Creating Automation Project Alignment and Success

The Construction Industry Institute (CII) was established in the early 1980s to research ways to improve the performance of capital projects. CII is a consortium of more than 130 owners, engineering-contractors, and supplier firms focused on enhancing the business effectiveness and sustainability of the capital projects through CII research, related initiatives, and industry alliances.

I mention this since I’m a member of the Manufacturing and Life Sciences industry sector committee. Our committee met this week and one of the CII tools received several mentions by owner companies—the Project Definition Ratings Index (PDRI).

The PDRI•Industrial Projects version of this tool helps project teams measure the completeness of project scope definition on industrial projects. It is applicable for both greenfield and upgrade/retrofit projects across the process manufacturing and production industries.

Emerson's Fred Voll

Emerson, as a long-standing CII member, has access to the use and modification of this tool for the process automation projects performed. Emerson’s Fred Voll, also a member of this CII sector committee, has modified this tool to incorporate specific automation considerations for both new facilities and modernization of existing facilities. Specifically, Fred has incorporated the quantification of the level of definition of the design of Basic Process Control Systems and Safety Instrumented Systems.

Fred notes that the tool is available for Emerson project teams to align project stakeholders early in the Front End Planning process. CII research indicates that a well-defined project early in the project lifecycle increases predictability and overall success.

The PDRI tool basically walks the project team through considerations around the basis for the project decision, basis of design and the execution approach. The goal is to determine if your project has the right objectives, right scope and will be executed the right way.

This tool is used during various phases of the front-end planning of a project—feasibility, concept and detailed scope. Here’s a sample self-assessment scoring sheet modified for automation projects. Categories X, Y, and Z were added to the original PDRI tool.

CII PDRI Tool with Emerson Modifications

The scoring (lower is better) is done by the project stakeholders as a method of alignment and the weighting for each area is based on research of the relative importance to a project’s success.

The PDRI tool produces a chart showing where your project planning stands compared with others to hopefully identify gaps at critical project checkpoints in time to get the project back on time and on budget.

If you want to learn more about CII, the PDRI tool and all of their research, best practices and more, connect with their membership team and browse their website.

You can also connect and interact with other project experts in the Plan & Design and Implement & Build groups in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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