How the CII Project Definition Rating Index can deliver 25 times the savings

January 14, 2022 | 3 minute read
Dave Bullard
Senior Director, Product and Industry Strategy
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In a previous post, we focused on “How implementing CII best practices helps improve project delivery.”

Now let’s focus on the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI), a simple yet powerful tool from the Construction Industry Institute (CII) that enables quantification of scope definition and can be integrated throughout project delivery to add value and certainty to project selection and approval, risk management, and lessons learned.

CII benchmarking has determined a savings of $25 per $1 spent on the PDRI process, consistent with our experiential learning that earlier and better scope definition leads to fewer changes and lower costs to correct later, as shown in the following graph. 

Figure 1. Influence and expenditures curve for the project life cycle (www.construction-institute.org)

There are eight versions of the PDRI, and each includes scripted elements for cross-functional teams to consider and evaluate qualitatively. Those qualitative assessments are converted to an overall score, or measure of scope definition, based on CII research conducted by member practitioners with rigorous academic oversight. 

The versions of the PDRI include:

  1. General building
  2. Industrial
  3. Industrial—MATRS (Maturity and Accuracy Total Rating System)
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Manufacturing and life sciences
  6. Mining
  7. Small industrial
  8. Small infrastructure

This quantified measure of the maturity of project definition deliverables is a great input to assess the estimate using the Association for Advancement of Cost Engineering classification matrix.

Because the PDRI is designed and intended to be administered multiple times throughout the project lifecycle, users can see estimate classifications evolve over time as teams work through their phase gate/project approval process and further remove unknowns.

As a CII member, Oracle has taken the proactive step of configuring the PDRI in Primavera Unifier. This configuration not only ensures consistency and visibility. It also provides project teams integration benefits, including:

  • Action item assignment and tracking.
  • Risk register record creation.
  • PDRI score tracking and prerequisites for phase-gate requirements.
  • Request for information initiation and tracking.
  • Change management initiation and monitoring.
  • Data mining and analytics.
  • Lessons learned.

If you would like to learn more about the PDRI configuration in Oracle’s Primavera Unifier, or if you are curious to know more about the value of CII and potential membership, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We are always excited to share with others in our industry how CII’s research, network, and tools can enable a tangible improvement in project delivery.

Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.

Dave Bullard

Senior Director, Product and Industry Strategy


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