Over the last ten years, an unprecedented array of technologies has become available to oil and gas enterprises. There has been, and continues to be, a steady flow of technological innovations that impact both upstream and downstream sectors. Smart technology, process control, ERP systems, procurement portals, digital oilfield, and intelligent refinery are examples of technological advancements with big potential for finding and refining more oil, cutting operational costs, and improving safety performance.
But in many cases the benefits of new initiatives have not met expectations. Corporations often do not realize the promised return on investment that led them to fund and resource key initiatives. Why is it a universal pattern when it comes to deploying global technology initiatives? We have identified seven common "sticking points" that slow down or kill initiatives along with the leading practices that will "unstick" them.
These sticking points impede project progress, project completion, and achievement of the benefits upon which the funding decision is based.
1) Sticking point 1 deals with too many initiatives in play requiring significant resources and business commitment to be deployed effectively and efficiently.
2) Sticking point 2 in project governance is the absence of structured engagement and support from multiple levels in the impacted business.
3) Sticking point 3 refers to inadequate communication from the project teams to the business resulting in reduced interest and support for the initiative.
4) Sticking point 4 refers to the business case preparation being limited.
5) Sticking point 5 refers to the lack of a strong sales approach.
6) Sticking Point 6 refers to how business units are expected to fund implementation without a clear understanding of solution benefits.
7) Finally, in sticking point 7, lack of project coordination leads to initiative burnout in the business.
At Wipro, we have identified leading practices that will avoid or "unstick" such project obstacles. Further, these practices help corporate and business units unleash the huge unrealized potential of the initiatives that are put into play.
1) Leading practice 1 is to avoid spreading business resources too thin by trying to deal with many initiatives.
2) Leading practice 2 is to select and commit to a well-balanced governance structure within the business unit as a prerequisite to project start.
3) In leading practice 3, one has to report both project progress and impact to the business in a meaningful way.
4) Leading practice 4 requires that business cases are tailored to specific audiences and stakeholders.
5) In leading practice 5, as with any sales effort, clear articulation of pertinent and compelling benefits is needed.
6) Leading practice 6 deals with funding the project design and proof of concept at corporate/group level and implementation at business unit level.
7) And finally, leading practice 7 creates overall master plans to improve project coordination and minimize overload.
It is important to keep in mind that correcting the deployment process will be a project in itself. It will need to be planned and managed accordingly – using the leading practices we have discussed. When a company has pinpointed the sticking points that are impeding its project deployment process, we recommend prioritizing and concentrating on unsticking them one at a time.