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Front End Loading Pros and Cons

In: Computers and Technology

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Universidad Panamericana – Planeación de Proyectos Juan Eduardo Martínez Aguilera - 0006852 Ensayo – Front-End Loading
Introducción Muchas veces los proyectos fallan, se retrasan, incrementan su costo o son detenidos debido a la carencia de una buena planeación. No tener una buena planeación provoca un uso malo o ineficiente del tiempo de los equipos y recursos de un proyecto. Frecuentemente en todo tipo de industrias se presentan estos retrasos los cuáles tienen repercusiones más allá del retraso el proyecto en sí. Algunos ejemplos: “Los ingresos de Empresas ICA disminuyeron 10.2 por ciento a 8 mil 363 millones de pesos en el tercer trimestre del año, resultado de la caída de 23 por ciento en los ingresos por construcción ante el retraso en el desarrollo de grandes proyectos de infraestructura.” [El Financiero 2013] “El gerente general de Siemens Perú, Edwin Chávez, afirmó que el retraso de los proyectos mineros en el país está afectando a las empresas que brindan soluciones y servicios a este sector, pues las ventas programadas con anterioridad no se concretan.” [RPP noticias 2013] “Madrid, 13 de julio de 2012.- Los retrasos y excesos presupuestarios en proyectos de inversión de gran importancia para los sectores del petróleo, el gas y los servicios públicos podrían costar miles de millones de dólares, según un estudio de Accenture.” [Accenture 2012] De acuerdo a un estudio en 2009 de PriceWaterhouseCooper solo 2.5% de los proyectos grandes alcanzan los beneficios de negocio establecido en cuanto a alcance, costo y fechas.

Tener un buen manejo y planeación en el inicio de un proyecto sirve como protección contra posibles fallas, desviaciones en el presupuesto, elementos externos y para asegurar el buen funcionamiento de un equipo de trabajo. Aplicar una metodología de compuertas durante la fase de planeación de un proyecto puede permitir que la definición del proyecto sea clara, que los stakeholders del mismo estén alineados, evitar o mitigar errores de diseño, reducir el riesgo de retrasos en el proyecto y evitar en lo mayor posible generar un producto o servicio de mala calidad.

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El método de compuertas Front-end Loading (FEL, conocido también como Front-end Engineering [FEED], como Pre-project Planning [PPP], o también como Front-end Development [FED]) da al equipo de un proyecto tiempo para pensar sobre los elementos, escenarios y los procesos en sí antes del desarrollo o implementación del proyecto. Cada fase, etapa o compuerta se enfoca en una parte en particular del proyecto de tal forma que ayuda a definir el alcance de la misma. Cada fase tiene un grupo de stakeholders, problemas y consideraciones que se deben analizar y resolver. Además cada uno de estos problemas debe ser resuelto antes de iniciar la siguiente etapa. Marco conceptual y orígenes Orígen El término Front-end Loading fue usado en un inicio por la compañía DuPont en 1987, y fue comenzado a ser usado por las industrias químicas, refinerías y gaseras. A partir de un trabajo de benchmarking desde 1993 hasta 2003 realizado por la Independent Project Analisys Inc. (IPA), empresa de ingeniería y consultoría en administración de proyectos, identificó las fases de una metodología que denominó ciclo FEL, sobre la consulta en la experiencia de varias empresas que usaban la metodología para sus proyectos. A otro grupo de fases para la implantación las denominó EPCC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Comissioning), y a la fase de operación como última fase. La metodología FEL fue presentada por IPA en las 30ava y 32ava Conferencias Anuales de Ingeniería y Contratación de Construcción en los años 1998 y 2000 respectivamente. Definición Durante los años se han dado varias definiciones para FEL, básicamente FEL se refiere al trabajo que debe ser realizado en un proyecto en preparación de la decisión final de inversión (FID, Final Investment Decision). En este momento dependiendo de la información que está disponible del proyecto se decide si se liberarán los recursos para el proyecto. Algunas otras definiciones son: IPA (Swift, 2008) ve a FEL como: “el proceso por el cuál una empresa desarrolla una definición detallada de un proyecto que fue iniciado para permitir a una compañía alcanzar sus objetivos de negocio. Durante FEL las preguntas ¿porqué? ¿qué? ¿cuando? ¿cómo? ¿dónde? y ¿quién? del proyecto debe ser respondida. El Construction Industry Institute (CII) define a FEL como: “el proceso para desarrollar suficiente información estratégica con la que los dueños del proyecto pueden evaluar el riesgo y decidir si desean dar recursos para maximizar la posibilidad de éxito de un proyecto”. (Gibson y Wang, 2001) Clerecuzio y Lammers (2003) proponen que: “FEL es usado para desarrollar una definición clara de las necesidades de negocio sobre el proyecto, una alternativa al análisis de capital, una definición de las bases del diseño del proyecto, la planeación de la ejecución del proyecto y un análisis de riesgo del proyecto.”

