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Study Initiation Phase
1: Initial Problem Identification
2: Congressional Study Authority
3: Letter of Intent from Sponsor
4: Congress Appropriates Study Funds
5: Execute Feasibility Cost Share Agreement and Secure Sponsor Study Funding
6: Scope and Conduct Study
7: Release Draft Feasibility Report for Concurrent Review
8: Complete Final Feasibility Report for Coordination and Submission
9: Policy Review of Final Feasibility Report
10: Federal and State Agency Review
11: Sign Chief of Engineer's Report
12: Administration Review of Chief of Engineer's Report
13: Congress Appropriates PED Funds
14: Execute Design Agreement and Secure Sponsor Design Funding
15: Conduct Pre-construction Engineering and Design activities
16: Congress Authorizes Project
17: Congress Appropriates Construction Funds
18: Execute Project Partnership Agreement and Secure Sponsor Construction Funding
19: Implement Project
20: Operation, Maintenance, Repair, Replacement and Rehabilitation
Water Resources Project Delivery

    Feasibility

    Often referred to as the first step toward construction of a Civil Works water resources development project, the feasibility study is the disciplined process under which Corps planners work with a non-federal study sponsor and multi-disciplinary study teams to identify water resources problems, formulate and evaluate solutions, resolve conflicting interests, and prepare recommendations. A feasibility study is used to investigate the Federal interest, engineering feasibility, economic justification and environmental acceptability of a recommended water resources project. A feasibility study determines if Congressional authorization and implementation of a specific Civil Works project are warranted.

    Corps feasibility studies are cost-shared with a sponsor, reflecting our shared responsibility for the nations water resources. A sponsor can be a State, Tribe, county, city, town, or any other political subpart of a State or group of States that has the legal and financial authority and capability to provide the funding and real property requirements needed for a study and a project. n some limited circumstances, a non-profit may serve as the non-federal sponsor. Certain single-purpose inland navigation studies may be conducted without a Sponsor, at 100% federal expense.

    Since 1986, Sponsors have been authorized to undertake feasibility studies of proposed water resources development projects for submission directly to the Secretary of the Army. These studies are sometimes referred to as "Section 203" studies under the section of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986 that authorizes them. Guidance for conducting these studies can be found in Engineer Regulation 1165-2-209, "Studies of Water Resources Development Projects by Non-Federal Interests."

    The results of a feasibility study, the recommendation for the authorization of a specific water resources project and the analyses that support that recommendation, are documented in a feasibility report. The final feasibility report will include documentation required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable laws and guidance.

    The recommendation to Congress for authorization of a water resources project will be made by the Chief of Engineers in the form of a "Chiefs Report." After the Chiefs Report is signed, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) will officially transmitted the Chiefs Report to Congress with the views of the Administration.

    The Corps follows the six-step planning process defined in the Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Land Related Resources Implementation Studies (P&G) developed in the 1980s to guide the formulation and evaluation studies of the major Federal water resources development agencies. This process is a structured approach to problem solving which provides a rational framework for sound decision making. The six-step process is used for all Corps planning studies, regardless of scale. It is important to stress the iterative nature of the six-step process in water resources project planning. The six steps, though presented and discussed in a sequential manner for ease of understanding, usually occur iteratively and sometimes concurrently. Iterations of steps are conducted as necessary to formulate efficient, effective, complete, and acceptable plans.

    In 2012, the Corps implemented SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Risk-Informed, Timely) Planning for conducting civil works feasibility studies for water resources development projects. The SMART Planning process still relies on the structured six-step planning process, and is intended to improve and streamline feasibility studies, reduce their cost, and expedite their completion by acknowledging uncertainty and using only the level of detail needed to make a risk-informed decision.

    The Corps and a non-federal partner may also re-examine an existing authorized Corps project (or a recommended project that has not yet been constructed) in a "general reevaluation report" or GRR. The process of developing a GRR follows the same guidance and process as a feasibility study.

