Front-End Loading (FEL) and the Stage-Gated Process

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Advance your knowledge of the FEL and stage-gated process fundamentals needed to drive improved capital project performance.

Course Summary

The early planning work for a capital project, known as Front-End Loading (FEL), is the foundation for executing capital projects effectively. A stage-gated project delivery process breaks the project lifecycle, including FEL, into defined phases to facilitate selecting the best project, identifying the right scope of work, and preparing for effective execution.

This course shares Best Practices for each FEL phase and the stage-gated process, as identified through research by Independent Project Analysis (IPA). Project professionals will gain an understanding of the elements needed to drive better outcomes in safety, cost, schedule, and operational performance.

Who Should Attend?

This course is intended for those who already possess project management skills and experience and have an interest in increased project value and efficiencies through disciplined project management.

Key Benefits

  • Understand the FEL stages in the capital project lifecycle, including the objectives, key elements, main deliverables, and requirements for each gate
  • Recognize the warning signs and challenges for each FEL phase
  • Leverage key additional practices used during FEL to increase value: Constructability Reviews and Value Engineering
  • Understand how IPA measures the quality and completeness of FEL

Topics Covered

Section 1

  • Introduction
  • Stage-Gated Approach to FEL
  • FEL 1–Business Planning
  • FEL 2–Scope Development

Section 2

  • FEL 3–Project Definition
  • Additional Leveraging Practices During FEL
  • Measuring FEL Quality and Completeness
  • Summary and Closing Exercise

Format and Structure

This course features interactive class exercises and discussions, and can be delivered online or in-person.

Course Background

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 projects on which to base its analyses and studies.

For More Information

Download the course brochure to view the course topics, key benefits, target audience, and course background.

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