Document Detail

Title: RR245-11 - Maximizing Engineering Value
Publication Date: 2/1/2009
Product Type: Research Report
Status: Tool
Pages: 201
O'Connor, Singh, Univ. of Texas at Austin
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The value that engineering contributes to capital projects is rarely maximized for a wide variety of reasons. The engineering phase can be rushed; the design team can be underresourced; owner’s requirements can be unclear; technology can change rapidly; organizational structures can be constraining; or project objective priorities can be unclear, to name a few. In today’s project environment, maximizing engineering value requires that a wide variety of issues, opportunities, and challenges be identified and confronted early in the project planning process.

Responding to these opportunities and challenges, CII established the Maximizing Engineering Value Research Team to examine a wide variety of strategies through which project value from engineering can be maximized. Applying rigorous search, analysis, and evaluation processes, the research team ultimately identified 64 engineering strategies for maximizing value to capital projects.

To better understand each of the 64 strategies, the research team further examined each strategy from many perspectives:

  • Purpose and objective
  • Motive for implementation
  • Impact on 11 common project value objectives, including tradeoffs
  • Influence of timing on the effectiveness of implementation
  • Project characteristics and circumstances for which impact is leveraged
  • Frequency of implementation
  • Ease of implementation
  • Fundamental or mandatory vs. optional implementation
  • Linkage with other project phases
  • Role in overcoming common barriers to maximizing engineering value
  • References for further information.


Much of this information has been organized into one of the research team’s publications, Engineering Strategy Catalog, yet additional questions remain. For example, from such a large listing, how can a project team select those strategies most beneficial to a project? Also, how can such strategies be effectively implemented within a project context—and integrated with design effectiveness efforts?

For help in answering these questions beyond this Research Summary, readers are encouraged to examine the Maximizing Engineering Value & Design Effectiveness Toolkit(CII Implementation Resource IR 245-2), also developed by the research team. The Toolkit includes tools resulting from the work of both RT 233 and RT 245. The five tools for maximizing engineering value include the following:

  • Tool 1: Implementation Model
  • Tool 2: Engineering Strategy Catalog
  • Tool 3: Engineering Strategy Tradeoffs
  • Tool 4: Engineering Strategy Selection Tool and User Manual
  • Tool 6C: Standard Plant Design Case Study


When well planned and executed, engineering value can be significantly enhanced on capital projects. The Toolkit is intended to be a comprehensive and easy-to-use resource that project teams can use to maximize engineering value. This publication summarizes the process applied by the research team, highlights key findings from the research, and introduces and reviews elements of the Toolkit.