    What Does a SMART Feasibility Study Look Like

    Key Guidance for Corps Planners Additional Resources

  • Principles, Requirements and Guidelines for Water and Land Related Resources Implementation Studies
  • Engineer Regulation 11-1-321: Value Engineering (2011)
    This regulation applies to all Value Engineering (VE) activities of the Corps of Engineers. The VE program applies to all procurement acquisitions that are federally funded and managed by the Corps of Engineers including, but not limited to, Civil Works and Military construction projects.
  • Engineer Regulation 1105-2-100: Planning Guidance Notebook (2000)
    The Planning Guidance Notebook provides the overall direction by which the Corps of Engineers civil works projects are formulated, evaluated, and selected for overall implementation. This includes all appendices that were written at a later date.
  • Engineer Regulation 1110-2-1302: Civil Works Cost Engineering (2016)
    This regulation is applicable to cost products prepared by USACE or others, Federal or non-Federal, in support of all authorization, appropriations, decision, and implementation reports and documents for all Civil Works projects that invest Federal dollars.
  • Engineer Regulation 200-2-2: Procedures for Implementing NEPA (1988)
    This regulation provides guidance for implementation of the procedural provisions of the NEPA for the Civil Works Program of the USACE.
  • Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Memorandum for Heads of Federal Departments and Agencies: Implementation of Updated National Environmental Policy Act Regulations (2020)
    This memorandum provides direction for Federal departments and agencies on the CEQ’s final rule updating its regulations at 40 CFR parts 1500-1508 implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. (NEPA), published on 16 July 2020. The final rule modernizes and clarifies the CEQ regulations to facilitate more efficient, effective, and timely NEPA reviews by Federal departments and agencies in connection with proposals for agency action.
  • Engineer Regulation 1110-2-1150: Engineering and Design for Civil Works Program (1999)
    This regulation defines engineering responsibilities, requirements, and procedures during the design, construction, and operations phases.
  • Engineer Regulation 1110-1-12: Quality Management (2006)
    Contains information on Project Management Plans, Independent Technical Review, and Risk Management.
  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-29: Water Resources Policies and Authorities - General Credit for Flood Control (1987)
    This regulation establishes guidelines and procedures for application of Section 104 of Public Law 99-662.
  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-119: Water Resources Policies and Authorities - Modifications to Completed Projects (1982)
    This regulation provides guidance on the use of available authorities in comparison to the need for new project authorizations.
  • The Planner's Library
    Links to Corps guidance, fact sheets, and lessons learned
  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-209: Studies of Water Resources Development Projects by Non-Federal Interests (2016)
    This regulation provides policy guidance for implementation of Section 203 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986, as amended. Section 203 authorizes non-Federal interests to undertake feasibility studies of proposed water resources development projects for submission to the Secretary of the Army. Separate guidance is provided on the construction of water resources development projects under Section 204 of WRDA 1986, as amended. Portions of this ER have been amended by implementation guidance for Section 1126 of WRDA 2016.
  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-502: Resources Policies and Authorities; Delegation of Review and Approval Authority for Post-Authorization Decision Documents (2014)
    This regulation provides guidance on delegated review and approval of Post-Authorization Decision Documents.
  • Engineer Regulation 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Policy (2021)
    This Engineer Regulation (ER) establishes policy and procedures for a comprehensive accountable review strategy for Civil Works by providing a seamless process for review of all projects throughout the lifecycle. This ER will ensure the quality and credibility of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) decision, implementation, and other work products. It reinforces quality and comprehensive review are equal to cost and schedule compliance. This ER supersedes Engineer Circular 1165-2-217: Water Resource Policies and Authorities, Review Policy for Civil Works which expired on 31 March 2020.
  • WRDAs and Related Laws
  • Planning Smart Guide
    Overview of the feasibility study process, with tips, tools, and techniques for implementing SMART Planning.
  • Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorization and Project Delivery Processes (2019)
    This 2019 report from the Congressional Research Service summarizes USACE authorization legislation, the standard project delivery process, authorities for alternative water resource project delivery, and other USACE authorities.
  • Civil Works Study and Project Partnerships (2015)
    Introduction to the partnership between USACE and Non-Federal Sponsors in developing a feasibility study and recommendation of a Civil Works water resources project.
  • Planning Mentor Handbook - A Tool for Mentors Assisting USACE Project Delivery Teams, Version 1.0 (2020)
    This Handbook describes concepts, tools, and techniques available to help guide study teams incorporate risk-informed decision making in the USACE water resources project planning process, especially in the early phases of the iterative six-step planning process. The Handbook is a useful reference if you are a planning mentor or a planner looking to explore applying these concepts to a project.
  • Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development
    This annual report identifies, for potential congressional authorization, completed feasibility reports, proposed feasibility studies, and proposed modifications to authorized projects or studies.
  • Planning Manual Part II: Risk-Informed Planning (2017)
    The Planning Manual Part II: Risk Informed Planning documents the state of the practice in risk-informed planning for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Planning Community of Practice. It is a continuation of the original Planning Manual, published by the USACE Institute for Water Resources in 1996.
  • Planning Manual (1996)
    The Planning Manual describes what planning is and how it is best practiced by the Corps of Engineers. It focuses on water resources planning, though the principles, tools and methodologies discussed are equally applicable to other planning functions as well. The Manual walks planners through the six-step planning process used by the Corps and applicable to all the Corps’ water resources and other planning functions.
  • Planning Primer (1997)
    The Planning Primer is a condensed version of the Planning Manual. It is an introduction to planning and how it is done using the six-step planning process for those who have no formal training in planning.
  • Corps Divisions and Districts
    Contact information for your local Corps District.
  • SMART Planning Feasibility Studies: A Guide to Coordination and Engagement with the Services (2015)
    This guide was developed through a collaboration between the Corps, USFWS and NMFS. The Guide provides an overview of the SMART Planning process and demonstrates how key environmental coordination and compliance activities fit into that process. The Guide highlights opportunities for engagement and coordination at all stages of a planning study, re-emphasizing the need for early coordination.
  • Civil Works Budget and Work Plan
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
    House authorizing committee for most Corps activities
  • Senate Environment & Public Works Committee
    Senate authorizing committee for most Corps activities.
  • IWR-APT (Assistance for Planning Teams)  Corps Castle
    IWR-APT is an online software tool to help project delivery teams (PDTs) create, edit, analyze and manage their study materials. Modules currently within APT include: Risk Register, Decision Management Plan (DMP), Decision Log, Study Issue Checklist, and SMART Planning Deliverable Workflow.
  • House Appropriations Committee
  • Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Model Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreement and Model Memorandum of Understanding for In-Kind Contributions
    To streamline implementation and achieve national consistency, policy compliance, legal sufficiency, and equitable treatment of project sponsors, the Corps has developed models for drafting individual project specific agreements.
  • Partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Guide for Communities, Local Governments, States, Tribes, and Non-Governmental Organizations (2019)
    Partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Guide for Communities, Local Governments, States, Tribes, and Non-Governmental Organizations provides potential sponsors with information on the programs and processes available for non-Federal partners and USACE representatives to work together to address the Nation’s water resources problems. The Guide includes an overview of the USACE Civil Works Program and describes how USACE can work with local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies and other non-Federal partners on activities ranging from technical services and advice to planning and constructing water resources projects. A previous version of this document was originally published as the Project Partnership Kit by IWR back in 1996 and revised in 2001.
  • Webinars