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Turner (1999) define a FEL como: “La necesidad de definir la estrategia para la administración del proyecto. Las “fuerzas” de administración del proyecto que deben ser definidas aquí son: la definición del proyecto a través de sus objetivos y alcance, el modelo de proyecto a nivel de integración y la organización del proyecto. FEL es un proceso que traduce las oportunidades de negocio y tecnología a un proyecto de inversión, donde los objetivos del proyecto estén alineados con los objetivos de negocio, para desarrollar el más eficiente diseño de proceso y plan de ejecución para lograr los objetivos de proyecto. La metodología está compuesta de las siguientes etapas:

  

FEL I - Planeación de negocios: Se evalúa el proyecto, se analiza el concepto y la tecnología, se selecciona al equipo de proyectos y se prepara el plan para FEL. FEL II - Desarrollo y selección del alcance y diseño: Se optimiza el concepto y se seleccionan la tecnología y las alternativas de diseño. Se define el mejor alcance para cubrir la necesidad de negocios. FEL III - Plan de ejecución del proyecto y refinación del alcance: Se definen requerimientos del proyecto y se finalizan planes de ejecución Se define la mejor manera de ejecutar el proyecto

Y puede incluir las siguientes actividades (dependiendo el tipo e industria del proyecto): • Factores de sitio · Localización de la planta · Hidrología del suelo Definición de ingeniería · Plano de localización general (Plot Plan) · Diagramas de flujo de proceso · Diagramas de tubería e instrumentación · Balance de materia y energía · Lista de equipos de proceso · Lista de equipos de servicios auxiliares · Diagramas eléctricos · Hojas de datos y especificaciones · Dibujo de arreglo de equipos general Plan de ejecución del proyecto · Descripción del alcance del proyecto preliminar





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·

Producción de la planta

También bajo la metodología existe un índice para la medición del desarrollo del alcance del proyecto Índice del Nivel de Definición del Proyecto (INDP o Project Definition Rating Index [PDRI] en inglés). Dependiendo de la empresa . El índice es un intevalo de 0 – 1000 el cuál significa el grado de definición de alcance del proyecto: Si el índice es < 200 el proyecto: • • • Está 4% o más debajo de presupuesto. Tiene 3% o menos de retraso en la fecha de entrega. Está totalmente o con una desviación de hasta 6% en presupuesto.

Si el índice es >200 el proyecto: • • • Está 6% o más arriba de presupuesto. Tiene 11% o más de retraso en la fecha de entrega. Tiene una desviación de hasta 8% o más en presupuesto.

El índice está formado por: I. Bases de decisión del proyecto • • • • • Criterio de objetivo de proyectos (categoría) Objetivos de negocio Desarrollo e investigación básica Alcance de proyecto Ingeniería de valor      II. Definición Front-end / definición inicial Diseño de proceso/mecánico Alcance de equipo Arquitectura, estructura y civil Infraestructura Instrumentos y eléctrico     III. Plan de ejecución del proyecto Estrategia de procura Entregables Control de proyecto Plan de ejecución proyecto

de

Ventajas Las definiciones tratan de expresar lo mismo: proveer a los dueños del proyecto con una foto suficientemente completa que permita tomar la decisión de invertir o no invertir en un proyecto. La foto consiste de las necesidades de negocio que dirigirán el inicio del proyecto y el camino a seguir para satisfacer las necesidades de negocio (objetivos concretos, alcance, bases de diseño, planeación de proyecto, recursos necesarios [financieros/materiales/humanos] y riesgos).

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En las etapas iniciales de un proyecto se tienen muchas opciones aún disponibles lo cual permite hacer cambios y ajustes necesarios con mayor facilidad que en etapas posteriores, ya que en etapas posteriores el gasto de presupuesto puede incrementarse radicalmente, muchas decisiones ya se han tomado y se vuelve más difícil realizar cambios. En un proyecto se tienen muchas interdependencias así que aún pequeños cambios pueden producir una gran cantidad de retrabajo en varios de los equipos que participan en un proyecto. Si en las fases iniciales hay flexibilidad para crear una visión de proyecto que tome encuentra los intereses de los participantes, definir una estrategia efectiva para entregar un proyecto valioso y maximizar el uso de oportunidades para crear valor y reducir el cambio e incertidumbre. Algunos beneficios encontrados de proyectos que apliquen esta metodología son: • • • • • • • • Mejor selección del proyecto más adecuado a las necesidades de negocio. Mejor predicción de costo y mejora en relación costo-efectividad. Mejor control de las actividades y calendario del proyecto. Reducción en el tiempo de entrega. Alcance del proyecto optimizado, reducción en cambios de alcance. Reducción de la variabilidad de los resultados del proyecto en términos de costo, fechas, y operatividad. Incrementar la posibilidad de mejorar los logros en objetivos de negocio Incremento en la probabilidad de éxito del proyecto.

