How Long Should the Capital-Project Approval Process Take?

How Long Should the Capital-Project Approval Process Take?

(Houston, TX - January 17, 2008) - APQC has released a metric snapshot of the number of days required to obtain approval for capital projects. The snapshot is based on APQC's Open Standards Benchmarking CollaborativeSM (OSBC) research, which reveals substantial differences in the length of the capital-project approval process among organizations at the top level (7.6 days), median level (30 days), and bottom level (54.6 days).

As shown in the survey results, many organizations in the bottom quartile are waiting nearly two months just to get the approvals necessary in order to begin their projects. If an organization's approval policies are tied to specific calendar cycles for funding, this type of time delay can have a negative impact on a project team's ability to complete projects. The team may have to wait for the next approval cycle to begin, or reduce scope to accommodate for the change in schedule. Top performers' shorter approval cycle times reflect more agile organizations that are able to quickly respond to changes in the marketplace.

Find out how your organization compares in this metric and discover other factors that contribute to top performance by participating in APQC's Fixed-Asset Accounting survey at no cost. In return for participation, you will receive a complimentary, detailed, and personalized report comparing your organization's performance against the OSBC database. APQC keeps all data confidential in accordance with the Benchmarking Code of Conduct (

To learn how your organization can benchmark additional financial management areas at no cost, visit Available surveys include:

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Paige Dawson 

Note: Additional metrics, high resolution charts, case studies, and interviews are available to support specific editorial needs.

(The top level is the performance level above which 20 percent of the responses fall; the bottom level is the performance level above which 80 percent of the responses fall.)

(Data Source: OSBC planning and management accounting database, retrieved December 20, 2007).