At Hyde Park Solutions we offer a bespoke Project Portfolio Management service to all of our customers. Companies in the Oil and Gas industry asked us to help enhance their overall investment portfolio prioritisation and selection processes, project planning and execution performance. We took our consulting methodology that broadly focusses on People Process and Technology and applied this to the three oil and gas industry major sectors:
- upstream (exploration)
- midstream (transportation and storage)
- downstream (refining and marketing)
Additionally, we have more recently seen these organisations build on their Investment Portfolio Management tools and processes in order to enable them to investment beyond oil and gas.
Most of our engagements within Oil and Gas saw the joint project team collaboratively review the current set of Investment Portfolio Management processes, the Project Management and Project Controls processes to determine the process gaps to industry best practice. Following this review, we evaluated how these processes were supported by tools and technology. Our reviews typically included a combination of internally developed and COTS and SAAS technologies, including a wide overuse of Excel. Within Oil and Gas, we looked reviewed implementations of Oracle’s EPPM tool. On the whole, the alignment between organisational processes and the technology supporting them was in poorly aligned, perhaps time had taken its toll or the original implementation was poorly executed. People, when trained in the organisation’s processes and provided with the appropriate tools will do a great job. What we see is good people having to bridge the gap when processes and technology are poorly aligned. The signs are easy to spot: an overuse of Excel; a variety of “common” templates for investment ideas, business cases, project and resource plans; a separate business reporting function that endeavours to make bad data look good; a well-staffed financial and project controls function. All is not lost, Hyde Park Solutions has faced all these challenges within the Oil and Gas industry.
We typically help organisations address the integration challenges to reduce the reliance on Excel and remove the large reporting function who spend most of their time recoding data. Obviously, before you integrate you have to solve the data alignment questions. You may ask as we do why this was not addressed during the original implementation of the PPM Technology solution. The answer is that the implementation consultants were technology rather than business driven. Hyde Park Solutions are Portfolio Project Management and Project Controls business consultants who understand how to implement technology, train users in its use, and support and upgrade it as organisational business processes and maturity change and best industry best practices advance. Naturally, we have some hardcore technologist that can solve those environmental and database questions.
Migrating historical information, interfacing and aligning ERP applications (SAP, E-Business) or Asset Management (Ellipse, Maximo, IFS) with PPM tools is something that we face and execute on every day. We would be silly to say that it’s easy but when you have a methodology, bags of experience and expertise it is less stressful than it might be when you understand the business processes, the software and technology and how people actually run your projects.
For a different approach after our the process review, HPS like the concept of prototyping and so run a practical series of workshops that enable the project team (HPS and customer) to create a straw man prototype of the ideal solution. This we find brings out the key issues and shortcomings without the need for finger pointing.
If you and your organisation are not sure of how fit for purpose your Project Portfolio Management process and technologies are HPS can help. If on the other hand, you would like to know where your organisation and its people sit in terms of PPM maturity then we can assist by running a Maturity Assessment which will help pinpoint the areas a where you are doing well and those that need some work.
If you would like more information on PPM and the technology that’s used to support them, then why not think about attending one of our workshops.