This is our final blog in a five-part series about the following five challenges in the oil and gas industry threatening efficient project execution for EPC contractors and owner-operators:

  1. Keeping everyone safe during SIMOPS.
  2. Keeping projects on time and under budget.
  3. Making informed decisions throughout the entire project lifecycle.
  4. Ensuring uninterrupted flow of information.
  5. Keeping an eye on the whole project with accurate information.

Thus far, this blog series has addressed how to overcome hurdles associated with specific aspects of project execution such as safety, as well as communication pitfalls between project components as well as the various project phases.

This final post, in contrast, addresses the overarching challenge of monitoring project execution of a complex construction project from start to finish. Unsurprisingly, tackling this holistic challenge requires the ability for everyone from site workers through to executive-level management to be able to keep their fingers on the pulse of project progress through access to information that is available, comprehensive, accessible and accurate.

This overarching challenge facing oil and gas projects as well as other industrial construction execution is discussed as follows:


The Problem: Keeping an Eye on the Whole Project with Accurate Information

Construction and maintenance projects for complex facilities, such as those for Oil and Gas and other industrial or manufacturing sectors, are a litany of competing demands. Numerous stakeholders and teams with specific remits must all fit together like a jigsaw. However, owing to a historic lack of transparency and centralized database, this may feel like it’s being performed with the puzzle pieces upside down.

For the emerging picture to come clearly into view, those puzzle pieces must be flipped over so that everyone can understand the 4D project realities in time and space. Only then do schedules become streamlined and operations optimized, avoiding and planning around potential bottlenecks.

The more complex a project, the more pieces need to be fit into the larger picture. With convoluted brownfield works or highly technical greenfield or other mega-project, it’s easy to see how information is easily fragmented and therefore inaccessible.

Traditional project management and execution tools are either paper-based or rudimentary digital systems that rely on labor-intensive processes such as data entry. Both standard systems tend to be slow, cumbersome and woefully inefficient. This is particularly the case when non-site personnel including office-based or executive management require information to make strategic decisions.

When requests for information such as real-time project status or technical specifications send folks running around, pulling data from various spreadsheets or hard-copy files, or hunting down people “in the know,” time is not being used efficiently.

Distracted attention metastasizes into a myriad of risks including health and safety, compromised quality, erroneous scheduling, loss of budget control and more.


The Solution: Continuous Remote Access to Accurate Project Status

It is only with every single puzzle piece in full view and right-side-up that comprehensive, accurate information is conveyed to all relevant parties throughout the entire project. This provides the basis for informed decision making, keeping workers safe and projects on time and under budget.

This blog series has addressed how going paperless solves project execution headaches through software solutions to address discreet aspects of project management and tracking. Keeping an eye on the whole project with accurate information incorporates all of what has previously been discussed.

The differentiating factor here, however, rests in how all these pieces of the puzzle integrate and communicate throughout the entire project lifecycle, so that one – and only one – comprehensive source of information exists.

This is possible through customizable, modular, fully integrative software that works both with existing systems and in a cross-disciplinary manner, throughout all phases from planning and fabrication to construction through to commissioning, completion and handover.

Such software packages are, frankly, rare and require working in tandem with a sympathetic digital partner willing to tailor-create solutions specific to client and/or project needs. An essential component that unites project information is use of activity management software that allows for straightforward progress tracker.


What is Activity Tracking?

Regardless as to the size or scope of a project, continuous tracking and updating of all relevant project details is the only way to maintain control, ensuring projects remain safe, to schedule and under budget.

Well-designed activity management software lends predictability to project scheduling and execution. With 3D visual, color-coded models and 4D tracking, which takes into account time differentials, real-time status visualization from planning and fabrication through to construction, commissioning and handover is possible.

Providing one single-source of project information, progress tracking software is designed to multitask. Cloud-based solutions up the ante, ensuring that updated project information that is both complete and accurate is available to anyone from anywhere.

Progress Tracker allows the full jigsaw to come into clear view, while providing the ability to zoom in on any single puzzle piece for detailed information. It is this clear view that provides the basis for informed decision making at all stages, ensuring the project runs smoothly and as efficiently as possible.


The Bottom Line: Activity Tracking with Customizable, Modular Solutions Make the Difference

The cumulative effect of small delays or overruns in projects make a big difference to the bottom line. Chasing down things such as specifications, signatures and status eats into what would otherwise be productive project-execution time.

The solution to this ubiquitous challenge lies in information management. Centralizing all project-related data into one cloud-based system means that anyone can keep an eye on the whole project with accurate information. And they can do it from anywhere at any time.

It is a luxury available even to EPC contractors working on even the most complex projects. Digital systems such as Progress Tracker puts the jigsaw together, placing it in plain view. This for improved decision making, seamless communications and tighter control of the entire project.

This concludes our five-part series addressing common challenges facing EPC contractors and owner-operators working in Oil and Gas and other industrial contexts, all of which can be viewed through the below:

  1. Keeping everyone safe during SIMOPS.
  2. Keeping projects on time and under budget.
  3. Making informed decisions throughout the entire project lifecycle.
  4. Ensuring uninterrupted flow of information.
  5. Keeping an eye on the whole project with accurate information.


Thank you for following our "Challenges in the oil and gas industry" series. If you are interested in another of our series, check out our Digital Transformation for the Energy Industry - Everything you need to know. We are constantly writing about this topic and updating the series. Enjoy!

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