Document Detail

Title: RR113-12 - Team Alignment During Pre-Project Planning of Capital Facilities
Publication Date: 1/1/1997
Product Type: Research Report
Status: Reference
Pages: 319
Griffith, Gibson, Univ. of Texas at Austin
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As demonstrated in research published by CII and in new data presented in this research report, greater pre-project planning efforts lead to improved performance on industrial projects in the areas of cost, schedule and operational characteristics. This research report adds to the current body of knowledge concerning pre-project planning of industrial projects. The primary focus of the research presented is on team alignment during pre-project planning.

Previous CII research conducted by the Pre-Project Planning Research Team observed that pre-project team members from different stakeholder groups often had conflicting criteria for defining the success of the same project. The research team identified this condition as misalignment. Team misalignment during pre-project planning may cause communication breakdown and result in less than optimal project outcomes. This previous research team did not address the factors that effect team alignment and the effects of alignment on project success.

The CII Front-End Planning Research Team was established to produce effective, simple and easy-to-use pre-project planning tools so that owner and contractor companies can better achieve business, operational, and project objectives. The research team selected as one of its sub-objectives to investigate alignment during pre-project planning. The research team specifically wanted to identify the factors that significantly contribute to alignment and to demonstrate the effect that the level of alignment has on project success. It developed the following definition of alignment:

The condition where project participants are working within acceptable tolerances to develop and meet a uniformly defined and understood set of project objectives.

The research presented in this report used workshops, mail surveys, telephone interviews and personal interviews to collect data related to alignment during pre-project planning. An array of analysis techniques were used to identify the critical factors that effect team alignment during pre-project planning. The critical alignment issues identified in the research are:

  1. Stakeholders are appropriately represented on the project team.
  2. Project leadership is defined, effective, and accountable.
  3. The priority between cost, schedule and required project features is clear.
  4. Communication within the team and with stakeholders is open and effective.
  5. Team meetings are timely and productive.
  6. The project team culture fosters trust, honesty, and shared values.
  7. The pre-project planning process includes sufficient funding, schedule and scope to meet our objectives.
  8. Reward and recognition systems promote meeting project objectives.
  9. Teamwork and team building programs are effective.
  10. Planning tools (e.g., checklists, simulations, and work flow diagrams) are effectively used.

The research also demonstrated that the level of team alignment during pre-project planning positively contributes to the ultimate success of the project.

The critical alignment issues identified by this research should be adopted as best practices by teams as they initiate planning of capital facility project. The team has developed a companion Implementation Resource called Alignment During Pre-Project Planning – A Key to Project Success and an in-process tool called the Alignment Thermometer based on the results of this research effort.