Course Outline – Front End Planning Principles and Practices (VAL-101)

Front End Planning Principles & Practices (VAL-101)

Summary

As a project leader you know first hand the importance of proper scope definition. Industry research shows that projects with intensive front end planning and well-defined scope perform markedly better in terms of cost, schedule, change orders and delivery against operational business objectives.

This course offers participants the opportunity to learn how to apply the principles of front end planning using the Construction Industry Institute’s front end planning phase-gate process. Each phase in the front end planning process is explained along with the key objectives, inputs, specific tasks, and deliverables.

Built around an interactive case study, this course offers participants a practical opportunity to apply the principles of front end planning. Participants will work collaboratively in small groups to conduct analysis at each phase of front end planning for the project. The course concludes with each group presenting their recommendation (and rationale) on whether the project should be authorized to proceed to detailed design.

CII Phase Gate Process

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Understand the definition, objectives and principles of front end planning
  • Recognize the three phases and gates of the front end planning process recommended by the Construction Industry Institute (CII)
  • Identify the key activities that occur during each phase
  • Understand the inputs into each phase gate decision point
  • Apply front end planning tools and techniques including the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) and the Alignment Thermometer

Who Should Attend

This course targets project stakeholders who are actively involved in front end planning or preparing to become involved in front end planning. Past attendees include Program Managers, Project Managers, Engineers and Planners, Design Managers, Designers, Construction Managers, Technical Managers, Project Estimators and Schedulers Business Unit leaders, Site Supervisors, Project Finance personnel, Operations leaders, Contract Administrators, Maintenance Managers, Risk specialists, Procurement professionals, Materials Supervisors, Quality specialists, Legal, Project Controls analysts, Information Commercial Managers, Cost Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Health & Safety professionals and others.

Course Outline

Introduction

  • Overview of course objectives and agenda
  • Front end planning principles
  • Introduction of the front end planning phase gate process
  • Research results showing the impact of front end planning on project performance

Feasibility Phase

  • Introduction to the main concepts associated with the Feasibility phase
  • Alignment of the team with the project business drivers
  • Understand the specific tasks associated with each sub-phase
    • Initiate
    • Generate options
    • Filtering options
    • Finalize filtering options
    • Goals and objectives of conducting a PDRI-1 review (Project Definition Rating Index)
  • Achieve early team alignment; application of the Alignment Thermometer
  • Feasibility analysis steps and decisions
  • Inputs and deliverables of Phase Gate 1

Workshop 1 – Feasibility Analysis

  • Interactive exercise – using a case study for an expansion project, participants will work in small groups and perform an analysis to identify:
    • missing inputs required for the feasibility phase
    • tasks that must be performed to complete the feasibility study
    • key risks that need to be addressed

Concept Phase

  • Introduction to the main concepts associated with the Concept phase
  • Understand the specific tasks associated with each sub-phase
    • Initiate
    • Analyze alternatives
    • Develop conceptual scope and estimates
    • Evaluate and select the best alternative
    • Prepare a concept phase report
    • Goals and objectives of conducting a PDRI-2 review
  • Inputs and deliverables of Phase Gate 2

Workshop 2 – Concept Analysis

  • Interactive exercise – the case study project progresses to the concept phase. Participants will work in small groups to analyze site characteristics, consider technology alternatives, steps to prepare conceptual estimates, and identify gaps that still need to be addressed to complete all deliverables for Phase Gate 2.

Detailed Scope Phase

  • Introduction to the main concepts associated with the Detailed Scope phase
  • Understand the specific tasks associated with each sub-phase
    • Initiate
    • Preliminary design and engineering
    • Preliminary design and engineering reviews
    • Cost and schedule control estimates
    • Finalize the scope definition package
    • Goals and objectives of conducting a PDRI-3 review
    • Compile the project definition package
  • Inputs and deliverables of the Phase Gate 3 decision point (authorization decision for detailed design and construction)

Workshop 3 – Detailed Scope Analysis

  • Interactive exercise – the case study project progresses to the detailed scope phase. Participants will work in small groups to conduct a risk assessment. Each group will identify risks, assign probability, impact, and recommend mitigation steps. Finally, the group will prepare and present their recommendation on whether the project should be authorized to proceed to detailed design.

Summary

  • Participants will apply course learning and complete a self-assessment of their organization’s level of implementation of front end planning practices.
  • Review the front end planning phase gate process, tools and techniques
  • Discuss important “take-aways”
  • Conduct course evaluation

Course Instructor

Sandra MacGillivray, MBA, PMP

Sandra is the Managing Director for Valency Inc., a provider of project readiness solutions that reduce risk for organizations that manage a large portfolio of capital projects.  She is a Certified PDRI Facilitator, Registered Education Provider (REP) with the Construction Industry Institute (CII), a Project Management Professional (PMP), and a PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) with over 15 years of project management experience.  Sandra is a past research team member with the Construction Industry Institute on front end planning, risk management and portfolio management. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Waterloo and a Master in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Certificate

A certificate of completion will be issued to those who attend and complete the course. The course is conducted by Valency, a Registered Education Provider for the Construction Industry Institute (CII).  Those who complete the course will earn 7 Professional Development Hour (PDH) credits.