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Project Value Improvement

We help clients plan, develop, and deliver multibillion-dollar major projects across all asset classes through all stages of the project life cycle, from planning through commissioning. Our work consistently results in improved productivity, shortened schedules, and reduced costs. We work with our clients to apply global best practices and systems at the onset of a project that will impact positive delivery, maximize value, and minimize waste.

How we deliver impact

We bring integrated teams of partners and consultants, as well as senior experts with decades of experience designing technical solutions and running major projects across all industries. This combination of best-in-class technical, financial, and project-execution expertise, backed by our robust value-engineering methodology and depth of experience, allows us to deliver superior value to project-owner organizations worldwide.

We help clients identify and understand the issues that contribute to “overdesign” on capital projects. To do so, we evaluate a variety of factors, including market requirements, applied technical standards, corporate and regulatory requirements, contractor-provided solutions, and expansion plans.

Project-value optimization is a continuous process, and we work with clients on an ongoing basis to identify opportunities for improvement. At each key milestone in the design phase, we perform value-optimization exercises. This process enables organizations to improve the overall project value by minimizing the total cost of ownership of equipment, simplifying logistics and storage, improving constructability and productivity during the construction phase, and maximizing yield.

Our clients benefit from proprietary McKinsey capabilities, including:

  • Our structured value-engineering approach. A series of exercises linked to key milestones or deliverables in the initial and detailed design stages. The exercises are structured as either idea-generation workshops or deliverable reviews. This approach allows clients to continuously generate value-optimization ideas and make decisions at the right time, rather than having to redo much of the engineering-design work or abandon a good optimization idea when it appears only at the end of the initial design stage.
  • Our Project Value Improvement Database. A proprietary depository of value-optimization ideas from capital projects around the world. We leverage it to bring best practices to our clients from across a variety of industries.

Examples of our impact

We have applied our unique combination of experience, expertise, and proprietary capabilities on major projects around the world:

  • Reduced costs by more than $100 million during the initial stage of a $2 billion refinery-transformation program by challenging the plot plan and changing piping specifications.
  • Reduced capital expenditures by $300 million, representing 15 percent of the total project cost, and substantially optimized the proposed technical scheme during the design phase of a chemical-plant-construction project.


Piotr Pikul

Partner, Toronto

Featured insight


Capital project value improvement in the 21st century: Trillions of dollars in the offing

– A holistic and practical approach can increase project value by making capital spending more efficient.


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