Project First Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: What is Project First?
Answer: Project First formalizes the partnering process to proactively identify and manage risks – to CDOT, Contractors, the traveling public, business owners and many others – through collaboration; the ultimate goal is to create project wins while maintaining relationships.

Question: What is the objective of Project First?
Answer: The objective of Project First is to be scalable, effective, and to provide efficient contract performance with reciprocal cooperation and completion within budget, on schedule, and in accordance with the Contract.

Question: Which projects are required to use of the Project First specification?
Answer: The Project First specification is required to be included on all projects with an Engineer’s Estimate over one million dollars. Project First is optional for smaller projects and is strongly recommended for smaller complex and challenging projects.

Question: What is the purpose of the Issue Documentation Matrix (IDM)?
Answer: The Issue Documentation Matrix (IDM) documents issues, risks, or possible concerns on a project, assigns someone to be the owner of the issue, establishes a level of risk to the project and tracks the actions taken.

Question: Do you have examples of the Issue Documentation Matrix (IDM)?
Answer: An example template of the IDM is on the Project First website. You can also go to the shared Google drive (mentioned in the question below) and see other project’s IDMs. You can modify this example template to fit your team’s needs.

Question: I heard I am supposed to place my IDM somewhere for Area Engineers to see. Is this true?
Answer: Yes. There is a Google Share drive Project Engineers are to place the IDM after it is updated at each Project First Workshop. Contact your Area Engineer and they will add you to the site.

Question: Why are we down loading IDMs to a share drive?
Answer: The Construction Area Engineers review IDMs for multiple purposes. One is to stay abreast of issues, risks, and concerns on projects. Another is to look for common occurrences and patterns in the items listed on the IDMs in a proactive effort to improve designs or construction administration. In order to improve CDOT processes, for example if common issues related to utilities keep occurring, the Area Engineers will work with construction, design, or specialty group to lessen the occurrence or risk.

Question: Does the project team have to develop a charter?
A: Per the specification, the establishment of a Project First charter is optional. If a charter is developed, it shall be developed at the Initial Workshop.

Question: What is the purpose of the Project First Escalation Ladder?
Answer: The purpose of the Escalation Ladder is to escalate major or repeated performance concerns up the supervisory chain, or escalate things such as either party working in bad faith, poor administration of paperwork, or not showing up to meetings. The Ladder includes two lists, one for escalation within the Contractor’s organization and one for escalation within CDOT.

Question: The Contract has a Disputes and Claims escalation ladder in the 105.22, 105.23, and 105.24 specifications, how is this different than the Project First Escalation Ladder?
Answer: The 105.22, 105. 23, and 105.24 specifications are the escalation ladder to be used for disputes about time or money. The Project First Escalation Ladder is not being used to escalate these topics.

Question: Where can I find more information on Project First?
Or contact your Area Engineer.