Project front-end definition is the process for conceptual development of projects that involve the development of sufficient strategic information on which project owners can address risk and make decisions to commit resources in order to maximize the potential for success. An up-front underestimation of costs might result in inferior projects being selected and thus affect the strategic performance of projects.
Known causes for underestimation of costs include underestimating risk, overestimating opportunities, inadequate estimation methods and skills, reliance on weak information and strategic / deliberate scope creep.
In this conceptual paper we identify common challenges in project and risk governance and argue how methodology used for project front-end definition can be applied toward these challenges. We further discuss how safety strategies in project based organizations should be analyzed in recognition of these challenges.