or mission need, project strategy, scope, cost, schedule, and maintaining that link unbroken throughout the project life. CII research indicates that well performed front end planning can reduce costs, lead to less project variability in terms of cost, schedule and operating characteristics, and increase the chance of meeting a project’s environmental and social goals. The research showed a direct correlation between the level of front end planning effort and project success.

The following figure illustrates the three sub-phases of FEP in context of the typical life cycle of a project. The diamonds represent key decision gates that must be addressed prior to moving on to following phases.
213_1_Figure5.JPG

This research found that upfront investment is required to front end plan a project, but the resulting savings are more than worth the investment. Rule of thumb is that FEP cost is typically 2.5% of total project cost (TPC), but will return on average 10% cost savings, 7% shorter schedule delivery, and 5% fewer changes. CII research also indicates that well performed front end planning can lead to less project variability in terms of cost, schedule, and operating characteristics, and increase the chance of meeting a project’s environmental and social goals. Also identified by the research is a set of critical success factors or “rules” of FEP (outlined under Key Findings below). Project teams and organizations that break these rules will pay the price in terms of disappointing results.

Alignment has also been recognized as an important factor during successful front end planning and is considered a CII Best Practice. Alignment is defined as "the condition where appropriate project participants are working within acceptable tolerances to develop and meet a uniformly defined and understood set of project objectives." For more information on alignment, refer to CII complimentary research publication, Alignment During Pre-Project Planning—A Key to Project Success, Version 2.1 (CII Implementation Resource 113-3).

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Identify and Understand Risks

Identify and understand risks of new project types, technologies, or locations, being especially cognizant of those projects that have unique characteristics for the project team or organization. Spend more time and effort planning these projects with experienced personnel. (RS213-1, p. 28)
Reference: (RS213-1)

2 : Leadership

Provide leadership at all levels for front end planning process, including executive and project, owner and contractor. Leadership is almost always a factor that influences success of front end planning. (IR213-1, p. 28)
Reference: (RS213-1)

3 : Defined Front End Planning Process

Organizations should develop and consistently follow a FEP process that includes team chartering, stakeholder identification and partnering, and technical scope identification. 

Ensure adequate scope definition prior to moving forward with design and construction; use front end planning tools. Scope definition tools such as the PDRI are excellent resources for ensuring that scope definition is adequate. (RS213-1, p. 15)

Reference: (RS213-1)

4 : Select Contracting Strategy Early

The contracting strategy selected must be appropriate to reflect the risk and uncertainties of the project given the project constraints. (RS213-1, pp. 17, 27)
Reference: (RS213-1)

5 : Team Building

Build the project team, including owner stakeholders and consultants. Team building activities include goals definition and developing accountability and responsibility for the project planning activities. When leadership provides a unifying vision to guide the project toward goals and objectives, projects are likely to be more successful. (IR213-1, p. 18)
Reference: (RS213-1)

6 : Alignment

Align the project team, including stakeholders. Project stakeholders must work toward a common goal and shared objectives. CII’s Alignment Thermometer tool is an excellent resource to help with this process. 

Include involvement from both owners and contractors. Projects are successful when owners and contractors are actively involved in the planning process and remain involved throughout the project. Few owners now have the capabilities to plan all aspects of a project. Contractors should never assume that the project has been adequately defined.

This research indicates that sample projects with better-aligned teams during FEP performed almost 10% better in terms of cost and over 16% better in terms of schedule. (RS213-1, p. 11)

Reference: (RS213-1)

7 : Experienced and Capable Personnel

Staff critical project scoping and design areas with capable and experienced personnel. More experienced teams typically produce more successful projects, particularly in front end planning. The team should include personnel experienced in critical project characteristics such as piping design, equipment design, and construction.

Thoroughly address labor force skill and availability early in planning because this issue can affect project success, including contract clauses and area labor surveys to help minimize the impact of labor issues during project execution. (IR213-1, p. 19)

Reference: (RS213-1)

8 : Implementation Tool #1

IR213-2, Front End Planning Toolkit 2014.1

The purpose of this toolkit is to define the functions involved and to provide a process that can be used to promote both consistency and excellence in capital projects. This toolkit provides an electronic pattern for an organization’s front end planning process, integrates existing CII tools, and provides insight into critical tasks that must be performed. The toolkit is for use by both owner and contractor.

Reference: (IR213-2)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved cost, Improved schedule, Improved performance/achieved success, Reduced change, Reduced/improved risk

Research Publications

Front End Planning Toolkit 2014.1 - IR213-2

Publication Date: 11/2014 Type: Implementation Resource Pages: Status: Tool

Front End Planning: Break the Rules, Pay the Price - RS213-1

Publication Date: 11/2006 Type: Research Summary Pages: 32 Status: Supporting Product

Data Analysis in Support of Front End Planning Implementation - RR213-11

Publication Date: 04/2006 Type: Research Report Pages: 329 Status: Reference

Case Study Analysis in Support of Front End Planning Implementation - RR213-12

Publication Date: 03/2006 Type: Research Report Pages: 190 Status: Reference


Supporting Resources

Education Materials

Front End Planning - Instructor's Guide - EM213-21

Publication Date: 12/2009 Type: Education Module Pages: Status: Supporting Product

Front End Planning - Participant Handbook - EM213-21A

Publication Date: 12/2009 Type: Education Module Pages: Status: Supporting Product

Front End Planning - Classroom Kit - EM213-21K

Publication Date: 12/2009 Type: Education Module Pages: Status: Supporting Product

Front End Planning: Your Key to a Successful Project - WS213-01

Publication Date: 07/2014 Type: Video Pages: n/a Status: Supporting Product


Presentations from CII Events

Plenary Session - Using Front End Planning to Integrate an R&D Acquisition: A Pharma Case Study

Publication Date: 06/2011 Presenter: Jerry Polly Number of Slides: 15 Event Code: AC11

Implementation Session - Using Front End Planning to Integrate an R&D Acquisition: A Pharma Case Study

Publication Date: 06/2011 Presenter: Number of Slides: 74 Event Code: AC11

Plenary Session - CII Best Practice Implementation: PDRI

Publication Date: 07/2007 Presenter: Chris van den Berg Number of Slides: 15 Event Code: AC07

Implementation Session - Discussion of Results of 2004 & 2006 Analysis on Sasol PDRI Reviews

Publication Date: 07/2007 Presenter: Number of Slides: 7 Event Code: AC07

Plenary Session - Front End Planning, Deja vu All Over Again...

Publication Date: 06/2006 Presenter: Number of Slides: 24 Event Code: AC06

Implementation Session - Front End Planning, Deja vu All Over Again...

Publication Date: 06/2006 Presenter: Number of Slides: 32 Event Code: AC06


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