Effective front-end planning (FEP) has repeatedly been shown in past research to positively affect project outcomes. The results of poor FEP for a single project can potentially have a devastating and long-lasting effect on an individual organization. Since the economic world is becoming quite "flat" and extremely competitive, one question that can be asked is: why are there organizations with ineffective front-end planning strategies or none at all in this global economy? Members of the Construction Industry Institute (CII) were surveyed to identify barriers to effective front-end project planning, with 59 organizations responding. Common barriers such as lack of adequate resources will be discussed in this paper. Over 70 percent of respondents use at least one CII-developed FEP tool in their planning process and the use of tools has had a positive effect in overcoming barriers to effective planning. This paper will describe survey results and give recommendations to practitioners for improving FEP efficacy in order to improve capital project portfolio.