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Right From The Start


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  • Seminar Abstract“Right from the Start – Mistakes and traps to avoid while developing and planning your capital projects”Proper planning of capital projects is critical to final outcome. To achieve a project’s goals with respect to cost, schedule, quality, and operation, project teams must deliver a high quality conceptual design and project plan. This webinar will start with an overview of current best practices and tools for project planning. After sharing the latest knowledge and research from leading project management entities, the webinar will list common mistakes and traps to avoid during project planning to ensure your project’s success. This webinar should be attended by project managers, process engineers, design engineers, and others involved in developing and planning capital projects.
  • The level of detail must be sufficient to match a business or company’s financial risk tolerance.Discuss tradeoff between certainty and wasted effort for canceled projectsDiscuss impact of company culture on schedule vs. cost tradeoffs
  • The red line indicates your ability to influence project costs (your influence declines as the project proceeds – the early decisions set the project cost)The blue line is the project cumulative (can also refer to cost of changes) – adding equipment on flowsheet is much easier than adding equiment during EPC phase or in the field before startup
  • Typical front-end planning processFEL-1Led by the commercial / business team (marketing, finance, supply chain)May involved R&D and senior process engineersFEL-2 Typically the first contact with engineering Core engineering team and project leadership is establishedFEL-3Engineering team expanded – contractor engagement as necessary by the owner to bring discipline depth and capacityAdd graphic to address how the process is not isolated and outside factors (market conditions, competitor capital spending, government regulations, etc.) constrain as well as influence and disrupt this process
  • Add graphic to indicate preliminary schedule and cost estimate or expectations are established in this stage
  • Resource planning includes: Engineering, construction, bulks, major equipment.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Right from the Start
      Mistakes and traps to avoid while developing and planning your capital projects
    • 2. This presentation was originally presented by Adnan Siddiqui for an AIChE webinar on April 28, 2010. You can view a recording of the webinar with the audio part at:
      Right from the Start: Mistakes to Avoid While Planning Capital Projects( - Adnan Siddiqui
      AIChE Webinar
    • 3. Agenda
      About capital project planning
      Importance of good planning
      Major decisions to be made
      Common mistakes and traps to avoid
      Recovering from poor planning - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 4. ConcepSys Solutions
      Founded in 2008 to license ground breaking integrated conceptual design software – ConcepSys.
      Easy to use yet powerful tool for feasibility stage studies (FEL-2) of process industry projects
      A minimum of 50% savings in time and money compared to traditional work flow and other conceptual engineering software - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 5. Capital Project Planning
      Development of initial design, cost estimate, and schedule to enable financial analysis and authorization of a capital project
      Also referred to as:
      Pre-Project Planning
      Front-End Loading (FEL)
      Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED)
      Pre-Construction - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 6. Importance of Good Planning - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 7. Typical FEL Process - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 8. FEL 1 Major Decisions
      Capacity (product mix)
      Future expansion/modification
      Input and outputs
      Technology - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 9. FEL 2 Major Decisions
      Equipment sizing / type
      Non-process scope
      Control system strategy
      Design standards
      Level 1 schedule
      Long lead items
      Black and gray boxes - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 10. FEL 3 Major Decisions
      Equipment supplier(s)
      OSBL scope
      Execution strategy
      LOPA / PHA - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 11. Best Practices for FEL
      Gate reviews
      Value Improving Practices (VIPs)
      Attend June 2, 2010 AIChE webinar by Nat Schatz for more information
      Formal risk assessment (FMEA)
      Quality and completeness checks - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 12. FEL 1 Mistakes
      Premature initiation
      Uncertain schedule, cost, capacity targets
      Ignoring technology risks - Adnan Siddiqui
      Image by elisharene via
    • 13. FEL 1 Traps
      We are using proven technology
      We will just scale up to new capacity
      This plant is just a copy of the existing one
      Past performance guarantees future performance - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 14. FEL 2 Mistakes
      Premature completion
      Incomplete alternative evaluation
      Lack of operation input - Adnan Siddiqui
      Image by jonathan_moreau via
    • 15. FEL 2 Traps
      The gray boxes can be resolved later
      Inadequate attention to OSBL scope
      Incomplete or dysfunctional team
      Making the scope fit the expected cost instead of the expected objectives
      Lack of experienced process engineer involvement
      Inadequate peer / expert review - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 16. FEL 3 Mistakes
      Inadequate detail
      Too much detail
      Ignorance of local conditions
      Poor resource planning
      Assumptions from FEL-2 are not verified or eliminated as needed - Adnan Siddiqui
      Image by proimos via
    • 17. FEL 3 Traps
      Scope creep
      Wrong scope
      Poor risk assessment - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 18. Special Situations
      Joint ventures
      Emerging geographies
      New technology
      Fast track
      Retrofits / turnarounds - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 19. Bonus Content
      Seven Laws of Projects (Matthew E. May)
      A major project is never completed on time, within budget, or with the original team
      Projects progress quickly until they become 85% complete.
      When things appear to be going well, you’ve overlooked something.
      • Project teams hate weekly progress reports because they so vividly manifest the lack of progress.
      • 20. If you have too few people on a project, they can’t solve the problems. - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 21. Bonus Content
      Seven Laws of Projects (Matthew E. May)
      If you have too many, they create more problems than they can solve.
      A carelessly planned project will take three times longer to complete than expected.
      A carefully planned project will only take twice as long as expected.
      Ten estimators will estimate the same work in ten different ways. And one estimator will estimate ten different ways at ten different times. - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 22. Summary
      Getting conceptual design right from the start is critical to getting more bang for your capital buck in the end!
      Each phase of conceptual design has mistakes and traps to avoid.
      Chapter 9 of Perry’s 8th Edition has more information on Front-End Loading
      Upcoming AIChE webinar on Value Improving Practices – June 2, 2010 - Adnan Siddiqui
    • 23. Want to know more?
      Join Front-End Loader weekly email list for project management and conceptual design tips
      Send email to
      Sign-up to be notified for short and practical seminars and webinars
      Send email to get free copy of upcoming e-Book on process industry project conceptual design - Adnan Siddiqui