Oil and gas megaprojects have adopted project management practices, such as interface management, change management, and risk management to manage increased project complexity caused by many factors, including complex engineering, the involvement of numerous global stakeholders, and changing environmental factors. However, integrating these key business practices continues to remain a challenge for many organizations.

This paper discusses specific approaches on how an integrated approach creates cross-discipline data relationships that provide teams with better information for decision making and progress tracking, and thus helps to improve project performance. In particular, specific attention is paid to interface management and its impact on the following well-established practices.

Change Management – Changes are inevitable in megaprojects and well-developed change management programs ensure all changes and their potential impact are appropriately assessed before implementation. As a form of scope management, interface management can often lead to change during project execution. In addition, change can often lead to interface modifications. Establishing a relationship between these two practices is essential to ensuring alignment between these functional areas.

Risk Management – The project risk register is a key tool used in managing risk for projects. Risk management is a mature practice and the importance of implementing risk management for project success is rarely challenged. Poorly controlled interfaces can represent significant risk to a project; however, these are rarely captured in the risk register. Better management and visibility of project risk is achieved by ensuring high-risk interfaces are identified and logged in the project's risk register.

Deliverables Management – Ensuring all documents, drawings, and specifications are received on time and distributed appropriately is a key goal in deliverables management. Integrating this process with interface management ensures that not only are internal project teams kept informed of new documents and new revisions, but that interfacing parties are also kept informed.

Projects will find value in integration across all of these processes by allowing interface management either to feed information into or receive information from them. Key benefits include:

  • Increased visibility

  • Early identification of potential issues

  • Consistent execution and data capture

  • Better decision making with better data and data links

  • All parties, including interfacing parties, are kept informed in real-time

  • Reduced time spent searching for information

The future of managing oil and gas megaprojects at a higher level will involve integrating project management processes. This integration will give project teams a higher level of oversight and enable them to make better and more informed decisions, all of which help improve project performance to ultimately gain a competitive edge. Although this integration was not previously possible due to limitations in the tools being used, new advanced systems that support full integration are now making this an achievable reality.

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