Document Detail

Title: RS331-1 - Assessing the Maturity and Accuracy of Front End Engineering Design
Publication Date: 4/1/2018
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 37
Surveys RT-331's research into front end engineering design (FEED). Assessing the maturity and accuracy of FEED to support phase-gate approvals for large industrial projects is a critical task with significant influence on overall project success.This research found that projects with high FEED maturity and accuracy metrics outperformed projects with low maturity and low accuracy by 24 percent in terms of cost growth, and 12 percent in terms of change order performance in relation to the approved budget at Phase Gate 3. The team also created the FEED MATRS tool, which generates maturity and accuracy scores for a project, then normalizes them so they can be plotted on a maturity-accuracy matrix.

NOTE: Actual tool included with IR331-2.
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Abstract

Assessing the maturity and accuracy of front end engineering design (FEED) to support phase-gate approvals for large industrial projects is a critical task with significant influence on overall project success. This research summary provides an overview of the work of RT-331, Assessing the Maturity and Accuracy of Front End Engineering Design (FEED) to Support Phase-Gate Approvals. RT-331’s research found significant correlations between a project’s FEED maturity and accuracy scores, and that project’s performance.

More specifically, RT-331 found that projects with high FEED maturity and accuracy metrics outperformed projects with low maturity and low accuracy by 24 percent in terms of cost growth, and 12 percent in terms of change order performance in relation to the approved budget at Phase Gate 3. Projects with high FEED maturity and accuracy also outperformed those with low maturity and low accuracy, both in terms of financial performance and relative to how well customer satisfaction matches expectations. These results are based on a data sample of 33 completed and 11 on-going large industrial projects representing over US$13.9 billion of total installed cost in 10 different countries, with the majority of projects in the U.S. and Canada. The researchers collected the input of 128 individuals from 62 organizations.

As an initial part of this research effort, RT-331 developed a standard definition of FEED as a component of the FEP process performed during detailed scope (Phase 3), consisting of the engineering documents, outputs, and deliverables for the chosen scope of work. The team based this definition on the input of 80 survey responses from 33 organizations.

The RT-331 work culminated in the development of the FEED Maturity and Accuracy Total Rating System (FEED MATRS) tool (pronounced “feed matters”). FEED MATRS generates two separate scores for a project; a maturity score and an accuracy score, which are each normalized to a zero to 100-point scale and are plotted on a maturity-accuracy matrix. The maturity-accuracy matrix is divided into four quadrants and gives users a high-level understanding of where a project stands in terms of maturity and accuracy at the end of detailed scope (Phase Gate 3).

  • The maturity assessment component of FEED MATRS consists of 46 engineering elements presented in a weighted checklist format. The tool provides a method for quantifying the level of maturity of the engineering design effort during FEED at the end of detailed scope (Phase Gate 3). The tool’s weighted index, derived from the PDRI–Industrial tool, allows users to measure the level of maturity of the FEED deliverables and correlates this maturity score with project performance outcomes.
  • The accuracy assessment component of FEED MATRS consists of 27 FEED accuracy factors and is also presented in a weighted checklist format. This new assessment method provides, for the first time, a method for evaluating contextual or external factors associated with the FEED process. FEED accuracy factors were derived from a number of past CII research efforts, as part of an extensive literature review, and set the stage for several industry workshops in which RT-331 developed the weighted accuracy assessment component of FEED MATRS.

The resulting tool was subsequently tested during front end planning by eight different organizations on 11 ongoing projects. Data from these project assessments showed that FEED MATRS provided the project teams with an understanding of FEED development risks and helped project team members identify critical gaps.