      2022
    • USACE National Regional Sediment Management Program Overview (13 January)
      This webinar provided an overview of the USACE National Regional Sediment Management (RSM) Program and beneficial use of dredged material. Dr. Katie Brutsché, (Program Manager, USACE RSM Program and Associate Technical Director, Navigation Research and Development) described the concept of RSM, why it’s important, and how the program came to be. The presentation included example studies where RSM was successfully executed to create more efficient and effective management of sediment related projects. In addition, Dr. Brutsché discussed the beneficial use of dredged material (BUDM) as an RSM strategy.

      2021
    • Cost Engineering Requirements in the Planning Phase (16 December)
      This webinar provided an overview of cost engineering requirements throughout the feasibility phase of planning studies. Presenter Mike Jacobs (Chief, USACE Cost Engineering Mandatory Center of Expertise) addressed timing and level of detail of cost engineering products, cost estimate classification, cost certification requirements, and updates required across the project lifecycle.
    • Lessons Learned from the Tribal Partnership Program Clear Creek Ecosystem Restoration Study (7 October)
      This webinar provided an overview of the Tribal Partnership Program (TPP) Clear Creek Ecosystem Restoration Study, including lessons learned from applying innovative methods to complete a study on time and under budget. In addition, presenters Elise Jarrett and Lindsay Floyd (Sacramento District Water Resources Planners) shared ideas on how to appropriately scale studies and how the successes from this study might be implemented across the enterprise to continue strengthening the TPP.
    • After Action Reviews – Lessons Learned by Using Innovative, Data-Driven Approaches and Methodology (23 September)
      This webinar provided an overview of recent After Action Reviews (AARs) on USACE Civil Works planning and project delivery efforts. Planners, project managers, and leaders can apply the information gathered from any AAR to document lessons learned and opportunities for change in the enterprise. The webinar was presented by Dr. Nadia Mohandessi (Emergency Management Continuous Improvement Program Manager, Readiness Support Center) and Gwyn Jarrett (Program Manager with the NWD/POD Regional Integration Team). Andy MacInnes, Water Resource Certified Planner (MVN) and Regional Technical Specialist (MVD), co-facilitated and developed the AARs discussed with Dr. Mohandessi.
    • ER 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Guidance Policy (10 and 17 June 2021) (10 June)
      The 10 and 17 June 2021 Planning CoP Webinars addressed updates to the Civil Works Review Guidance Policy recently published in Engineer Regulation (ER) 1165-2-217 (dated 1 May 2021) and was presented by the primary authors: Ms. Karen Miller (Planning Regional Technical Specialist, Huntington District); John Clarkson (Senior Reviewer, Risk Management Center); and Erica Reinsel (Quality Manager, Jacksonville District). ER 1165- 2-217 provides updated guidance for Civil Works Review and supersedes the expired Engineer Circular 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Policy. This webinar highlighted the overall purpose of the policy and significant changes from the EC to the ER, and reminded planners of the major elements of responsibility for ensuring quality products throughout the Civil Works program.

      2020
    • A SMART Planning Policy Waiver Case Study: When Corps Policy, the Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act Conflict (11 June)
      This webinar provided a look at the specific challenges that were overcome by the vertical team in the Unalaska (Dutch Harbor) navigation study. The Alaska region has unique considerations in related to building infrastructure, with no shortage of protected wildlife that require extensive consultation under several environmental laws. The Dutch Harbor study illustrates where the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Corps planning policy requirements conflict, and how this conflict required the exploration, development, and approval of a policy waiver by the project delivery team. This presentation explored the weighing of risk to schedule, cost, and implementation with USACE legal and policy obligations, and highlighted the coordination and documentation required to support this specific risk-informed decision to defer completion of ESA consultation to the pre-construction engineering and design phase. The webinar was presented by Quana Higgins (NWD-POD Regional Integration Team); Evie Haberer (Environmental Reviewer, Office of Water Project Review); Kate Bliss (POD Regulatory and Environmental Program Manager); and Mike Salyer (Alaska District Environmental Resources Section Chief).
    • Overview of One Federal Decision (E.O. 13807) Requirements for Civil Works Planning Studies (30 April)
      This webinar provided an overview of Executive Order 13807, Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects (or One Federal Decision, established in August 2017), and its requirements for Civil Works planning studies. The requirements of One Federal Decision cover major infrastructure projects including water resources, ports, and navigational channel projects that need an Environmental Impact Statement. The webinar was presented by Julie Alcon (Environmental Team Lead and Policy Reviewer, HQUSACE Office of Water Project Review).
    • Cost Engineering in Planning Studies (5 March)
      This webinar provided an overview of cost engineering, cost-schedule risk analysis, and the cost Agency Technical Review (ATR) process in planning studies. Presented by Mike Jacobs (Chief, USACE Cost Engineering Mandatory Center of Expertise), the webinar included an overview of the cost engineering requirements, level of detail, and products required at each planning milestone, as well as a discussion of best practices and lessons learned from past studies.

