The Exploration and Production industry today faces tough business as well as operational challenges. There is a constant pressure to maximize production and reduce cost to improve -financial performance. At the same time, as assets get older, their performance changes in the form of high GOR, increased water cut, sand production, and increased pressure fluctuations.
In such a business environment, there is a need for high focus on continuous reliability improvement to sustain uptime and ensure high level asset integrity. Though E&P organizations usually do have some form of Reliability Improvement Processes (RIP), they suffer from some common issues related to information and knowledge management, collaboration and work flow inefficiency. These issues are known to impact efficiency and effectiveness of RIP, and prevent organizations from realizing the maximum value from their reliability improvement initiatives.
Based on my experience with several large business process transformation initiatives across various E&P organizations, I believe these issues can be addressed with a holistic transformation program. Here I’m revisiting some key principles, not in any particular order, that are common to successful business process transformation:
- Establish a credible business case that communicates business value, to convince the management to sponsor a RIP transformation program which can be a significant undertaking involving multiple complex work streams and critical organization resources.
- Adopt a program-centric approach that bundles various work streams into self-contained packages with common governance and a shared pool of critical resources to achieve synergy and alignment with business goals.
- Formulate an implementation staircase to address program complexity that delivers well defined business outcomes in a phase-wise manner. This will help gain clarity and build confidence in the early phases of the program and secure buy-in from the end-user community.
- Identify synergies with existing operational improvement programs to optimize program execution. By extending the scope of such programs to include the reliability improvement process, a lot of cost and time can be saved by realizing economies of scale.
- Identify quick-win opportunities to accelerate the program timeline. This would work best in the cases where trials are being conducted for a new system in the organization.
- Identify key IT enablers and appropriately address them in Enterprise IT Architecture. Organizations should build an appropriate level of flexibility in the enterprise information architecture design itself to address unique information requirements for RIP with guidelines for fit-for-purpose standards and technologies.
- Secure right skill sets for the program to build credibility. The program should be staffed with resources with a strong background in program management, business process consulting, IT architecture design, data management and change management. If required, business should seek outside help to augment their in-house team.
Some of these may sound obvious or clichéd but surprisingly a few of them (if not all) are ignored or underestimated in many critical business transformation programs with unsatisfactory results.
Can you think of other ways through which E&P companies can build successful business transformation programs