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Implementation of CII Best Practices for Small Projects 


CII Best Practices, as management principles, are intended to be applicable to all projects, regardless of size. However, CII members report that they struggle with consistent implementation for small projects (including projects without dedicated resources and managed as a matrix organization) and frequently express the need for additional guidance in this area. 

This issue could be because detailed practices and implementation guides have been primarily developed for larger, more complex projects with limited consideration for scalability for use with smaller or less intensive projects. 

More than 20 years ago, CII's RT-161 (Executing Small Capital Projects) published IR 161-2, Small Projects Toolkit, to guide the execution of smaller projects. Though IR 161-2 remains helpful, there is an opportunity for CII to improve the industry by driving the implementation of CII Best Practices to support implementation at a smaller scale.   


Provide guidance to capital project organizations on implementing CII Best Practices on small projects (e.g., maintaining the fundamental best practices and underpinning principles, but adjusting the scope of approach and scaling their implementation methods). Other objectives may include:  

  • Revisiting the definition of "small" compared to RT-161's definition (RT-161's criteria include cost range, duration, scope, resource availability, project intensity or complexity, and risk). This objective could lead to the use of words other than "small" going forward. 

  • Revisiting how CII Best Practices should be scaled for small or less resource-intensive projects. This effort may include the introduction and integration of leaner, fit-for-purpose tools such as checklists or simpler templates to facilitate implementation. Note that in many cases this may be a trivial task and, in others, result in a recommendation along with guidelines to scale down existing practices. 

  • Understanding which tools exist that already support small projects and which tools/resources need to be adapted to support small projects. 

Expected Research Outcomes

  • New (Small) Project Best Practice Implementation recommendation as a document, which will identify tools and processes that are currently available and opportunities to develop new ones. 

  • A project workflow diagram showing the implementation of practices by project phase. 

  • A process or guidelines for identifying which projects would be characterized as "small" given the size and nature of both the project and the organization(s) undertaking the project. 

  • A scope and framework for a CII online course on the topic (to be developed and implemented by CII). 

Notes to Team 

  • When defining 'small', consider 1) project complexity in the definition of "small". RT-305 - Measuring Project Complexity and Its Impact created a definition of complexity. RT-398 (ongoing) also has a definition of complexity; 2) whether the project has a dedicated management team or is managed in a matrix organization as part of a portfolio. 

Research Team Member Backgrounds 

  • Members experienced in the implementation of CII Best Practices. 

  • Members connected to the management of small projects in their organizations. 

  • CII Implementation Champions are encouraged to join the team. 

Time Frame and Milestones 

  • Nominations for RT Industry Members: March-May 2024 

  • PIs meet with CII to prepare for kickoff: May 2024 

  • Kickoff: Last week of June 2024 (target) 

  • Mid-project (online) presentation: September 2025 

  • Presentation at a CII event: August 2026 


CII. (2001). RT-161-1 - Executing Small Capital Projects. Austin: CII. Retrieved from Small Project Execution (

CII. (2017). RT-305-1 - Measuring Project Complexity and Its Impact. Austin: CII. Retrieved from

CII. (2023). RT-398 (Phase 2) - Developing a Fit-for-Purpose Handbook for Effective Implementation of CII Best Practices. Austin: CII. Retrieved from RT-398 (



Dan Fahrer, PTAG, Inc.

Vice Chair

Cory Scarborough, Occidental Petroleum Corporation


Michael Bambula, Archer Daniels Midland Company

Kyle Bellon, LyondellBasell

Syed Bokhari, Aramco Services Company

Rebecca Coffey, ExxonMobil Corporation

Stefania Limp Correa, Alvarez & Marsal

Jimmy Cravens, Pathfinder, LLC

Chris Cunningham, Ontario Power Generation

Paolo Di Iorio, Technip Energies

Scott Esposito, Oracle USA, Inc.

Jan Fessel, Black & Veatch

Jerome Ganachaud, Aramco Services Company

Malek Ghandour, PTAG, Inc.

Michael Hampton, Tennessee Valley Authority

Joseph Hanley, Dematic

Shawn Heaney, Covestro LLC

Jonathan Mariano, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors

Abdulaziz Naim, Ma'aden-Saudi Arabia Mining Co.

Shannon Pierce, Deloitte

Noor Razali, Petronas

Dan Sand, DTE Energy

Purushothaman Srinath, Larsen & Toubro Limited

Mohamad Sulaiman, Petronas


Alex Albert, North Carolina State University

Ed Jaselskis, North Carolina State University


Roya Albaloul, North Carolina State University

Michael Pedraza, North Carolina State University