Setting accurate cost & schedule estimates are critical aspects of capital project planning. Learn key practices to make the most effective use of capital.
Setting attainable cost and schedule targets is an important consideration in making capital investment decisions. The IPA Institute’s Establishing Effective Capital Cost and Schedule Processes course provides Best Practices for setting accurate and reliable cost and schedule targets to help project teams in the process industries make the most effective use of available capital.
IPA Methodology and Front-End Loading
Methodologies to rate the level of Front-End Loading (FEL) and to measure capital effectiveness. The key components of capital effectiveness. The FEL process and its primary objectives.
Cost Estimating Overview
Overview of the project estimate and its purpose for each of the phases of FEL. The elements of the Estimate Basis Memorandum (EBM). Contingency setting techniques. The role of escalation.
Cost Estimate Quality and Progression
The differences between estimate accuracy and precision. Estimate progression through the FEL phases.
Validation and Metrics
The difference between cost / schedule estimate validation and review. Methods and techniques used to validate cost and schedule estimates. Benefits of cost / schedule estimate validation.
Schedule Estimating Overview
What is a project schedule? The optimal level of schedule definition at the end of FEL 2 / FEL 3. Fundamentals of resource loading. The basis of schedule document. Priorities for building the schedule infrastructure.
Monte Carlo Simulation
The limitations to a probabilistic approach to estimating. Key concepts of probabilistic scheduling. The elements of Monte Carlo simulation. The drivers of risk simulation quality.
Cost and Schedule Integration
The concept of cost and schedule integration and issues related to implementation. The scope definition process. The general execution strategy process. The high-level process of creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and its benefits. Work packages as they pertain to a WBS.
What are project controls? Fundamental project control activities. What project control Best Practices correlate with improved project outcomes? IPA’s Project Control Index.
Engineering and Labor Productivity
Why it is important for estimators to have a clear understanding of the factors the drive productivity. The practices and factors that drive improved engineering productivity. Practices and factors that result in competitive labor productivity.
Upon course completion, participants will have gained an understanding of the following:
- The elements of high-quality cost and schedule estimates
- Best Practices for project controls, scheduling, and early estimating
- How to handle escalation in cost estimates
- Methods and techniques used to validate cost and schedule estimates
All course instruction, presentations, and supplementary course materials are rooted in IPA’s decades of experience evaluating project and project systems, and conducting quantitative research into capital project issues and trends. IPA maintains a proprietary database with information on thousands of capital projects on which to base its analyses and studies.
The course is intended for advanced entry-level representatives from owner companies and sponsor organizations who possess a basic understanding of cost and schedule estimate preparation. This includes the following job functions:
- Project managers
- Cost estimators
- Cost control and project schedules specialists
- Professionals who have direct interaction with the project controls function