IPA research has quantified the importance of a strong owner cost engineering organization to effective capital projects. However, many owner project organizations in the process industry have suffered from a lack of resources and staffing for almost an entire generation of capital projects. The lack of attention to the cost engineering discipline has come at the expense of poor capital performance and the owner’s relative inability to perform critical cost engineering functions such as the development of early cost estimates to assist in proper alternative selection and the relative inability to review and validate a project’s estimate due to a lack of in-house data and expertise.
To provide a roadmap for an owner organization to develop a robust owner cost engineering organization, IPA offers a multi-day Project Controls and Cost Estimating Workshop. In addition to providing value for new owner organizations (as the process maps provide an efficient method to understand industry Best Practice), the workshop is also applicable to more mature organizations that are seeking a “health” check regarding the state of their organization.
IPA’s Project Controls and Cost Estimating Workshop includes material to review all major cost engineering practices. The workshop material is organized around a set of project control and cost engineering work process maps, which cover all aspects of cost engineering (cost estimating, scheduling, and project controls) and have been developed for the major project phases (e.g., Front-End Loading [FEL] 1, FEL 2, FEL 3, execution, and closeout). The industry process maps have been developed by IPA and follow the guidelines set forth in the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International’s (AACEI’s) Total Cost Management (TCM) framework. In addition, the workshop also reviews the importance of roles and responsibilities (e.g., people) as well as methodology (e.g., cost estimating and scheduling tools) as these are critical aspects of the development of a cost estimating and project controls organization.
One of the primary benefits of the workshop is the work process maps that are customized to fit a specific organization’s requirements. In addition, businesses gain a detailed understanding of the links and interfaces between the internal cost engineering organization and the overall capital project delivery system. In most cases, these links are defined through a set of deliverables as well as capital project Best Practices.
A typical workshop lasts 3 to 4 days and is most effective if held off-site to allow the participants to completely focus on the activities. Active attendance is required from the owner organization and a substantial amount of “to-be” process mapping, which customizes the current process maps to the owner’s organization, is part of the workshop agenda.
The primary deliverables from this exercise will be a set of “to-be” process maps for the owner organization to use in developing its in-house organization. These process maps serve as a roadmap for an organization’s improvement plans.