This paper is a case study describing a recently completed, ambitious, and successful Information Management project on the oilfields of the north slope of Alaska.

The project goals were to increase environmental and safety performance, through addressing the barriers associated with procedure compliance and usage. This was to be enabled in part by leveraging the benefits from recent advances in computer technology, as well as a number of other ‘change levers’. The barriers and issues centred around procedure quality, search, retrieval, control and use. The project included a new IT application, associated data management, new workflows & processes, revised roles, skills and behaviors, and associated culture change in a challenging and complex operational setting. The project centred around three core enablers or critical success factors:

  1. An innovative organizational-change based approach, which included an in-depth consideration of the organizational reality prior to the project

  2. Use of value-adding functionality to users enabled through leading edge technology

  3. An end-user focus

The combination of these three factors produced a winning solution that proved very successful as determined by user adoption and project goals. The case study provides details of the project from initial business requirements, scope and solution development, through to pilot and implementation. Details of the organizational change-based approach are provided, together with lessons learnt.

The project exceeded expectations in terms of project goals achieved and high satisfaction across the range of project stakeholders.

A number of insights were achieved:

  • Significance, challenges and degree of work on metadata

  • Importance of identifying and managing the wide range of stakeholders

  • Don't underestimate the importance and power of organizational sub-cultures

  • Get ‘pull’ rather than push to the project, which centres around user value and benefits

  • Importance of data standards & naming conventions

  • Estimate the amount of change

The project outcome is a real, practical and proven example of best practice. It provides an example of a new and innovative approach that can be tailored to any complex IT or IM-related organizational project – as well as critical success factors, lessons learnt and insights that will benefit the range of stakeholders striving to meet IT related business goals and challenges in the Exploration/upstream business.

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