Understanding the Front-end of Large-scale Engineering Programs

Sebastian Lucae, Eric Rebentisch, Josef Oehmen

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review

    952 Downloads (Pure)


    Large engineering programs like sociotechnical infrastructure constructions of airports, plant constructions, or the development of radically innovative, high-tech industrial products such as electric vehicles or aircraft are affected by a number of serious risks, and subsequently commonly suffer from large cost overruns. Significant problems in program execution can be traced back to practices performed, or more frequently not performed, in the so-called “fuzzy front end” of the program. The lack of sufficient and effective efforts in the early stages of a program can result in unstable, unclear and incomplete requirements, unclear roles and responsibilities within the program organization, insufficient planning, and unproductive tensions between program management and systems engineering.

    This study intends to clarify the importance of up-front planning to improve program performance, to propose a model for the front-end of large-scale engineering programs based on a review of existing, suitable models in literature and to better understand the complexity drivers that are impeding reliable planning and common planning mistakes made in large-scale engineering programs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalProcedia Computer Science
    Pages (from-to)653–662
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event 12th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER 2014) - Redondo Beach, CA, United States
    Duration: 21 Mar 201422 Mar 2014
    Conference number: 12


    Conference 12th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (CSER 2014)
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityRedondo Beach, CA
    Internet address

    Bibliographical note

    © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license


    • Large-scale engineering programs
    • Program front-end
    • Complexity
    • Planning
    • Planning mistakes


    Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding the Front-end of Large-scale Engineering Programs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this