      2019
    • Economic Guidance Memorandum (EGM) 19-06: Ability to Pay for Tribal Partners (14 November)
      This webinar provides a step-by-step overview for gathering the data needed to establish if Tribal partners involved in Corps of Engineers activities, including watershed assessments, feasibility studies, and projects, are eligible for a cost-share reduction following the methodologies in Economic Guidance Memorandum (EGM) 19-06, "Supplemental Guidance for Section 1121 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, as amended-Tribal Partnership Program Reduced Cost Share Eligibility Criteria (Ability to Pay)"
    • Barrow Alaska Coastal Erosion Feasibility Study - Challenges and Lessons Learned (5 September)
      This webinar provided an overview of challenges and lessons learned from the Barrow Alaska Coastal Erosion Feasibility Study. This unique study, which is on track to be completed in 27 months, has successfully utilized risk informed decision making, while also justifying a project with Other Social Effects. The webinar was presented by resented by Cindy Upah (Alaska District Chief of Planning) and Jen Cate (Alaska District Chief of Project Management and included discussions on the roles of vertical alignment, communication, and public involvement.
    • DPM 2019-02: Operationalizing Risk-Informed Decision Making in Project Management (Planning Phase) (11 July)
      This webinar discussed the content and implications of Directors Policy Memorandum (DPM) Civil Works (CW) 2019-02, Operationalizing Risk-Informed Decision Making in Project Management (Planning Phase). The webinar was presented by Ms. Andrea Bias- Streat (Deputy, Program & Project Management Community of Practice) and provided an overview of key highlights of the memo, including its purpose of reaffirming key project management responsibilities during the Planning phase of a project, with the goal of ensuring consistency across the USACE enterprise.
    • SAD Supplemental Alternatives Milestone Meetings After Action Review (8 March)
      This webinar provided an overview of lessons learned from an After Action Review (AAR) conducted by the South Atlantic Division (SAD) on the first 90 days of and the Alternatives Milestone Meetings for their Supplemental studies, presented by Mr. Pat ODonnell (Acting Chief, SAD Planning and Policy). The emphasis of the AAR was on both complying with guidance and various issues related to how guidance is disseminated and the consistency among different guidance documents. The webinar provided useful information for study teams and vertical teams on the intent of quickly starting feasibility studies, and the lessons learned from the AAR are applicable to both Supplemental studies and typical feasibility studies.
    • Exemption Procedures for Planning Studies Exceeding Cost and Schedule Limits (24 January)
      This webinar addressed the recently released Planning Bulletin 2018-02: Exemption Procedures for Planning Studies Exceeding Cost and Schedule Limits. As outlined in law and policy, the majority of USACE Planning studies should be completed in 3 years and cost less than $3 million. PB 2018-02, issued on 11 December 2018, clarifies the procedures for requesting an exemption to these cost and schedule limits. Ms. Amy Frantz, HQ Senior Policy Advisor, discussed when exemption requests should be made; how they are processed; who has approval authority; and roles and responsibilities for those involved. Participants also learned about policy changes resulting from WRDA 2018.

