The emerging trend in Oil and Gas industries for multi-disciplinary teams spread across diverse geographical locations is virtual team working. This concept is a key enabler in a digital oilfield environment where real time communication enables efficient decision making between field and office operations. The Shell Smart Fields Program, Shell's digital oilfield initiative, has deployed the use of Collaborative Work Environments (CWE) as an enabler to optimize operational value across its operating units globally.

The fundamental pillars supporting a CWE implementation are 1) People, 2) Work Process, 3) Tools and Applications and 4) Facility. During the design and implementation phases of building a CWE, emphasis is typically placed on work process, tools and applications, and facility while the people aspect is embedded within other improvement areas. The Smart Fields Program has observed that integration of the People aspect is critical to ensure a CWE's success. Without an effectively and efficiently trained workforce, the new CWE processes will not flow as intended. To address this, Shell has developed a tested methodology focused on driving the required behavioral change to achieve the necessary performance.

This paper will focus on the importance of the people aspect in a CWE implementation, based on a 2009 improvement effort centered on Human Factors Integration (HFI) and behavioral change coaching. In particular, this paper will address:

  • The role of HFI / coaching in CWE implementations

  • Identification of relevant people issues

  • How to provide continued / ongoing support to the ‘digital’ workforce

  • Identification within the organization of ownership for the new collaborative behaviors

  • The necessary organizational structure required to support new ways of working

  • Required behavioral changes to support the future workforce

  • Key differences between staffing operations in a current oilfield versus a digital oilfield

  • Lessons learned from deployment of above points

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