Ownership, engagement and traction are fundamental to your people processes delivering value. This needs to be embedded into all levels of the process and here are some good examples of how it can be achieved:

Ownership of Data

One of the largest North Sea operators complained of a vicious cycle:
“Poor quality of the data captured meant that it was not trusted and therefore not being used or presented to management. As a result, it became more of a box ticking exercise and there was little effort made to improve the data quality”. (Murray McMillan, Team Lead – Plant Optimisation, NexenCNOOC).

Reducing production losses requires good information about where those losses are happening and what is causing them. Sounds simple, but all too often, the quality of data captured is poor where loss events are allocated to “Other” and “Unknown”. These are the easy options when the real source and cause are not immediately obvious. Simply removing these options from the lists does not necessarily guarantee more accurate data. However, if you have the right individual working within a supportive team who wants to get it right every time then the accuracy and therefore usefulness of the data they capture is much improved. So, how do we embed this level of ownership?

First of all, it should be impressed upon these individuals that the data they record is Important! As well as being used to support improvement decisions locally, it is being viewed by all levels of the organization, right up to senior management. Secondly, this should be reinforced by displaying the data throughout the workplaces in a simple and easily consumable summary (e.g. “Top 3 losses last week”). If this summary is being displayed on screens in the main entrance to the workplace where most employees and visitors can see it, then this will reinforce ownership for everyone playing a part in the loss management process.Top Losses By Source

If the people who capture this data are operating the plant/facilities (e.g. control room techs), it is also important to underline that the data they capture will support the improvement decisions that will make their day to day operations less problematic. When this does actually happen, they will recognize their contribution, further reinforcing ownership.

Good training is also essential. In the case of this large North Sea operator, it is the Offshore Operations Engineer (OOE) who is responsible for capturing the initial loss data for an asset. In order to embed ownership of this task, the OOEs spend two weeks working with the Operations Excellence team before they start work offshore which gives them a very good understanding of this process. It also gives them a bigger picture of its importance within the company.

These simple changes made a step change in data quality for that North Sea operator and in turn, has led to an increased appetite for and use of the data. Corresponding production efficiency is up and this operator is now one of the leading lights in North Sea Production Loss Management. I recently worked with them to start up a quarterly Loss Management Forum which now involves nearly all of the North Sea operators. I’m also pleased to say that they now use the latest version of our Choke Model software to support their production loss management process.

Ownership of Sources and Causes of loss

When a production loss does occur, what happens? This all depends on the processes you have in place and how well they are followed. In many cases, if the volume of that loss exceeds some arbitrary limit, it will trigger an investigation and resolution procedure. However, the lower level but often chronic issues will be ignored. When measured over a period of several months it is often the lower level chronic sources of loss that are responsible for the largest total loss volumes and therefore lost revenue. If the sources and causes of loss are “owned” then it is more likely that conversations will take place leading to improvement actions for all magnitudes off loss. Source owners are individuals with knowledge of a particular set of systems (sources) who are the best point of contact when issues arise with those systems. They are able to initiate actions when problems occur. If the technology supporting your loss management processes will automatically inform relevant owners whenever their Sources are attributed to loss events then this will help reduce any time lag between events and resulting actions.

Giving a bit of thought to who is best placed to take ownership of sources is important:
Reviews of Choke Model usage have clearly shown that when the production loss data is owned it affects behaviours such that remedial actions are identified by the owners, which upon implementation, leads to performance improvement. Conversely where an asset has just imported a successful Choke Model structure from another asset, success has not been repeated where the organisational roles and responsibilities are different, thus preventing the ownership of the data“.
(Production Efficiency Using the Choke Model – a Best Practice. Andrew Goodwin, Production Efficiency TDN Leader, BP.)

In the next article, I will discuss how best to embed ownership of the Loss/Deferral Process at asset level and at organisation level.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Neil Hardy
+44 (0)7767 890636