      2018
    • Quality Management in Civil Works (29 November)
      Mr. Leighton Quon (NASA) provided an overview of his recent Civil Works Quality Management Review task sponsored by SPD Planning and Policy Division. Mr. Quon is completing a six-month detail coming from NASA that started 4 June 2018 with the Planning and Policy Division at SPD, via the President's Management Council (PMC) Interagency Rotation Program. Using various USACE Quality Management Plans as a starting point, he assessed how well the Corps is meeting its quality standards. Mr. Quon also observed all aspects of Civil Works studies being conducted within SPD, including evolving guidance, district quality control processes, vertical engagement, and report writing. During the webinar, Mr. Quon reported on his observations (whats good and what could be improved) and his recommendations for improving the quality of our feasibility products and the way we work together to deliver them.
    • Feasibility Study Initiation in Light of Risk-Informed Planning (23 August)
      Overview of key steps to initiating a feasibility study: processes, documentation, and decisions in the first 90 days of a new feasibility study. This deck was created as a guide to new study teams by the PCoP. Slides 3 and 6 were revised after the presentation to clarify the signatory of the transmittal memo to the MSC. For more information, contact Kim Townsend, HQ.
    • Feasibility Study Initiation: Fundamental Steps and Documentation (13 August)
      Overview of key steps to initiating a feasibility study: processes, documentation, and decisions in the first 90 days of a new feasibility study.
    • Risk 101 - Common Understanding of Enterprise Risk Management and Risk Informed Decision Making in Planning (1 August)
      This webinar aims to develop a high-level common understanding of the goals of implementing an Enterprise Risk Management System at the Corps of Engineers, and specifically about applying to risk management to planning activities to improve project delivery. The presentation covers how the Planning Community of Practice is applying recent direction from the Director of Civil Works to operationalize risk in delivering an effective and efficient Civil Works Planning Program. The presentation reinforces that the tenets of enterprise risk management have are a cornerstone of SMART Planning (the "R" in SMART is "Risk-Informed"). Together with the presentations "Risk Informed Planning Tools for Project Delivery Teams" and "Implementing Risk Informed Decision Making in Planning", this series describes how the Corps of Engineers is operationalizing risk- informed decision making in planning project delivery. This webinar was presented to the DPMs in a joint PPM CoP and PCoP Webinar.
    • Risk Informed Planning Tools for Project Delivery Teams (1 August)
      This webinar aims to orient planning project delivery teams to risk informed planning tools, including rapid iteration and the risk register. The deck provides links for more information about these tools that teams will find useful. Together with the presentations "Risk 101 - Common Understanding of Enterprise Risk Management and Risk Informed Decision Making in Planning" and "Implementing Risk Informed Decision Making in Planning", this series describes how the Corps of Engineers is operationalizing risk- informed decision making in planning project delivery. This webinar was presented to the DPMs in a joint PPM CoP and PCoP Webinar.
    • Implementing Risk Informed Decision Making in Planning (1 August)
      This webinar aims to ensure participants understand how Risk Informed Planning enables USACE to deliver on its commitments. The deck provides additional detail on how the recent Director's Policy Memorandum (2018-05) supports implementation of risk informed decision making in the planning phase. Together with the presentations "Risk 101 - Common Understanding of Enterprise Risk Management and Risk Informed Decision Making in Planning" and "Risk Informed Planning Tools for Project Delivery Teams", this series describes how the Corps of Engineers is operationalizing risk-informed decision making in planning project delivery. This webinar was presented to the DPMs in a joint PPM CoP and PCoP Webinar.
    • Feasibility Study Execution and the 3x3x3 Rule (7 June)
      Ms. Lisa Kiefel, Planning Community of Practice, and Ms. Sue Hughes, HQ Planning and Policy Division, Planning Community of Practice Deputy, discussed the active Planning portfolio and the importance of transparency in communication and management to meet the 3x3 rule of completing feasibility studies (from FCSA to signed Chiefs Report) in 3 years and $3 million federal. Ms. Kiefel and Ms. Hughes spoke about the importance of managing to the schedule and budget, the procedures to request additional time, and reminded PDTs of reporting requirements for study schedules and budgets dictated by WRRDA.
    • Director's Policy Memorandum: Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project Delivery (Planning Phase and Planning Activities) (31 May)
      Mr. Joe Redican, Chief of HQ Planning and Policy Division (Acting), Ms. Sue Hughes, HQ Planning and Policy Division, Deputy for the Planning Community of Practice, and Mr. Wes Coleman, Chief HQ Office of Water Project Review provided an overview of the Directors Policy Memorandum Civil Works Programs 2018-05 SUBJECT: Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project Delivery (Planning Phase and Planning Activities). DPM CW 2018-05 provides direction on incorporating risk informed decision making in project development.
    • Operationalizing Risk-informed Decision Making in Planning (18 January)
      Ms. Sue Hughes, Planning Community of Practice Deputy, provided an update to the community of ongoing activities to operationalize risk-informed decision making in planning.

      2017
    • Planning CoP Perspectives: Further Advancing the Project Delivery Efficiency and Effectiveness of USACE Civil Works (3 August)
      This webinar featured Mr. James Dalton, Director of Civil Works, sharing his perspectives and expectations for implementation of his 21 June memorandum: Further Advancing Project Delivery Efficiency and Effectiveness of USACE Civil Works.
    • Scheduling and Scoping a 3 Year Feasibility Study: Key Timelines and Decisions (18 January)
      Wes Coleman, Chief of Office of Water Project Review and Sue Hughes, HQ Planning and Policy Deputy for the Planning Community of Practice provided information on scheduling of milestones for a Feasibility Study within a 3-year study timeline. Mr. Coleman and Ms. Hughes shared their perspectives on when different milestones should be scheduled in relation to study initiation, study completion, and in relation to each other.

