Information Flow to Support Pre-Project Planning (Best Practice)

RT-221 Topic Summary
RT 221


This research was undertaken to better understand the flow of information during front end planning. In addition, this research sought to better understand front end planning and to identify areas where it may be improved.

The front end planning process was carefully diagrammed as consisting of 33 distinct information flow activities, each with its own information flow entities and interactions across the five primary phases of front end planning.

  • Business Plan
  • Contract Strategy
  • Project Execution Plan
  • Facility Scope Plan
  • Product Technical Plan

The Information Flow Activities Diagram provides a precedence logic diagram of the front end planning process, identifying each activity and the precedence relationship with the other activities. As a result, the project team can identify the process to properly plan a typical engineer, procure, and construct (EPC) project. By following this diagram, the project teams may better utilize time and effort when planning projects.

An analysis of data from 51 projects was undertaken to determine if there are duration, resource, and additional execution differences between successful and less successful projects. The analysis identified that successful projects devoted more time and resources (both internal and external) to execution of the information flow activities. In addition, the findings indicated that there were execution differences between successful and less successful projects. 

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Improve FEP Information Flow

To improve the flow of information through front end planning, the project team should focus particularly on six information flow activities identified as being critical to effective and efficient front end planning. (RR211-11, p. 148)

  • Identify/Select Project Alternatives
  • Establish Image and Public Relations
  • Define Start-Up Requirements
  • Address Quality and Safety Issues
  • Develop Preliminary Execution Plan
  • Develop Utilities and Offsite Scope
Reference: (RR221-11)

2 : Execution of FEP Process

Through the statistical analysis performed by this research, it was identified that successful projects executed front end planning differently than less successful projects with respect to information flow activities. These differences include more time spent and more resources utilized while planning EPC projects. (RR211-11, p. 152)
Reference: (RR221-11)

3 : Information Flow Activities Diagram

The micro level diagrams provide the detailed logic flow diagram for each of the information flow activities at the task level. When the information flow activities diagram is combined with the micro level diagrams, the project team will know each step needed to adequately plan a typical EPC project. By following these diagrams, project teams may better utilize time and effort when planning projects. This constitutes an original contribution to the construction industry. The detailed Information Flow Activities Diagram is provided in the research report. (RR221-11, p. 114)
Reference: (RR221-11)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved performance

Research Publications

Information Flow to Support Front End Planning - RR221-11

Publication Date: 05/2007 Type: Research Report Pages: 340 Status: Reference

Presentations from CII Events

Plenary Session - Success is in the Handoff

Publication Date: 07/2007 Presenter: Number of Slides: 16 Event Code: AC07

Implementation Session - Success is in the Handoff

Publication Date: 07/2007 Presenter: Number of Slides: 26 Event Code: AC07