Shell companies and its Joint Venture partners spend millions of dollars per year on social investments in host communities as commitment to corporate social responsibility. Lack of community ownership and participation in identifying developmental needs and delivery process were seen as gaps in realizing full benefits of the social investments. A participatory interface management and development model– The Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) with host communities was introduced to address these gaps.

In the GMoU model, the communities take charge and drive developmental initiatives, Shell and its Joint Venture partners provide funding/capacity building while government oversees process governance. However, the quality of most GMoU infrastructure projects has been a source of concern among stakeholders. To address these concerns, improvement opportunities were identified in the infrastructure projects' delivery process. For example, in one instance, over 488 infrastructure project designs were generated by 244 GMoU communities in one year with each community, developing different designs for similar infrastructure. This process requires communities to spend significant amount of development fund to pay for projects design. Similarly quality-checking and approving designs become burdensome for supervising engineers often leading to frustration, erosion of work-life balance and design flaws going undetected.

A Lean methodology that involves elimination of wastes through utilization of the knowledge of the people who do the job to deliver value to customers was therefore deployed to improve the GMoU Infrastructure Projects Delivery process. Stakeholders jointly produced results that eliminate wastes in the process, reduce approval cycle time, improve project quality and save cost. This paper will share this experience with learnings for cross industry collaboration in infrastructure projects design for betterment of the host communities.

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