Document Detail

Title: RS242-1 - Front End Planning for Renovation and Revamp Projects: An Overview
Publication Date: 2/1/2009
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 43
Describes the six critical success factors and three overarching lessons learned that can be applied to front end loading on renovation and revamp (R&R) projects. Also presents groundbreaking research on shutdowns/turnarounds/outages (STOs), an important subset of R&R projects. Introduces the STAR Tool, which was developed specifically for STO alignment and pre-planning. This research project evaluated 25 case studies worth over $1.4 billion.

NOTE: Actual tool included with IR242-2.
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Front end planning (FEP) is arguably the single most important process in the capital project life cycle. Known by many terms such as pre-project planning, front end loading, sanctioning process, programming/schematic design/design development, and others, front end planning creates the critical underpinning to any capital project. Front end planning is focused on creating a strong, early link between the business or mission need, project strategy, scope, cost, and schedule and maintaining that link unbroken throughout the project life. It has been considered a CII Best Practice for many years.

This summary focuses on recent CII research that shows the importance of the front end planning process with regard to renovation and revamp (R&R) projects. R&R projects are truly unique in terms of their singular planning aspects and risk exposure. A subset of R&R projects is shutdown/turnaround/outage (STO) projects, which were investigated as an important component of this work.

In this summary, results from 25 case study evaluations are presented from projects worth over $1.4 billion. Additionally, statistical analysis of project data from the CII Benchmarking & Metrics database in excess of $23 billion focusing on front end planning effectiveness on R&R projects is discussed. Results are also presented from four workshops focused on front end planning related STO projects, involving 67 industry participants from 39 organizations.

Data from the CII membership show that approximately 30 percent of expenditures on capital projects are focused on R&R work. Unique characteristics of R&R projects include:

  • Safety and security issues of work force interfacing with existing operations
  • Unforeseen site conditions more prominent
  • Scope definition, estimating the amount of work more difficult
  • Scheduling intensity, higher in many cases
  • Shutdowns and maintenance work interface on many projects
  • Greater need to interface with operations/tenants, maintenance, and construction personnel
  • Additional schedule constraints occur due to operational interfaces
  • Different funding sources, including both local capital and non-capital funds.


In addition to traditional front end planning issues for greenfield projects, planning teams must be concerned with the following issues as they effectively plan for R&R work:

  • Stakeholder identification including existing operations personnel and/or tenants along with alignment and teambuilding of larger list of participants
  • Defined front end planning process followed even if the project is small
  • Adequate scope definition, including use of tools such as the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) and others
  • Choosing the right contracting strategy to address the unique project drivers of R&R work
  • Thorough investigation of existing conditions, including use of technology and field surveys
  • Assessing the impact of labor and material availability in terms of the R&R work, especially for STOs
  • Providing leadership and experience in key planning disciplines, particularly regarding issues unique to the R&R location and type of work
  • Considering alternative execution practices, such as modularization and prefabrication during planning to enhance R&R project performance.


As part of this work, the existing PDRI tools that CII has for building and industrial projects were revised to reflect unique issues related to R&R projects. In addition, the research team developed a new tool: STAR (Shutdown Turnaround Alignment Review) for addressing STO projects during front end planning. The team also developed Project Condition Investigation (PCI) cards outlining tools and techniques to enhance front end planning risk management. This summary provides an overview of tools and management practices that can be followed to help effectively plan for the issues outlined above.