This paper discusses the setting up of a Quality User Support system, and the provision of high quality software to the Petroleum Engineering community.

Using our experience in reservoir simulation software as a case history, we review possible problem areas and recommend ways of avoiding them. In particular we investigate techniques and methods to:

  • maximise the quality of released software

  • train and educate new users in how to make best use of the software

  • answer ad-hoc questions on the use and functionality of the software

  • minimise response time to identify and fix coding errors

  • enhance client liaison.

We detail some of the procedures that we have developed over the last ten years, which include:

  • strict programming standards and adherence checking

  • change-control procedures for all software updates

  • providing advice based on experience for system configuration

  • logging and tracking of all user requests and problems

  • regularly polling users about the perceived level of support.

  • providing feedback to the development team for improved ease of use and functionality

Finally, we look to the future and predict ways to improve the level and quality of user support.

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