W9_AFS_ Managing Small Project: Front End Loading

Problem Recognition, Definition, and Evaluation

The new project has been established with name Water Pre Treatment Package Project. The Project objectives are:

  1. To ensure there is no solid particles carry over from water well to WTP
  2. To increase potable water production capacity
  3. To reduce time for backwash activity
  4. To Prevent RO membranes damage due to contamination in its feed water

During FEL-0, Operation people defined that to achieve all of project objective above, we shall install pre-treatment unit at Upstream of WTP. We have selected WBS on the last 4 previous weeks and this time we will learn how to identify document that need to produce during Front End Loading.

Development of The Feasible Alternatives

Our company guidelines recommend a structured FEL (Front End Loaded) approach to project analysis that uses a process which is fundamentally the same for all the projects, regardless of size, type, or complexity. The important of FEL is to pre plan early (during front end of project) at the time when the ability to influence changes in design is relatively high and the cost to make changes is relatively low.

Figure 1. Front End Loading

Source: Ali, Nasir. (2013), Fundamental of Small Project Management.

Development of The Outcomes For Each Alternative

The goals of FEL are the following:

  • Make the needs of the business the primary driver for capital project investment.
  • Assign project responsibility to teams with multidisciplinary membership.
  • Improve the capital productivity of projects by using the best available technology.
  • Eliminate non-income-producing investment.
  • Minimize changes during project execution.

Following are the FEL phase in the project’s lifecycle:

  1. Identify / FEL-0        : An opportunity is identified and a prospective project is initiated

  2. Appraise & Select / FEL-1    : The opportunity is optimized and the most appropriate and
    cost-effective technical strategy to implement the opportunity is selected.
  3. Optimize / FEL-2        : All options are studied and one single option is optimized.
  4. Define / FEL-3            : Define, finalize, and freeze the project scope

Selection of Criteria

Scope of Work each stage are

FEL 1: Define study cases, viable alternatives, high-level Basis of Design (BOD) & high-level schedules, integrated Business Objectives Letter (BOL) and Project Objectives Letter (POL)

FEL 2: Select single technical and commercial concept with scope and Integrated BOD and Issue Projects Objective Letter

FEL 3: Fully define optimized concept

Analysis and Comparison of The Alternatives

For the normal process, the projects should pass all of these FEL phases. However, due to this project is categorized as small project so we will merge FEL-0, 1, and 2.

Selection of The Preferred Alternatives

Minimum deliverables that should be produced after FEL phase completion and before executing this project are

  1. Cost Estimate with accuracy -10% to +15%
  2. Project Schedule
  3. Order Long Lead Items
  4. Final PFD
  5. Updated P&ID
  6. List of Tie ins
  7. Preliminary Isometrics
  8. Preliminary Electrical and Instrument Drawings
  9. Process Hazard Analysis
  10. Approved POL
  11. Final Project HSE Plan
  12. Final Project Construction Plan
  13. Final Contracting Strategy
  14. Final Risk Management / Register
  15. Final Project Execution Plan
  16. Updated Quality Management Plan
  17. Final SIMOPS Plan
  18. Completed PEER Assists

Performance Monitoring and Post-Evaluation of Results

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. Project teams should be make a checklist for above deliverables to ensure that all the documents have been completed prior execution.


Ali, Naseer. (2013), Fundamental of Small Project Management.

Humphreys, Gary C. (2002), Project Management Using Earned Value. 2nd ed., USA: Humphreys & Associates, Inc.

Sullivan, WG., Wicks, EM., Koelling, CP. (2012). Engineering Economy Fifteenth Edition P86-89.

Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General format. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

1 Comment

Filed under A Fahmi S, Week 09

One response to “W9_AFS_ Managing Small Project: Front End Loading

  1. Hmmmm………. Unfortunately, Pak Fahmi, your problem statement really doesn’t match up with your alternatives and analysis very well….. (After my initial first read I was going to reject this posting but after reading it through 3 times I figured out what you were trying to do)

    What would have been a really GREAT posting (4 or 5 stars) is if your problem statement read “What documents should be included in each FEL Decision Support Package (DSP) THEN your problem statement and your analysis and conclusions would match up better….

    Suggest you Google on “What documents should an FEL 1 Decision Support Package contain?” and you will get some OUTSTANDING references to help guide you.

    This is a good reference- Oman Oil’s “CP-117 – Project Engineering Code of Practice” or this one “http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/permits/hcp/pdf/DecFileAdminRecordGuidance.pdf”

    Bottom line- I will accept this week’s posting with the provision that for your W10 posting that you change your problem statement and this time, do a better job researching which documents should be included in a FEL 0, FEL 1, FEL 2 and FEL 3 Decision Support Package.

    Another EXCELLENT paper you should reference is this one- “Front-End Loading in the Oil and Gas Industry- Towards a Fit Front-End Development Phase”, Gerbert van der Weijde, Delft University of Technology (2008)”

    Bottom line- you have picked a really great and very interesting topic that you should be able to get at least 2 maybe even three weeks worth of blog postings. Just make sure you STRUCTURE the problem statement in such a way that the analysis answers your question or solves your problem!!!!

    Dr. PDG, Jakarta

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