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Topics: Construction
How do apply Front-End Loading Process in Engineering and Construction Projects?
I would like to institute the Front-End Loading (FEL) / Front-End Planning processes in capital, Enginnering and Construction projects, to minimize project risk and maximize project success. How do you achieve FEL and what are the criteria for various decision gates?

With best regards,
Bhasker
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Bhaskar-
I would suggest that the question clearly indicates to me some misunderstanding of the Construction process. My response:
1) Front End Loading refers to the creation of a Schedule of values within a Construction project Contract to allow funding for the carrying costs associated with startup and the time duration between Project Funding milestones.
2)I do not recognize your Term "Front End Planning as a construction term. "Front End Engineering and Design" (FEED) is a common method of providing bidders with semi-accurate plans and basis of design to allow bidders to provide submit accurate Proposals and pricing during the Bid Stage-including pricing for the Contractor's Detailed Engineering Design to flesh out the specifics of the FEED.
3) The most important means of achieving a successful Execution of the Project is to strictly monitor the DED and to produce a well thought out Project Management Plan.

From The Trenches!
M
It's interesting how we have gone from little to no planning to doing all the planning up front. The reality is that planning should be sufficient, no more, but continuous.

For example, trying to think up front of all the risks you may encounter on a long project, can be difficult. Would you know of an opportunity (positive risk) to use masonry robots, for example, during the initial planning stage?
SP-
In my world that planning (PMP) is a Contract Required Submittal- usually required within 90 days of Contract Execution. Maybe you understand a method for executing a Construction Project without Planning.
It is not difficult to understand the future hazards and risks for any Construction Project, they are very predictable, and 50% are Safety related.
My question to you would be- if you do not produce a Plan (PMP) in the beginning, then how do you execute to the Plan as the Project proceeds?
Working the Plan, and meeting the Schedules are the Primary concerns for any Project Manager. Additionally, reducing and avoiding Risks and Hazards are a primary concern.

From the Trenches!
M
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1 reply by Stéphane Parent
Jul 04, 2019 12:34 PM
Stéphane Parent
...
Hey Mark,

I am not suggesting that you should execute a construction, or any, project without planning. Planning is a management foundation, let alone for project management.

My point is we spend so much time and effort to dot the i's and cross the t's in various planning documents. (I'll confess to be part of that group.) The more detailed and precise we do it up front, the likelier that we will have to change it over the course of the project.
And the longer the project, the less likely our plans will be accurate over the course of the project. (There's nothing like your sponsor asking for the end date on a multi-year project.)

I agree that each industry has a known set of risks. It behooves us to not start from scratch. Given that each project is unique, is it not possible that it will have unique risks? What is the likelihood you will know what these unique risks are up front?
Jul 04, 2019 9:13 AM
Replying to MARK A ANNUNZIATA, Sr
...
SP-
In my world that planning (PMP) is a Contract Required Submittal- usually required within 90 days of Contract Execution. Maybe you understand a method for executing a Construction Project without Planning.
It is not difficult to understand the future hazards and risks for any Construction Project, they are very predictable, and 50% are Safety related.
My question to you would be- if you do not produce a Plan (PMP) in the beginning, then how do you execute to the Plan as the Project proceeds?
Working the Plan, and meeting the Schedules are the Primary concerns for any Project Manager. Additionally, reducing and avoiding Risks and Hazards are a primary concern.

From the Trenches!
M
Hey Mark,

I am not suggesting that you should execute a construction, or any, project without planning. Planning is a management foundation, let alone for project management.

My point is we spend so much time and effort to dot the i's and cross the t's in various planning documents. (I'll confess to be part of that group.) The more detailed and precise we do it up front, the likelier that we will have to change it over the course of the project.
And the longer the project, the less likely our plans will be accurate over the course of the project. (There's nothing like your sponsor asking for the end date on a multi-year project.)

I agree that each industry has a known set of risks. It behooves us to not start from scratch. Given that each project is unique, is it not possible that it will have unique risks? What is the likelihood you will know what these unique risks are up front?
Mr. SP-
In my business, I have to take the position that I could not disagree with you more.

As a Construction PM, I have produced Project Management Plans so many times that I just do not consider it problematic. It is not only a guideline for the Owner, but It is also a Guideline for your team. Let me explain this with an analogy. We have a Project that Includes a spiraling stairway. We Plan the dimensions and shapes of the treads, risers, support beam, and landings carefully.
We execute that Plan exactly. We want the future user to have a consistent, predictable, and effortless experience traveling up and down those stairs.The result of this planning requires the same Planning Characteristics and communicates the PM's priorities for execution and performance, meeting KPI's, to the Contractor Staff as well as the Owner.
Each Project is Unique, however, the hazards and Risks are the same and predictable, with few exceptions.
It is the PM duty to supply the Owner with a Schedule, and any time that schedule changes (usually Owner related Scope Creep) then the schedule and finish date Move- This is simple Change Management.
As an experienced PM, I can easily foresee the Risks and Hazards for each Project up front. I believe I am not Unique, every Construction PM practices the Risk Management on the Project, regardless of type or location.

Maybe you are talking about a different deliverable than a Construction Project if so I apologize for my lack of sympathy.

From The Trenches!
M
I am assuming that your organization is in early stage of project management maturity.
It is good to establish stage gate process in the lines of predictive project management in order to high predictability in the outcome.
It has to go through different stage say FEL 0, FEL 1, FEL2 and so on to manage the progressive elaboration of project.
You should have someone who is familiar with project management process with a tilt towards PM
Start with a project which your organization is confident of handling by themselves and with the support of PMO or suitable personnel.
Sir-
FEL does not apply to my Industry.
You obviously are not a Construction Project Manager, nor have you handled a Project from start to finish. I have been both a Tier 1 PM (225 Million USD), and a PORTFOLIO MANAGERoF 5 Construction Projects valued at 1.2 Billion, with over 12000 direct workforces.
Don't hesitate to contact me when you have completed your first major Construction Project as PM. We can talk about how you applied your FEL!

From the Trenches!
M
FEL occurs prior to Project Contract award. I am in the Execution Business
...
1 reply by Kenyi Mitsuta
Mar 20, 2020 9:11 AM
Kenyi Mitsuta
...
That is right. FEL is applied for engineering, most of the time is part of PDRI (Project Definition Rating Index), from this methodology comes Front end Planning or Pre Project planning.
Jul 04, 2019 3:52 PM
Replying to MARK A ANNUNZIATA, Sr
...
FEL occurs prior to Project Contract award. I am in the Execution Business
That is right. FEL is applied for engineering, most of the time is part of PDRI (Project Definition Rating Index), from this methodology comes Front end Planning or Pre Project planning.
Hello Bhasker, I have been working in a FEL environment of capital projects (some megaprojects, one of them over US$ 9 billion) since 2008. I suggest you to access the IPA website https://www.ipaglobal.com/ and CII website for FEP - Front-End Planning https://www.construction-institute.org/res...nt-end-planning for some basic concepts. FEL and FEP are very similar methods to develop large and complex construction projects in a step-by-step basis, as you said trying to minimize risks and maximize benefits. Both organizations are able to provide you training and consulting in this subject, as well as several other big consulting companies. Good luck in your track to FEL!
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