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Client case study

Delivering Technical Guidance for a North Sea Operator to drive business performance


The brief

A North Sea Operator were keen to ensure greater consistency in the delivery of technical projects to the assurance review stage, which they saw as critical to improving the quality of their decision-making.

An initiative was commissioned to create a system of technical guidance for the asset teams, which would aim to provide:

  • Recommended good practice for assets to follow to that would help shape their approached to technical work

  • A coherent overview of how these activities fit the ‘bigger picture’ of Lifecycle Stages and management decision-making

  • A better preparation and a more ordered run-up to key decision gates, enabling reviewers to focus on critical risk elements

  • An agreed framework of deliverables, interaction points and methods that everyone can subscribe to and engender a more effective, integrated way of working

We created a global map of activity for the Lifecycle Stages under consideration. This would allow us to work outside-in from the wider corporate structures and objectives, before progressively moving down towards the target technical detail of activities the client was keen to capture.  To populate the guidance we conducted a focused and ongoing programme of research covering:

  • Systematic interviews with leading subsurface technical staff on how they prefer to approach their work and the methods they are deploying successfully

  • Work sessions with the technical chiefs of the 5 subsurface disciplines to retain steer, formulate the overall workflow map and adjudicate on any conflicts

  • Consultation with selected external experts for confirmation of internal corporate view, as well as of literature on rapidly changing or complex topics

  • Co-ordination with other international offices in the company, sharing progress and lessons from similar initiatives

  • A professional editing process of assimilation, revision and dissemination to ensure sufficient peer review of advocated material

The approach

We delivered against the brief and successfully:

  • This project culminated in the release of a wholly new set of guidance for the two major and most critical stages of the asset lifecycle.

  • Provided a risk-led corporate mechanism that can shine a light on past versus present performance of the technical organisation

  • Created a framework of recommended practice not only benefits directly those carrying it out, but impacts corporate value assurance and risk management

  • Created a corporate “magnet for knowledge” that can instil new ideas

  • Changed the organisational nature of beneficial knowledge ‘walking out the door’ when a team-member leaves

  • Provided basis for mapping the resources required to conduct those activities (competencies, technology, time) by mapping what the company does technically


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