      2016
    • New Planning Guidance: Feasibility Study Milestones (1 December)
      Ms. Sue Hughes, HQUSACE PCoP, presented an overview of the revisions to the feasibility milestone processes and decisions. She discussed why there is a need for change now, and provided an overview of what is changing: clarification on the readiness to proceed to a milestone meeting, clarification on the milestone decisions and decision makers, revised read-ahead requirements, new report summary guidance, and revised documentation of decisions made. She was joined for the Q/A session by Wes Coleman, Chief of the Office of Water Project Review.
    • Project Success in 6 Easy Steps: Risk Management (15 September)
      All PDTs will encounter risk. Successful PDTs will manage risk. Project Managers will learn best practices across the life cycle that save time, money & relationships. When Risk Management is integrated with the organizations culture and every day PDT activities, project delivery outcomes significantly improve and project objectives are achieved. Doris Marlin, HQUSACE Project and Program Management CoP, presented this webinar for the PPM and Planning Communities.
    • Cherry Creek Dam Safety Modification Study (16 June)
      This presentation by Mr. Jeff Greenwald, Lead Planner/Project Manager, Omaha District, provided information and background on the Cherry Creek Dam Safety Modification Study and compare/contrast these type of studies against typical feasibility studies. It also covered formulating alternatives to address problems associated with and to reduce consequences of dam failure. Mr. Greenwald provided lessons learned for each topic well as public meeting tips specific to dam safety modification studies.
    • Cost Allocations (2 March)
      Mr. Jim Fredericks presented an informative webinar on Cost Allocation, with a focus on water supply cost allocation. The information presented will be particularly helpful to plan formulators and economists who deal with multi-purpose projects.

      2015
    • Real Estate and SMART Planning (17 December)
      In a webinar for planners, realty specialists and appraisers, John Cline, HQ Real Estate, Paula Johnson-Muic, SWD Chief of Real Estate, and Belinda Estabrook Savannah District Senior Realty Specialist discussed the role of Real Estate in a feasibility study team, specific decisions made throughout the feasibility study process that should include Real Estate, and the perspective of Real Estate during Agency Technical Review.
    • Risk-Informed Decision Making (6 August)
      Dr. Charlie Yoe shares his informed perspectives on Risk-Informed Decision Making in the context of Planning. This webinar highlights why risk management is vital to the agency
    • CWRBs and SMART Planning (21 May)
      An overview of lessons learned regarding the execution of CWRBs and the application of those lessons to future CWRBs.
      Note: This webinar addresses legacy topics; Civil Works Review Boards have been discontinued from the USACE Civil Works Planning process
    • Environmental Evaluation & Compliance in SMART Planning: A common understanding for PMs, Planners, and Environmental team members (19 March)
      A webinar presenting a common understanding for PMs, Planners, and Environmental team members on integrating the NEPA and environmental compliance tasks associated with planning milestones in the SMART Planning framework.
    • Implementing Single Phase Feasibility Studies: Getting to the Alternatives Milestone (5 March)
      Brian Harper from the Institute for Water Resources provided useful tips for new start feasibility studies implementing single phase studies (without reconnaissance).
    • Implementation of WRRDA Section 1002 Single-Phase Planning & Notification of Study Schedules (19 February)
      Sue Hughes and Lisa Kiefel from the Planning Community of Practice provided a preview of the changes to the feasibility study process and notification requirements established by Section 1002 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).

