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The front-end of projects: a systematic literature review and structuring

Williams, Terry; Vo, Hang; Samset, Knut; Edkins, Andrew


Hang Vo

Knut Samset

Andrew Edkins


© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper summarizes the results of a comprehensive systematic literature survey on the front-end of a project, commissioned by the Project Management Institute. The dedicated literature on the front-end is sparse: although the front-end has been shown to be critical to the strategic success of the project, this phase of the lifecycle is not well understood. This paper presents the literature on the concept of the front-end, and defines a temporarily ordered structure of generic processes that form the ‘front-end’ and how these fit together as a coherent whole. These start from the preliminaries to the initiative, then the project purpose (for various stakeholders), the initial analysis and scenario analysis; the analysis of alternatives and choice of project concept; assessment of the project, finishing with setting up project execution. It summarises the recent literature at each of these elements in turn, specifically as they relate to the front-end.


Williams, T., Vo, H., Samset, K., & Edkins, A. (2019). The front-end of projects: a systematic literature review and structuring. Production planning & control, 30(14), 1137-1169.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 27, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 8, 2019
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Mar 7, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 9, 2020
Journal Production Planning and Control
Print ISSN 0953-7287
Electronic ISSN 1366-5871
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 14
Pages 1137-1169
Keywords Project front-end; Project management; Project concept
Public URL
Publisher URL


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