The Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) is a tool developed by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to evaluate the quality of the project scope definition. It is a proven method to quantify the level of scope development during the project’s early design stages where a project can receive a PDRI score between 0 and 1000. There are different PDRI scoring templates for building projects, industrial projects and infrastructure projects. The PDRI for building projects consists of three sections, 11 categories and 64 scope definition elements. The three sections of the PDR checklist for building projects are Basis of Project Decision, Basis of Design and Execution Approach. The first section of the 11 categories includes business strategy, owner philosophies and project requirements for the basis of project decision section. For the basis of design section, the categories are site information, building programming, building/ project design parameters and equipment. For the third section, execution approach, the categories are procurement strategy, deliverables, project controls and project execution plan. The 64 scope definition elements are associated with those 11 categories. The chart below details the eight scope definition elements that are associated with the building/ project design parameters category of the basis of design section.

PMWeb 7 PDRI Score

The benefits of using the PDRI checklist as reported by a NASA based on their PDRI experience includes:

  • A checklist that a project team can use for determining the necessary steps to follow in defining the project scope
  • A listing of standardized scope definition terminology throughout the building industry
  • An industry standard for rating the completeness of the project scope definition package to facilitate risk assessment and prediction of escalation, potential for disputes, etc.
  • A means to monitor progress at various stages during the front-end planning effort
  • A tool that aids in communication and promotes alignment between owners and design contractors by highlighting poorly defined areas in a scope definition package
  • A means for project team participants to reconcile differences using a common basis for project evaluation
  • A training tool for organizations and individuals throughout the industry
  • A benchmarking tool for organizations to use in evaluating completion of scope definition versus the performance of past projects, both within their organization and externally, in order to predict the probability of success on future projects

Using Project Management Information System (PMI) like PMWeb, the PDRI checklist for project type can be created to be used by the project team at each PDRI workshop held during the project life cycle early stages. The PDRI is usually done at the concept, schematic and design development stages. For each scope definition element, the project team member will add the score value that is relevant to the PDRI definition level which could be Not Applicable, Complete Definition, Minor Deficiencies, Some Deficiencies,       Major Deficiencies and Poor Definition.

PMWeb 7 Scheduling Forms PDRI Score Sheet Details

The PMWeb form has been designed with built in formulas to calculate the total score of each category and section as well as the overall PDRI score. Using PMWeb attachment tab, the project team can attach all documents that were used during the PDRI workshop to calculate the score which will be usually uploaded and stored in PMWeb document management repository. In addition, all relevant PMWeb records and imported MS Outlook emails can be linked to the PDRI form.

PMWeb 7 Scheduling Forms PDRI Score Sheet Attachments

Similar to all other PMWeb modules, a workflow can be assigned to the PDRI form to ensure that it gets reviewed and approved by the designated project team members. Since the PDRI report is one of the formal “stage gate” deliverables that project owners usually would request, it must be formally reviewed and approved.

PMWeb 7 Workflow Setup Workflow 
Business processes (BPM)

The reported PDRI score report can be presented in any desired format to present the project stakeholders the results of the workshop and the scope elements that either have complete definition, minor deficiencies, some deficiencies, major deficiencies or incomplete definition. The report needs to be designed in a format that makes it easy for those stakeholders to understand the quality of the project scope definition which if not rectified can negatively impact the project’s schedule and cost.

PMWeb 7 Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) Report


The world’s top organizations are selecting PMWeb because of its comprehensive features, functionality, and ease of use. Since 2007, PMWeb has been used by tens of thousands of users to manage their Plan | Build | Operate lifecycles.