Document Detail

Title: RS241-1 - Optimizing Construction Input in Front End Planning
Publication Date: 7/1/2008
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 21
Project success often depends on the timing and nature of early construction input in the front end planning process. Unlike constructability, however, the tactic described here is prior to the design phase. Describes a Microsoft® Excel-based tool, the Construction Input Assessment Tool, which provides stakeholders a means of determining project activities that require construction input during front end planning and whether those resources are available in-house or need to be brought onboard.

NOTE: Actual tool included with IR241-2.
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Many projects do not include adequate construction input during front end planning (FEP), resulting in projects falling short of their goals. Historically the primary stakeholders in a project (i.e. owners, designers, and constructors) are not aligned and tend to operate in their own domains. As a result the needed collaboration is not obtained and projects do not achieve the level of success that is possible.

CII established the Optimizing Construction Input in Front End Planning Research Team to investigate the problem and determine ways in which construction input can be optimized during the front-end stage of projects. The research shows a strong and indisputable correlation between early construction input and project success.

CII has emphasized the use of constructability (one of the original research topics undertaken by CII in 1983) as a Best Practice since the late 1990s, when CII Best Practices were first established. The emphasis of this research, however, is to provide guidance on the timing and nature of the construction input to be provided in the FEP process – which is materially different from constructability. Most constructability exercises are carried out after the design has evolved, and sometimes even at the end of the design development phase. This research places the emphasis of construction input on the early, FEP stages of a project.

The research team has developed an Excel®-based decision aid – Construction Input Assessment Tool (CIAT). CIAT provides project stakeholders with a means of determining project items and activities that require construction input during front end planning. It also will assist in evaluating if adequate construction expertise is available or if outside sources are needed.

This publication summarizes the efforts of the research team and briefly describes the development of CIAT. The team recommends the use of CIAT to measure and improve the use and timing of construction input during FEP, which ultimately will enhance the probability of project success.