Barriers to Implementation Update (Best Practice)

RT-166 Topic Summary
RT 166


Although the pressures of individual project performance can often obscure organizational performance improvement, best practices implemented across a portfolio of projects can provide the greatest overall benefit and eventually help organizations achieve more consistent success.

In spite of ongoing efforts to improve implementation of CII products, many CII member companies are still struggling to apply CII products on real world projects. To resolve this problem and increase the level of implementation of CII products, several resources were created by this research team to enhance implementation, including:

  • CII Implementation Model
  • CII Knowledge Structure
  • CII Knowledge Implementation Index
  • CII Self-Assessment Guide
  • CII Best Practices Summary

This research also identified barriers that inhibit innovation and change and contribute to slow industry progress. These barriers to implementation include:

  • Low familiarity with best practices
  • Lack of commitment to best practices
  • Limited emphasis on training and education of best practices
  • Failure to integrate new ideas and recommendations into organization’s procedures
  • Limited benchmarking of costs and benefits
  • Lack of innovation within the industry due to risk aversion 

In summary, RT-166 focuses on assessing CII member organizations' implementation effort at the organizational level using the implementation resources provided by this research. Organizations with better implementation practices performed better on capital projects.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Organizational Improvement Needs Are Broad

Organizational implementation of project knowledge varies widely among the CII organizations in this study. Every organization has room for improvement. (RS166-1, p. 21)

Key areas for organizational implementation improvement include:

  • Providing resources to the implementation effort including time, money, focus, and incentives
  • Developing better documentation of processes and results of implementation efforts
  • Using benchmarking and metrics extensively to understand opportunities for improvement
  • Employing self-auditing programs to ensure that processes are being used and continuously improved
Reference: (RS166-1)

2 : Implementation Links to Better Performance

Organizations in this study with better implementation practices performed better on capital projects. Ultimately, the marketplace will differentiate organizations which can successfully implement new knowledge from those who cannot. (RS166-1, p. 22)

Reference: (RS166-1)

3 : CII Tools Can Lead Implementation Efforts

This research validates the Implementation Model. Organizations should use the CII Implementation Model to order their implementation efforts and the CII Knowledge Structure to identify Best Practices that can provide benefits. (RS166-1, p. 22)
Reference: (RS166-1)

4 : Knowledge Structure Provide Easy Access to Tools

The CII Knowledge Structure is the overall body of CII knowledge arranged in topological form. It provides an easy mechanism for finding and using CII products. (IR166-2, p. 9)

The CII Knowledge Structure is broken into 13 Knowledge Areas. A Knowledge Area is defined as logical grouping of CII topical areas and reflects project phases or specific topics, project management techniques or issues. The 13 CII Knowledge Areas are:

  • Front End Planning
  • Design
  • Procurement
  • Construction
  • Startup and Operation
  • People
  • Organization
  • Project Processes
  • Project Controls
  • Contracts
  • Safety, Health, and Environment
  • Information/Technology Systems
  • Globalization Issues

Each Knowledge Area is subdivided into Focus Areas that include Best Practices, Proposed Best Practices – Pending Validation, and/or Information.

Reference: (IR166-2)

5 : CII has Identified Best Practices (2000)

A CII Best Practice is defined as a process or method that, when executed effectively, leads to enhanced project performance. (IR166-2, p. 14)

CII Best Practices identified by this research include:

  • Pre-Project Planning
  • Alignment
  • Constructability
  • Design Effectiveness
  • Materials Management
  • Team Building
  • Partnering
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • Disputes Resolution
  • Zero Accidents Techniques
Reference: (IR166-2)

6 : Develop an Implementation Program

Three recommendations to improve your implementation efforts. (IR166-2, p. 17)

  1. Use the CII Implementation Model as a basis to develop an implementation program within your organization.
  2. Use the CII Knowledge Structure to identify Best Practices to adapt within your company.
  3. Implement CII Best Practices within your organization.
Reference: (IR166-2)

7 : Three Essential Factors to Implementation

Three key factors are essential to the successful implementation of CII Best Practices: 1) knowledge of the CII Best Practices, 2) a plan for implementation, and 3) a process for implementation. (IR166-3, p. 13)
Reference: (IR166-3)

8 : Use Best Practice Assessment Process to Focus on Success

The Best Practice Implementation Assessment process involves the comparison of organizational needs, processes, procedures, and practices against the requirements of CII Best Practices, as provided in the checklists available in this publication.

