Client Success Story: Centralizing Decision-Making

Meeting of the Minds

Fostering Uptake of a Central Decision Support Center

As those in the industry know, there’s a lot more to oil extraction than digging a hole. It’s a complex scientific process with a myriad of business, technical and safety concerns that vary with every location. Our client, a global energy company, sought to achieve more consistent, effective performance in the field with the creation of a central decision support center for drilling and completions (the construction required to bring a drilled well into production). They hired Expressworks to help them introduce the concept and drive uptake at locations around the world.

Turf troubles

The promise behind the new decision support center was to serve as a “brain trust” of best practices and expertise to guide drilling and completion operations in real time. Experts at the center in Houston could examine live data from the field and work through virtual collaboration tools with crews at each site, be it an outpost in Kazakhstan or a rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Despite the promising capabilities of the support center, the idea met with skepticism and misunderstanding early on. Some leaders in the field perceived the support center as an invasion of their territory, threatening to override their authority to make the decisions they felt were best. Hence, convincing crews to utilize the support center and consider its guidance wouldn’t be easy.

Earning trust with teamwork

Without thoughtful planning and skillful execution, even the most promising change initiative can fall flat, robbing an organization of time, money, and what might have been. Establishing the support center was a major investment for our client; hence their investment in Expressworks to make sure it was implemented correctly.

Rather than issue ultimatums, we developed a plan to engage field teams in a cooperative dialogue about the support center. Sometimes half the battle is clearly communicating the intent and benefits of the project, so the target audience “gets it” before they dismiss it. Once leaders in the organization validated the approach, we moved forward with learning solutions to help each team adopt new protocols with clarity and confidence.

While the engagement is ongoing, widespread awareness of the decision support center is taking hold. Most importantly, as stakeholders understand the value of such a powerful resource, they’re willingly joining the effort.

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