Original Structure of the Report
The authors' report summarizes the results of a comprehensive systematic literature survey on the front-end of a project, commissioned by the Project Management Institute. It reports on the findings of a systematic review of publications published mostly between Jan 2006 and Sep 2017. It aims to investigate what defines the "front-end" of a project, examine what generic processes comprise the "front-end" and how these fit together as a coherent whole. The search was planned in 2016 and initiated in 2017. An appendix shows the specific search strings employed and the results.
The search string searches were conducted in stages. In Stage 1, the authors searched using a primary group of 15 term combinations including the central term "front-end" and similar words. In Stage 2, they searched for an exploratory group of 23 term combinations that related to "front-end" to a certain extent. In this way, the 43,000 original papers were reduced to 4,500 and then to 367 papers.
As the authors studied these papers, in Stage 3 they identified key papers and used citation indices to search systematically for good papers that cited them and looked for any particular key references used. This resulted in a final set considered for the study comprising 524 papers, which formed the basis of the full survey report delivered to PMI, which is over 50,000 words long. The linked reference file quoted above is about 30,000 words, including all links.
5. Ibid, extracted from Section 1, p1