This reference is for an abstract only. A full paper was not submitted for this conference.


The upstream business of a leading LNG producer and supplier embarked on a mission two years ago to institutionalize continuous improvement (CI) culture in their activities. As a result, a CI Team was formed which adopted CI ideas, put them into practice and measured the benefits.

The CI team's challenges included expert resource, functional overlap within the organization, resistance to change, information barriers, middle management commitment and the intangible nature of some of the benefits from CI.

The benefits accrued through CI of processes are both tangible and intangible. The tangible benefits are measured in terms of cost, time and quality benefits. The intangible benefits, collectively termed in the paper as Quality of Work Life Benefits, are measured by means of peer reviews, self-assessment of processes, employee surveys, internal and external audit results and external customer feedbacks.

The reactionary responses by process owners to process change initiatives, perceiving them as 'external threats' can be effectively turned around to work as catalysts for creativity that can help in the propagation of CI culture. The authors view the reactionary responses and their turn around as a very effective indicator of the effectiveness of CI efforts.

The paper provides introduction to the CI concepts and how they are embedded in the organization's management systems in a technical environment. Further it describes the challenging and upstream technical focused environment in which the business process improvement initiatives were undertaken, the benefits the organization realized evidenced through the results of periodical measurements.

The paper provides insight into the tools and means developed to encourage CI mindset, capture initiatives and manage their implementation with the help of illustrations.


The paper, supported by real-life implementation examples, will help organizations aspiring to institutionalize CI culture with information on the challenges and possible ways to measure the progress in realizing the opportunities.


Institutionalizing CI culture, though challenging, is immensely rewarding to the organizations. The authors observe that the benefits organizations can realize from continuous improvement of processes are both tangible and intangible. The paper concludes that certain non-traditional Key Performance Indicators are essential to measure the intangible benefits.


The paper adds to the existing knowledgebase by providing real-life implementation challenges in the upstream segment of the petroleum industry and shows how non-traditional methods can be used to measure intangible benefits of CI efforts in an upstream technical focused environment.

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