Abstract

The Shell International Exploration and Production, Inc. Brutus Project is a deepwater tension leg platform scheduled for installation this summer in 2976 feet of seawater in the Gulf of Mexico. There were several changes introduced for this project different from any of the previous projects. A standardized work breakdown structure and a new financial software system are just two examples. Many new and modified processes were required to support these changes. This paper will briefly describe how the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) was utilized for the organization and development of management processes at two different levels within the project. The PMBOK is a published guideline that describes the sum of knowledge within the profession of project management. This document describes project management practices recognized for value and usefulness.

Introduction

Project management techniques and procedures are not always consistent between industries, corporations or even different projects within a single company. There are numerous conflicting influences that affect the project management processes. Projects with multiple partners, either different companies within a corporation or with multiple corporations, may have even more differences in project management styles and priorities. In a continuous evolvement toward standardization, the Shell Brutus Deepwater Project developed the project management tools and processes based on principles of project management. All corporate processes, policies and recognized industry standards were considered. The procedures developed for the Brutus project were grouped and aligned in accordance with the PMBOK.

The approach was to identify the issues and concerns with the current methodology. Most processes were not principle based, but were techniques developed in response to certain issues or by individuals and teams with different experiences in project management styles. The processes used by different teams or projects were not fully standardized and existing documentation was not always current. Each project had different requirements and stakeholders. There were issues that surfaced when involved in projects with multiple partners from different corporations. The high level guidelines that were used as a basis for the project management systems did not have sufficient details in the work processes to identify all of the disconnects, or gaps, in the system.

Solution

The solution was to standardize the way we would identify, breakdown and document the processes. A standardized format, the Topic Summary, was used to frame the requirements of each process. A review of all current processes, corporate policies and industry standards was conducted to develop a common foundation for the objective of each process based on these requirements. Each procedure, for example cost management, was broken down into lower level processes and organized in accordance with the PMBOK areas of knowledge. The processes were then agreed upon with stakeholders to determine their validity and applicability.

This approach was intended to be more proactive and less reactive than some previous approaches. The principle-based processes were aligned with both the corporate needs and policies as well as an international standard accepted and recognized across industries.

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