Epeus

Posted by Irena Spanovic

Regaining Your Mojo

AFTER MERGERS OR TAKEOVERS, ALIGNING SYSTEMS AND PROCEDURES IS NO EASY TASK–ESPECIALLY FOR A BUSY DEPARTMENT WITH A FULL PROJECT PROGRAM.

Our client faced an intriguing dilemma. A year or so earlier, this smallish independent field operator had enjoyed a run of successful projects. Swallowed up by a major energy company looking to get a foothold in the upstream oil and gas business, a small and effective team had become a ‘group’ with disparate functions. Restructured into the corporate machine, they risked losing what had made them great in the first place.

Everything had become more complicated. Project workloads had now increased considerably and fragmentation, inconsistent communications and misalignment were the big issues. Project failure rates had risen, attracting attention from corporate HQ which sent in the auditors. Overworked and under pressure, our client picked up the phone to us.

“We’re not in bad shape,” she said, “but before the takeover we were a small team delivering one, maybe two, field development projects at a time. The department’s grown and everyone’s working flat out. We need better alignment across the board. Can you help us nail it down?”

Our project risk management team approached the fix from a number of fronts. First, we outlined the big picture, understanding the new corporate targets, strategies and functions before translating them into a practical handbook. Armed with this level of understanding, the process gaps could be quickly identified.

The next stage was to develop a robust change-management process that ensured the participation of all key project stakeholders. This would be the foundation stone around which all project areas could be aligned.

Recognizing our talents, our client expanded our role, asking us to help them improve their approach in line with project management best practice. Our unique combination of industry knowledge and project management expertise meant we could swiftly tailor our own tried-and-tested processes to our client’s needs.

So what?

With our involvement, our client closed out its bigger audit items without having to take personnel off job one: delivering projects. We simplified their overall approach and brought in a suite of practical change management tools. We also clarified their roles within the new corporate structure and gave them the means (through better process) to reduce project failure and achieve corporate targets.

We continue to provide project risk management and advisory services to this field operator, helping them achieve a heightened level of project management maturity. But that’s another story.