With its inception almost 25 years ago, the Project Definition Rating Index, better known as PDRI, has continued to evolve, becoming an industry-standard practice adopted by organizations worldwide. At Valency, we are dedicated to keeping clients abreast of the latest templates available, ensuring that the most accurate results are received. The results are critical in the determination of whether a project should proceed to the next phase, significantly impacting the project cost and schedule. This post will provide a brief overview of PDRI, detailing the latest template released for industrial projects – PDRI MATRS.

Project Cost and Schedule Benefits of PDRI

What is PDRI? (Project Definition Rating Index)

The Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) is a capital construction project management best practice developed by the Construction Industry Institute (CII). Around the world, PDRI has given organizations a methodology to measure the level of scope definition in a manner that ensures a comprehensive review of scope.  When best practices are followed in conducting PDRI sessions, the methodology allows project leaders to quickly identify gaps and take appropriate action.  PDRIs that are performed consistently across a portfolio of capital projects, systematically reduce risk – starting in front end planning.

White paper: Introduction to the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI)

How PDRI Works

A PDRI review is a 4-6 hour session, hosted by a neutral facilitator and attended by the project team. Participants go through a series of questions, rating the level on a scale of 0 to 5 (definitions) of completeness for each project element. The higher the score, the higher the risk.

Generally, a PDRI review is preformed 2-3 times during the Front-End Planning phase of a project.

CII front end planning phase-gate process

New to PDRI?

If you are new to PDRI, several resources are available that will help introduce this process.  To start, take a moment to review our white paper: Introduction to the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI).

PDRI Assessment Templates

A PDRI template is composed of a series of questions which are scored and weighted based on the type of project. Because capital construction projects differ by industry and type, CII has developed PDRI templates specific to the characteristics of:

  • Industrial projects
  • Building projects
  • Infrastructure projects
  • Manufacturing & Life Sciences projects (which are frequently a hybrid of industrial and building scope)

Evolution of PDRI Templates

Over the past 25 years, CII has developed seven PDRI templates to meet the needs of the construction industry:

  1. 1996: PDRI for Industrial projects
  2. 1999: PDRI for Building Projects
  3. 2010: PDRI for Infrastructure Projects
  4. 2015: PDRI for Small Industrial Projects
  5. 2016: PDRI for Small Infrastructure Projects
  6. 2018: PDRI for Manufacturing & Life Sciences
  7. 2019: PDRI MATRS (PDRI Industrial 5.0)

Most recently, the PDRI MATRS Industrial template was published in 2019 as an enhancement to the existing PDRI Industrial template.

The PDRI MATRS template introduced new secondary measures, ideal for large complex industrial projects with a total installed cost greater than $10M USD, construction duration of at least 9 months and a core team consisting of more than 10 members.

What is new with the PDRI MATRS Template?

PDRI MATRS (Maturity and Accuracy Total Rating System) an extension of PDRI, assesses both maturity and accuracy of FEED in large, complex industrial projects.

FEED, (Front End Engineering Design) is a component of the front-end planning process referred to as Detailed Scope. FEED consists of the Engineering documents, outputs, and deliverables for the chosen scope of work.

Definition Level Criteria for all Elements

One key resource developed as part of the PDRI MATRS tool is definition level criteria for all elements. This valuable asset increases the consistency in a facilitation. The score guidance provides increased clarity on what must be completed for each element and definition level.

The Maturity Score

Out of the 70 elements, 46 are directly related to FEED, spanning all three sections of the PDRI Industrial template, maintaining the same weightings and definition level values as the standard PDRI Industrial template. The normalization formula transforms the PDRI score of these elements into a maturity percentage. A higher maturity score indicates a better scope definition. By the end of the Detailed Scope (Phase 3), the target score is 80% or higher.

The Accuracy Score

The other addition was an accuracy score. A new accuracy section provided a means to evaluate the degree of confidence the team has in the overall scope definition package. Accuracy factors relate to the:

• Project leadership team,
• Project execution team,
• Project management processes, and
• Project resources

Accuracy Scoring System

The new accuracy section includes 27 factors organized into four categories. Each factor is weighted based on CII research results and is displayed as a percentage. The target score at the end of Detailed Scope (Phase 3) is 76%. The higher the score, the better.

Accuracy Definition Levels

The definition levels used to evaluate accuracy factors are different than those we use for scope related elements, but the intended application is the same.

– Zero is used for not applicable
– 1 means the team is “high performing” concerning the factor criteria,
– 5 means the results are “not acceptable”

Analyzing the Results

The combination of the Maturity Score and the Accuracy score comprised the new secondary metric called the MATRS Score.

In addition to the core benefits of PDRI assessments, PDRI MATRS will improve the degree of confidence in the level of maturity of FEED deliverables to serve as a basis of decision at the end of Detailed Scope (Phase 3). This typically represents 30% of engineering and design complete and is within the Class 3 cost estimate range (AACEi).

Getting Started with PDRI

The first step to implementing PDRI within your Front-End Planning practices is becoming a trained facilitator. Valency offers industry-leading training (PDRI Principles & Practices), held virtually several times each year. Visit our registration page to learn more: https://valencyinc.com/education/pdri-principles-practices-val-102-course-registration/

The Valency team has trained hundreds of PDRI facilitators and offers ongoing support and facilitation tools to ensure your PDRI reviews are productive and effective.

Questions about PDRI?

Please contact our Business Development Team at 1-519-883-7136 to schedule a time with one of our senior consultants.

More resources:

  1. White paper: Introduction to the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI)
  2. Datasheet: PDRI MATRS
  3. CII Webinar: Leveraging PDRI MATRS & Accuracy Factors for Projects in Front End Planning During COVID-19
  4. CII Report: RS-331 Assessing the Maturity and Accuracy of Front End Engineering Design, CII
  5. CII Report: RT-361 Development of the PDRI Maturity & Accuracy Total Rating System (MATRS), CII
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Sandra MacGillivray

Managing Director at Valency Inc.
Sandra is the Managing Director for Valency Inc., an implementer of best practices from the Construction Industry Institute (CII) that dramatically improve capital project performance. 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.