For example, the CII Implementation Thermometer provides a quick assessment process that is specific to CII implementation issues. This tool can be utilized to ascertain the overall status on the organization’s use of the CII implementation process. Using the results of this assessment, implementers can identify the areas needing more attention and perform any additional detailed analysis necessary. (IR166-3, p. 8)

See “Implementation Tools” for more information on tools provided by this research.

Reference: (IR166-3)

9 : Implementation Tool #1

IR166-3, CII Best Practices Guide:Improving Project Performance

This publication is designed to provide leadership in the implementation of CII Best Practices.and includes the following key elements.
  • Provides material for each of the current CII Best Practices, including:
    • CII definition and basic elements 
    • Implementation Self-assessment form
    • CII Implementation Model – Describes the nine steps of the model to assist with your organization’s implementation effort.
    • 10 Stages to Implementation Success – Developed to provide clarity on the overall stages of an implementation process.
    • Use of the Self-assessment Guide – Developed to facilitate implementation of Best Practices. The assessment scores may be used to evaluate projects at many points during its cycle. Regardless of the frequency of the evaluations, the results may be compared among projects as long as the scoring guidance is consistent among the projects being compared and the project parameters are reasonably similar.
Reference: (IR166-3)

10 : Implementation Tool #2

IR166-2, Implementation Model + Knowledge Structure Guide

This publication has been archived, but is available for download for informational purposes only.  Note: its updates to the Implementation Model and Implementation Thermometer are now included in IR166-3. Provides an understanding of the CII Implementation Model and CII Knowledge Structure (circa 2000). 
Reference: (IR166-2)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved safety, Improved cost, Improved schedule, Improved quality

Research Publications

CII Best Practices Guide: Improving Project Performance, Version 5.0 - IR166-3

Publication Date: 07/2022 Type: Implementation Resource Pages: 96 Status: Tool

CII Best Practices Handbook - SP166-4

Publication Date: 07/2017 Type: Special Publication Pages: 83 Status: Tool

Measuring Organizational Implementation Status: Development of the CII Knowledge Implementation Inde - RS166-1

Publication Date: 05/2004 Type: Research Summary Pages: 26 Status: Supporting Product

Assessment of CII Knowledge Implementation at the Organizational Level - RR166-11

Publication Date: 09/2002 Type: Research Report Pages: 406 Status: Reference

Implementation Model + Knowledge Structure Guide - IR166-2

Publication Date: 11/2001 Type: Implementation Resource Pages: 26 Status: Archived Tool

Presentations from CII Events

Plenary Session - Implementation: Once a Dream… Now a Reality

Publication Date: 06/2004 Presenter: Number of Slides: 23 Event Code: AC04

Session - Implementation of CII Best Practices

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 14 Event Code: PIW903

Session - Practice Implementation at United States Steel

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 33 Event Code: PIW903

Session - A Guide to the CII Implementation Model and Knowledge Structure

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 19 Event Code: PIW903

Session - Implementation of CII Best Practices

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 31 Event Code: PIW904

Session - CII Implementation Model and Knowledge Structure Guide

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 28 Event Code: PIW904

Session - Overcoming Barriers

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 28 Event Code: PIW903

Session - Implementation Barrier Battle, An Icebreaker/Mentoring Exercise

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 189 Event Code: PIW905

Session - Barriers and Solutions to Implementation

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 21 Event Code: PIW905

Session - Diagnosing the Implementation Barriers: A Step That Leads to the Cure!

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 8 Event Code: PIW907

Session - Overcoming Barriers to Implementation

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 25 Event Code: PIW407

Session - Barrier Demolition Workshop

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 25 Event Code: PIW407

Session - Implementation-Barriers and Strategies

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 18 Event Code: PIW1008

Session - Detect Your Implementation Barriers and Turn Challenges Into Success Storeis

Publication Date: Presenter: Number of Slides: 11 Event Code: PIW408