The wave of enthusiasm for collaborative working that has swept the upstream oil and gas sector in the past 5 years, has largely been focused on better connecting existing teams and their meeting structures through the widespread deployment of technologies such as video conferencing and real-time data sharing – ‘collaborative working' has become the mantra. However, collaboration for the sake of collaboration can be more disruptive to the efficient and effective delivery of business results than teams working in discreet silos.

Creating sustainable improvement forces companies to look beyond doing things the way they have been done in the past but with collaborative technology thrown in, and connect people and groups based on their workflows. This requires moving away from discipline-focused teams attending a constant string of meetings to ‘batch process' information. Instead, workflow-focused teams should act at the necessary pace dictated by the requirements of their workflows and be provided with the appropriate enabling collaborative tools and technologies. The terms ‘necessary' and ‘appropriate' are key.

If order and discipline are to be maintained in this brave new world, then it clearly requires a firm understanding of the business workflows, the roles of the people acting within them and the toolset needed to enable them.

This paper describes ‘Collaborative Linkage Analysis', a structured approach to defining collaborative requirements. It is based on successful execution of the methodology with several upstream operators and ensures that people are working the processes interactively and collaboratively, not just attending videoconferences and team meetings.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.