Project FEL Definition, Maturity & Accuracy

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

The Project planning and definition process must develop and delivers strategic information to a sufficient Definition, Maturity & Accuracy level for the Key-Stakeholders (end-user) project steering committee and company board(s) to evaluate, challenge and address risks etcetera, in order to commit funds and resources or to make an informed decision to recycle, shelve or cancel a project. 

Therefore, the implementation and delivery of early phase project planning (pre-project planning) is fundamentally critical and has a significant impact through the full lifecycle of all industrial projects. 

There needs to be a clear definition of responsibilities and accountability to ensure effective pre-project planning between Key-Stakeholders (end-user) and Engineering contractor, without this connection, there is a high likelihood of poor pre-project planning due to one or more of the following:

  1. The pressure to get a product(s) into the marketplace faster

  2. Lack of Engineering contractors’ capability

  3. Perceived delays and higher overhead costs

  4. Overly optimistic Key-Stakeholder management

  5. Desire to limit engineering costs

  6. Uncertain technology and site conditions 

  7. Other external factors

The Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) and Maturity Accuracy Total Rating System (MATRS) methodology is a powerful tool that has been created by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) after implementing extensive and ongoing research.

It is our experience at TPTL that undertaking and completing a PDRI MATRS workshop is a key value-adding activity to evaluate and validate the completeness of project scope definition of all industrial brownfield & greenfield projects. The tool incorporates the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) & Front-End Engineering & Design (FEED) Maturity & Accuracy Total Rating System (MATRS) Methodologies.


The project delivery team should undertake an initial FEED MATRS internal assessment (using the CII PDRI MATRS tool to facilitate the identification of any project definition or accuracy issues or any other problem areas) at the end of FEL-2, the resulting assessment findings, recommendations and current scoring should be included within the Decision Support Package (DSP) to attain approval to progress into FEL-3 (also termed FEED).

An interim internal assessment should also be implemented midway through FEL-3 by the project delivery team to verify project progress and identify any gaps, challenges or issues.

Note: Both above-noted FEED MATRS internal assessment reviews should last be no longer than circa 2 hours each.

The Project FEED MATRS workshop should be implemented at the end of FEL-3 and approximately four to six weeks before the management Final Investment Decision (FID) Gate Review (before Execution approval gate).

PDRI MATRS Workshop Team & Requirements

Typically, the PDRI & MATRS workshop team will incorporate a Facilitator, a Scribe and a Project Manager to prepare, undertake and deliver the PDRI & MATRS workshop. 

To optimise & maximise the benefits of undertaking a PDRI MATRS workshop it is highly recommended that the Client delivery team Project Director, Project Manager, Engineering Manager and discipline engineers, also the FEED Engineering Contractors’ project management team and discipline engineers are all invited to participate in the process.

Typically, a PDRI MATRS workshop is executed by undertaking the following proven four-stage evaluation process as defined below:

Stage 1: Advanced Information Review

Assess the overall quality of FEL-3 (FEED) package deliverables and verify they are following Industry Best Practices. To achieve this as a minimum, the following information will be required, as such will form the overall basis of the workshop:

  1. Business Statement of Requirements (BSoR) & Business Case  

  2. Project Charter

  3. Decision Support Packages (DSP’s)

  4. Authorisation For Expenditure (AFE) - (FEL-2)

  5. Latest Project Execution Plan (PEP) which should encompass Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Schedule, Procurement Plan, Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE) Plan, Contracting Strategies and Commissioning / Start-Up Plan

  6. Latest Project Team Organisation Charts and Staffing Plans

  7. Project Description, Scope of Work (SoW), Basis of Design (BoD)

  8. Access to all FEL stage-gate package generated documentation 

Stage 2: Interviews

The PDRI MATRS workshop team would usually implement several advance interviews with key project team members as well as the implementing Engineering Contractor’s representatives. The overall purpose of implementing these interviews is to facilitate the efficient gathering of essential project information from multiple functions to obtain an overall balanced perspective of the project status and forward implementation activities. 

Typically, the Project Client & Engineering Contractor Functions which the PDRI MATRS workshop team would interview are:

  1. Project Manager’s

  2. Lead Process Engineer(s)

  3. Engineering Manager(s) 

  4. Project Control (Cost / Schedule) Representative

  5. Supply Chain Management Representative (Procurement and Contracts)

  6. Operations Representative

  7. Construction Representative

  8. Other Technical Discipline Lead’s

The interviews would be typically undertaken over a one- or two-day period, interviews lasting between sixty to ninety minutes, although specific key individuals, e.g. Project Managers, Engineering Managers, Project Control Managers, Contracts Managers may require some additional time.

Stage 3: PDRI MATRS Workshop 

The PDRI MATRS workshop team should analyse all the received technical information and interview notes that have been gathered during the implementation of Stage 1 and 2 activities. 

The PDRI MATRS workshop should always incorporate an overall facility & process evaluation when the overall design has been developed to verify that there is a relatively equal level of definition.

The PDRI MATRS workshop must always be based upon the information gathered, and the workshop facilitator will:

  1. Calculate the overall PDRI MATRS score

  2. Indicate whether the derived PDRI MATRS score is within the acceptable range for a well-defined project given its current phase

  3. Indicate all Project elements which require further development to increase the project definition level to a Best Practices level

The PDRI MATRS workshop Team must prepare for the workshop separately and collate their advanced information findings & comments so that they all actively participate through the implementation of the workshop.

Stage 4: Reporting

Upon the completion of a PDRI MATRS workshop, the review team will prepare & issue a full report which encompasses the applied processes, all relevant observations, findings, recommendations and enhancements to achieve overall project success.

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