      2014
    • Strategies for Scoping 3x3x3 Studies (2 October)
      Tips for scoping a 3-year / $3 million (3x3) compliant study with recent examples from Seattle District (Navigation) and Sacramento District (Flood Risk Management) studies.
    • Integrating WRRDA Implementation Guidance & PGN Updates (7 August)
      This webinar was presented by Sue Hughes, PCoP Deputy, and addressed the integration of WRRDA implementation guidance into upcoming Planning Guidance Notebook updates.
    • Lessons Learned Post Final Feasibility Report (17 July)
      This webinar, presented by Wes Coleman, Chief of the HQ Office of Water Project Review, discusses expectations of and common issues found in final feasibility reports. The webinar also discusses the Civil Works Review Board milestone, which is no longer used during feasibility studies
    • Planning Bulletin 2014-02: SMART Planning in the Reconnaissance Phase (17 April)
      An overview of implementation guidance for Reconnaissance Studies based on the Planning Guidance Notebook and PB 2014-02.
      Note: Planning Bulletin 2014-02 has been rescinded and is no longer applicable as Reconnaissance Studies are no longer performed.
    • Value Engineering (VE) in SMART Feasibility Study Process (16 January)
      This joint Planning and Value Engineering-hosted webinar addresses opportunities and experiences for integrating Value Engineering in USACE feasibility study processes. WRRDA 2014, section 1004, eliminated the requirement for VE studies during feasibility.
    • Planning Modernization and SMART Planning (7 January)
      This webinar was presented by Tab Brown, USACE Chief of Planning & Policy, who discussing the ongoing Planning Modernization and SMART Planning efforts.

      2013
    • One-Corps Feasibility Studies: Lessons Learned in Roles and Collaboration in Executing Feasibility Studies (5 December)
      This joint Planning and Engineering & Construction hosted webinar addresses common challenges to the execution of feasibility studies under the constraints of 3x3 and lessons learned in the last year of implementation.
    • AAPA - Project Cost Limits (WRDA 1986 Section 902) (28 October)
      This webinar was a joint presentation between USACE and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) on project cost limits under WRDA 1986 Section 902. Presenters Jim Walker (AAPA), Jeremy LaDart (HQUSACE economist), and Kim Callan (Walla Walla Cost Engineering Mandatory Center of Expertise) discussed Section 902 requirements and discussed a Section 902 limit example and relevant guidance.
    • AAPA - Contributed Funds (23 August)
      This webinar was a joint presentation between USACE and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) on non-federal project sponsor contributed funds. Presenters Jim Walker (AAPA) and Jan Rasgus (USACE) discussed accelerated funds, advanced funds, contributed funds, the congressional committee notification process, and model agreements.
    • Environmental Evaluation & Compliance in SMART Planning Feasibility Studies (15 August)
      This webinar outlined how USACE environmental evaluation activities, such as environmental assessments under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) fit into feasibility studies process, including documentation in integrated reports.
    • New Planning Bulletin: SMART Planning Milestones (18 July)
      This webinar focused on changes to the feasibility study process, including additional detail on Milestones and read aheads, based on Planning Bulletin 2013-03. Note: This Planning Bulletin was rescinded and replaced by Planning Bulletin 2018-01 and Planning Bulletin 2018-01(S).
    • Risk Management in Planning: Tools and Application (16 May)
      This presentation provides background and examples in applying Planning Risk Management Tools, including the Decision Management Plan and Risk Register.
    • Risk Management in Planning: An Overview (2 May)
      This presentation provides an overview of risk analysis and its role in Planning. Risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication were discussed.
    • SMART Planning: Feasibility Study Milestones & Process (18 April)
      This presentation provides an overview of the SMART Planning feasibility study process and milestones, including vertical integration and the reviewer’s perspective.
    • SMART Planning Charette Facilitation Webinar (21 February)
      2012
    • Foundations of SMART Planning (15 November)
      This 17 minute video provides an introduction to the foundations of SMART Planning and the SMART planning feasibility study process. The video is hosted by the USACE Corps Connection YouTube channel.
    • SMART Feasibility Studies: Milestones and Process (15 November)
      This 16 minute video provides more detail on the milestones and process for conducting feasibility studies applying the SMART planning principles. The video is hosted by the USACE Corps Connection YouTube channel.
    • SMART Planning and Rescoping Charettes (1 July)
      This presentation provides an overview of the SMART Planning Feasibility Study Process and introduces the planning charette as a tool for Project Delivery Teams to launch or rescope their study. PPT File
    • Civil Works Feasibility Study Program Execution and Delivery (28 February)
      Introduction to Planning Modernization and Feasibility Study execution improvements

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