Patners Description
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Project Abstract

During the early "conceptual" phase of a project life-cycle - considering for instance a competitive bidding process when a request for bidding has been received by an engineering & contracting company and the decision to bid has been made - the main objective of the proposal manager is to achieve an effective trade-off between the bid competitive value on the side of the client expectations and the project baseline in term of time/ cost / performance constraints on the side of the utilisation of the internal resources. Since project final performance depends primarily on risk analysis and management, a "risk driven approach" to Project Management appears to be necessary particularly during the project early phase.

The implementation of a formal "risk driven approach" in the early phase of the project approach (to customers of the group Engineer to Order, ETO, companies) implies:

  • a Risk Management Corporate Memory (RMCM), aiming at capturing, structuring, storing and sharing the engineering knowledge relevant to the bidding process.
  • a Decision Support System (DSS) allowing for using the available knowledge to improve the trade off process between internal risk and external risk.

In the case of PRIMA RMCM the main information sources are data records and expert knowledge. The relative weight of these two types of sources may change: the more non-repetitive is a project element the more important is the expert judgement during the assessment phase. On the contrary for repetitive elements data records may exercise a greater influence in the assessment. The integration between available data records - generally limited by project "one of a kind" features - and subjective judgements elicited by experts on the basis of previous experience about similar projects is an inherent issue of the knowledge engineering process.

The PRIMA DSS focuses on trading off "external" risk analysis (i.e. analysis of bid competitive value following a top-down approach) and "internal risk (i.e. analysis of possible deviations from project baseline following a bottom-up approach). The trade-off between these two sides of project risk is normally obtained by an iterative process allowing for a progressive adjustment of the bid taking into account the several aspects involved.

Description of the Work

The project starts with a review of as-is methods and practices (WP1). Information will be gathered through interview techniques and will be used to support the initial
expression of needs.

In parallel a research overview is performed in order to determine the state of the art of scientific developments and new research areas in the field of decision support systems and knowledge capture. The conceptual modelling will then be adapted to the bid phase. The results are then combined to define the global system architecture.

The next phase (WP2) is relative to the toolkit production and makes use of prototyping methods. The detailed specifications and architecture of the software tool are established along with the quality plan.

After test the modules will be integrated up to the validation of the complete tool.

The last part of the development consists in an evaluation phase to examine the capability of the product to satisfy the customer needs. This will be the opportunity to review the initial needs expression and to implement some improvements.

The documentation (User's guide, Tutorial) will be updated and released.

WP3 is an experimentation phase whose purpose is to evaluate the efficiency of the system. This phase is prepared in the early months of the project in parallel with the global architecture definition. Once the tool is available simulations will permit evaluation of the system performance.

Dissemination (WP4) will be conducted throughout the project together with the preparation of the exploitation plan. A marketing study will be performed, the customisation strategy in each country will be defined and industrial associations will be kept informed. Once the product is available, methodology and methods are disseminated. In parallel the tool and the methodology are disseminated to industry through the industrial partners.


Contact point

Mr Jean-Claude Lestriez
26 Avenue JF Champollion, BP1187
F-31037 Toulouse
Tel: +33/5/
Fax: +33/5/