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Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED)

Will our project meet the expectations of stakeholders? How do we define and deliver value? How do we ensure stakeholder engagement? How do you deliver a well-executed FEED? What are the keys to successful project outcomes?

Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED), a project delivery method based on the concepts of Value Engineering (VE), has been specifically developed to address these concerns. We have explored the advantages of FEED further in our previous article - Discovering the Benefits of Front-End Engineering Design (FEED). This article focuses on our methodology for delivering FEED projects as well as identifying the four key factors that are essential for successful project outcomes.

The steps to delivering a well-executed FEED...

A comprehensive FEED service allows the real needs of a project to be identified and developed through a disciplined and controlled methodology. At Foodability Co. we separate our project management services into four distinct phases, the first three comprise the essential stages of FEED development while the final stage relates to the delivery of the final project.

The below diagram illustrates the importance of the FEED phases in overall project management, developed around the core element of stakeholder engagement and communication.


Explore Phase

The Explore Phase of the FEED process is perhaps the most important as it sets the ground work for stakeholder engagement, project expectations and pre-feasibility for whole-of-project outcomes. Typical deliverables of the Explore Phase include:

  • Defining the problem and the opportunities
  • Assembling the team
  • Initial planning
  • User needs analysis
  • Benchmarking and performance requirements

Concept Phase

The key outcome for the Concept Phase in FEED delivery is to assess the criteria defined in the Explore Phase to find the best-fit design concept. Further collation and modelling of data around issues of project scope, risk and cost are also developed around typical deliverables such as:

  • Design parameters
  • Process flow
  • Concept layouts
  • High level cost estimates

Review/Refine Phase

The Review/Refine Phase further develops the design explored and defined in earlier FEED phases. The outcome of this phase is a detailed and documented process for delivering on project needs, including pre-engineering on critical areas of risk mitigation. Typical deliverables of the Review/Refine Phase include:

  • A development plan/schedule
  • Design and pre-engineering of critical service and equipment elements
  • Equipment and staging layouts
  • Target specifications
  • Project budgets

The success of the final Design and Construct Phase will ultimately rest on the quality of the outcomes achieved in these early-stage FEED phases. A well-executed FEED will deliver an EPC without unexpected surprises in scope, budget, timeline and overall performance of the project as well as existing operations.

The keys to successful FEED project outcomes…

Delivering successful FEED projects is not just about having a good methodology. There are four other key elements that are essential to successful project outcomes.

1. Focus on value instead of cost

FEEDs are often conducted for the primary purpose of providing a cost estimate; but delivering on value is not just about cost. Whole-of-project outcomes ultimately rest on the development of customised quality at optimum value, providing the foundation for long-term success.

2. Build stakeholder support

Stakeholder support throughout all phases of the project is critical. Disengagement and ambiguous support from management or other stakeholders can lead to poor information and lack of detail in the critical early planning phases of the FEED process. Failures in communication upfront can lead to significant changes during a project’s execution, often resulting in the project going over budget and past schedule.

3. Engineer for the future

Organisations often conduct FEED processes to meet the specific, near-term objectives of a project. However, plants and processes evolve, especially in today’s fast paced digital environment. Successful FEED projects consider how a system and operation may develop over time, understanding plant and process requirements for future expansion and industrial change.

4. Partner expertise is key

The technical expertise and industry experience of the selected partners in FEED process are essential to the success of the project. The accuracy of scopes, budgets, timelines and risk identification depends in a large part on the specific experience of technical partners, familiar with industry standards, guidelines and practices. Partnering with the right organisations helps to reduce technical, schedule and cost risk over the lifecycle of the project.

Whole-of-project successful outcomes ultimately resides in an organisations ability to manage these four key factors. Organisations who collectively integrate these approaches to FEED project management will enhance their ability to achieve optimum value and return on investment.

Michael Matthewson

Director @ Foodability Co.

© 2019 Foodability Co. Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved

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