Front-End Loading (FEL) Workshop

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A highly-customized workshop that helps project teams develop an action plan during the critical planning stage for a specific capital project.

Workshop Summary

IPA research has shown that project definition, or Front-End Loading (FEL), is one of the most significant drivers of project success. Well-defined projects cost less, take less time to execute, and operate better. The project definition process establishes a framework for aligning the project objectives with the business goals and ensures that business objectives are translated into project objectives. The Front-End Loading Workshop is an interactive program that teaches key members of the project team the essential knowledge and skills required to organize, plan, and execute an FEL action plan for capital projects of all sizes and types.

Topics Covered

Core Activity: IPA facilitators work with the project team in the initial road mapping of their project based on a precedence diagram (see below for example), sharing key deliverables for each phase of the project and for each scope. The road mapping activity includes the use of an FEL Checklist that helps the team identify key activities that might have been overlooked, and begin developing an action plan for completing the remaining key front-end activities. Additional activities and topics include:

Risk Management

  • Approaches to risk assessment exercise
  • SWOT analysis
  • PEST analysis

Establishing Alignment

  • Business and Engineering Alignment Meeting (BEAM)
  • Business and project objectives alignment exercise

Team Development

  • Team development and interface management planning
  • RACI chart development
  • Effective project team structure charting
  • Engaging appropriate functions discussion

Other Topics

  • Timing Value Improving Practices correctly
  • Commercializing new technology
  • Accelerating cycle time
  • Working in programs
  • Establishing a contracting strategy

Key Benefits

Facilitated by experienced IPA staff, the FEL workshop is the perfect opportunity for the project’s different functional groups to raise pertinent project issues and risk. Additionally, upon completion of the FEL Workshop, participants will have gained the following:

  • Essential knowledge and skills for organizing, planning, and executing the FEL action plan
  • FEL roadmap for guiding the project team through essential FEL activities
  • FEL checklist for identifying the key FEL deliverables

Workshop Background

All workshop 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 more than 16,000 projects on which to base its analyses and studies.

Target Audience

The workshop is designed to include all functions involved in the project. This includes representation from business and operations, along with key owner(s) project management personnel. The number of contractors participating should be limited to only key players. To ensure interaction among participants, the optimal workshop size is 15 to 20 participants. It is recommend that a subset of participants be identified in advance to consolidate the results of the workshop with the FEL roadmap and checklists produced in the workshop.

Hold a Workshop

Due to the highly customized nature of the FEL Workshop, it is only held privately for organizations. The workshop can be conducted either at a company’s facility or at a nearby conference center. For more information about holding a workshop for your organization, please contact the IPA Institute.


IPA Training Programs

Any standard IPA Institute training program can be delivered privately to your organization at your preferred location and held at a time that best meets your company’s requirements.

  • Topics from different courses can be combined to create a semi-customized seminar
  • Course durations can be altered to fit a client organization’s schedule requirements
  • Convenient location, delivery dates, and delivery format (traditional classroom, webinar, etc.)
  • More cost-effective than public seminars when training larger groups of people

Program Benefits

  • Interactive
  • Engaging
  • Focused

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