Ejemplos en la industria FEL es usado en diversos tipos de industrias, (como ya se ha mencionado tiene sus orígenes en las industrias de construcción, químicas y refinerías) a continuación se mencionan algunos ejemplos y se da un poco de contexto sobre como usan FEL. IPLOCA (International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association), organización internacional agrupada por empresas dedicadas a la construcción de oleoductos da a sus miembros información sobre tecnologías y metodologías para optimizar los proyectos de esta rama. En los proyectos para oleoductos consideran a FEL como parte fundamental del proceso.

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Muchas empresas ofrecen servicios de consultoría donde la metodología FEL es gran parte de la oferta para llevar proyectos de diferentes tipos bajo una mejor metodología, por ejemplo se puede ver la oferta que hace Emerson y PriceWaterhouseCooper (PWC). PWC integra a FEL en la metodología para proyectos mineros, a continuación se muestra a grandes rasgos el uso:

Emerson tiene un enfoque interesante en que “vende” el uso de FEL/FEED para cualquier tipo de proyecto, proponiendo hasta un ahorro del 30% en capital y un tiempo más rápido para capitalizar el proyecto. También contempla una definición multi-disciplinaria:

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Posiciones contrarias a FEL Aunque FEL es una herramienta probada también existen posiciones que ven a FEL como una metodología que no se ha adaptado a los tiempos (desde su orígen hace ya un par de décadas) y a proyectos que requieren un acercamiento diferente y de más velocidad. La consultoría Westney Consulting, empresa Americana de consultoría en administración de proyectos y riesgos, expone en 2 documentos (“How Front-End Loading Creates Overconfidence and Causes Cost Overruns” y “Are Stages and Gates Destroying Predictability?”) en donde explica algunas deficiencias de FEL. Por ejemplo, de acuerdo al artículo, FEL no se adapta bien a proyectos no convencionales como “mega-proyectos” (proyectos de más de $1B de dólares) excediendo gravemente su costo y tiempo establecido. No se adapta tampoco a proyectos de organizaciones pequeñas, este tipo de organizaciones tienen su ventaja en ser ligeras, flexibles, eficientes y de ser capaces de tomar riesgos a diferencia de empresas más grandes cuyo portafolio está más diversificado. También menciona un efecto de “visión de túnel” (no ver fuentes de incertidumbre fuera del plan en curso) que es debido a que al inicio del proyecto no se tienen mucha información para generar un modelo económico base, por lo que se genera aunque se genere un modelo y todo el trabajo es realizado sobre el mismo puede que en el tiempo las suposiciones que se hicieron para generar el caso hayan cambiado, sin embargo al estar tan enfocado en el plan base generado no se aceptan desviaciones o se ignoran incorrectamente.

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Adicionalmente FEL asume que el riesgo más grande al principio y se asume se reduce considerablemente al momento de seleccionar la opción de proyecto y monetaria. Ya que muchos proyectos fallan o no cumplen con sus objetivos se puede ver que hay detalles con la metodología. Conclusiones En cualquier tipo de proyecto es importante la planeación correcta y completa de los proyectos. Usar FEL para sacar estimados y preparar un roadmap a seguir es fundamental, sin embargo se debe hacer concienzudamente y adicional a seguir la metodología se debe estar en constante vigilancia sobre los riesgos que habían sido identificados y riesgos nuevos o riesgos que ya estaban ahí pero fueron ignorados por no ser relevantes en la fase FEL del proyecto. Resulta relevante también mantener la flexibilidad razonable para hacer ajustes necesarios (tratando de minimizar el impacto a todo el proyecto) es fundamental para adaptarse a los cambios y desviaciones que haya en los proyectos. Referencias El Financiero 2013, “ICA reduce 10.2% sus ingresos ante retraso en proyectos de infraestructura”, visto 10 Noviembre 2013, RPP Noticias 2013, “Siemens Perú: Retraso de proyectos mineros afecta a empresas”, visto 10 Noviembre 2013, Accenture 2012, “Los retrasos en proyectos de inversión y los excesos presupuestarios podrían costar miles de millones al sector energético”, visto 10 Noviembre 2013, Michalski, TM 2011, “System Integration tutorial: Measure Twice, Cut Once”, viewed 08 Noviembre 2013, . Weijde, GAW 2008, “Front-End Loading in the Oil and Gas Industry Towards a Fit Front-End Development Phase”, MSc thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft,

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. Tovar, JVTG 2012, “Metodología de gerencia de proyectos bajo enfoque Front-End Loading (FEL)”, Caso de estudio, UNEXPO, Caracas, . IPLOCA 2012, “Road to success”, visto 11 Noviembre 2013, PWC 2008, “Avoiding cost blow-outs on mining capital projects through effective project stage gating”, visto 08 Noviembre 2013, Emerson 2005, “Front End Engineering Design Capabilities”, visto 08 Noviembre 2013, Westney 2012, “How Front-End Loading Creates Overconfidence and Causes Cost Overruns” visto 08 Noviembre 2013, Westney 2012, “Are Stages and Gates Destroying Predictability?”, visto 08 Noviembre 2013,

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