Introducing PDRI for Small Industrial Projects

Historically small projects represent 70% or more of an organization’s capital spend. Often minimal emphasis is placed on front end planning for small projects.  We assume they carry lower risk than large projects, and if a project team goes over budget or over schedule the impact seems negligible. The truth is, the cumulative effect of limited planning in small projects can have a significant impact on our overall bottom line. It’s the classic “death by a thousand cuts” scenario…

Introducing…drum roll please….


PDRI for Small Industrial Projects

PDRI for Small Industrial Projects follows the same methodology of all other PDRI templates (Infrastructure, Building, Industrial) as outlined here: What is PDRI?


It is a collaborative, facilitated process involving key stakeholders from a project, working through a rigorous checklist of project elements in order to mitigate risk by improving scope definition and identifying and documenting gaps. It covers:

  • Basis of Project Decision
  • Basis of Design
  • Execution Approach

The PDRI methodology is proven to reduce risk in capital project delivery.  It promotes rigorous scope definition and a collaborative review process during front end planning.

How is PDRI for Small Industrial Projects used?
The PDRI for Small Industrial Projects should be used as early as possible in the project life cycle.  Rather than a gating tool (focused on the score), the emphasis is on supporting small project teams in early risk identification, capturing action items and revealing scope concerns through open and honest discussion.

Our experience has shown that a PDRI for Small Industrial Projects assessment averages between 1 to 1.5 hours.

CII defines a small industrial project as:

  • less than $10 million USD in expenditure (we recently did a session for an $800K project)
  • 3 – 6 months in construction duration
  • less overall complexity than large projects
  • Includes both process and non-process projects (e.g. replacement of an industrial elevator, SCADA systems upgrade, pump replacement etc.)

By improving scope using PDRI for Small Industrial Projects, CII research has shown projects perform:

  • 16% better in terms of COST
  • 15% better in terms of SCHEDULE
  • 3% better in terms of CHANGE ORDERS

Can Carve help in implementation of PDRI for Small Industrial Projects? Yes!

Successful implementation of PDRI for small projects will likely mean more PDRIs are conducted every year, and more trained facilitators are required.  Carve makes it simple to address these needs with:


Fit-for-purpose configuration of element descriptions.  When your PDRI template fits how “Bruce Power” does small projects, it will be simpler to train facilitators, and they will deliver more value to every project team.

Consistency in facilitation.  PDRI facilitators generally have another day job.  So, Carve makes it as simple as possible to conduct a quality session. It also minimizes their effort to prepare actionable results (risks and action items) for a project team.

Portfolio leading indicators.  With one system used to manage all PDRIs, portfolio managers gain an aggregate view of front end planning risk, and visibility to consistently low definition elements.

Want to learn more about PDRI for Small Industrial Projects?

Contact CMCS today and learn about our PDRI training options and our PDRI Roadmap to Success program.

We look forward to hearing from you!

By Sandra MacGillivray
Managing Director
Valency Inc.