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Overcoming Challenges in the Oil and Gas Industry: Making Informed Decisions Throughout the Entire Project Lifecycle

Overcoming Challenges in the Oil and Gas Industry: Making Informed Decisions Throughout the Entire Project Lifecycle

This third blog continues our five-part series on overcoming challenges in the oil and gas industry, which identified the following problems facing EPC operational efficiency:

  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.

Given the scale, technical challenges and range of stakeholders involved in EPC construction execution and asset maintenance, information management throughout O&G project lifecycles seems a never-ending obstacle to positive project outcomes.

This blog discusses how to ensure evidence-based decisions throughout the entire project lifecycle, and is divided into the following parts:


The Problem: Making Informed Decisions Throughout the Entire Project Lifecycle

The interrelated nature of the five identified challenges highlighted in this blog series is undeniable. The quest to keep everyone safe during SIMOPS provides a clear example of the level of coordination required to align a multitude of stakeholders carrying out their respective remits.

It is precisely the challenges behind coordinating disciplines, teams and schedules that lead to uninformed decisions both during and at the interface of different project phases. Communication lapses such as lost or inaccurate information exchanges carry a hefty price tag.

Uninformed decision making during construction execution and project work leads to 10 percent higher asset installation costs for EPC contractors and operators.

Such cost increases are at least partially attributed to the risks associated with relying on paper-based systems to manage capital projects. Hard copy information gets lost. Archival information disappears. Plus, there is a significant lag-time required to search for paper-based information.

A lack of information at hand impedes managerial and operational decisions. Businesses that use paper spend, on average, 80 percent of their time reacting to rather than preventing maintenance issues. This is owing to the inabilities to accurately predict problems in advance and, thus, to make informed decisions.

By making the right decisions throughout a capital project’s lifecycle, these trends can be reversed, saving 10 percent on total installation costs and recouping time and wherewithal to devote to quality delivery.

What enables informed and proactive decision making throughout a project’s lifecycle?


The Solution: A Single Source of Truth

Optimizing works and scheduling labor and supplies accurately and effectively is not viable under the old ways of working that rely on paper and manual systems. Site workers need to run around to get hard-copy signatures. Manual data entry into rudimentary databases is subject to human error. These systems are inefficient, prone to error, fragmented, piecemeal and often incompatible with one another.

Information management, on which successful projects hinge, benefit from a centralized digital system. The ideal solution is to have one single source of truth that collates all project information into a single, reliable, accessible system with built-in quality checks.


What are Work Packs?

Work packs, considered the ultimate source of information, are handled and used by a wide range of staff from Administration to Operations. Construction and maintenance of energy facilities, in particular, rely on work packs to assist in the completion of tasks.

Work packs contain information vital to ensure that works are carried out accurately, to specification and in a compliant and safe manner. Allowing for the understanding of project specifications, planning and status, Work packs can and should act as a comprehensive project database when the right system is in place.

Digital Work Packs solutions link all essential project details, including engineering, manning, materials, inventory, fabrication, installation, HSE and scheduling into a single, accountable, visible and real-time system that facilitates everything from planning to signoff.

Digital software solutions such as Work Packs for brownfield development or Advanced Work Packaging for greenfield or mega-projects – especially when integrated with software solutions for other work streams or project phases (e.g. Materials Management, Completions/Handover and/or Permit) offer robust solutions to guarantee informed decision making at every phase throughout a project’s lifecycle.

These types of software solutions allow EPC contractors to deliver capital projects on schedule and within budget as a cumulative result of evidence-based, sound decision making soup-to-nuts.


The Bottom Line: Comprehensive, Accurate and Accessible Paperless Solutions Ensure Success

Cloud-based software solutions for construction management of complex facilities ensure that anyone can access real-time project information, from anywhere and at any time. This goes for site workers through to global executives.

Visual tools built into software communicate in a way that neither spreadsheets nor verbal correspondence can match. It is only through a single source of truth such as Work Packs – that is comprehensive, accurate and accessible – on which sound decisions can be based. This goes for real-time health, safety and logistics faced by site workers, as well as for overarching strategic decisions faced by offsite management.

The beauty is that everyone has access to the same up-to-date project status and archival information. Going digital ensures full transparency and removes subjectivity from communications, so that any and all decisions are fact-based. This luxury saves enormous amounts of frustration, time and money.

Removing paper-based processes, starting with tools such as digital Work Packs, raises the bar for project delivery and keeps clients happy, even for the most complex capital projects.

Next week, we discuss the fourth challenge facing Oil & Gas, as well as other industrial-sector projects: Keeping an eye on the whole project with accurate information.


Is your data managed properly? The industry is not leaving much space for mistakes, so schedule a call with our Work Pack Specialist.

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