Document Detail

Title: RS302-1 - Interface Management
Publication Date: 10/1/2014
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 22
Summarizes the efforts of RT-302 to identify the current state of interface management and establish its definitions and effective practices on global mega-projects. Discusses key findings and introduces IR302-2, The Interface management Implementation Guide and IR302-3, The Interface Complexity Assessment Tool.

NOTE: Actual tool included with IR302-2.
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As capital projects have become more complex and increasingly global, project leaders have felt a greater need for interface management (IM). Defined as the appropriate management of communications, relationships, and deliverables among two or more interface stakeholders, effective IM is integral to project success. Yet, because it is an emerging discipline, project teams have, to date, had little guidance on its implementation. As a result, IM implementation has varied widely across the industry, and no common definitions and practices have evolved. To address the need for a coherent industry approach to IM, CII chartered Research Team (RT) 302, Interface Management. The team’s mission was to identify the current state of IM and establish its definitions and effective practices for owners and contractors who face serious interface issues on global mega-projects. To accomplish this, RT302 developed a rigorous survey to structure its interviews with personnel on 46 projects.

This research summary focuses on the research key findings from the team’s interviews, i.e., the established IM definitions, practices, and recommendations. It also introduces Implementation Resource (IR) 302-2, The Interface Management Implementation Guide (IMIGe), and IR 302-3, The Interface Complexity Assessment Tool (ICAT), which combined help users match IM implementation levels to project complexity. From the interviews, the team found that the projects with a low level of IM implementation tended to have higher and more dispersed cost growth—as well as more outliers (e.g., excessive cost growth)—than did the projects with high IM implementation. Though more validation efforts (e.g., more sample projects) will clarify the results, this finding shows the potential benefit of having formal IM implementation for global mega-projects.

The research team’s analysis further indicates that implementing the appropriate level of IM enables project teams to be proactive in identifying and managing interface points. Because effective IM creates open communication channels between interface stakeholders, and facilitates their engagement in resolving conflicts and issues, it eventually leads to a lower project risk profile and higher project performance. Finally, in this summary, the team puts forward a path for the wider adoption of IM, identifying the areas where more research efforts are needed.