Over the years, I think Independent Project Analysis (IPA)
has been fairly successful at getting project systems to adopt better practices for their small projects
. Along the way, we have learned a lot from our customers about how different manufacturing sites develop and execute their small projects.
One habit IPA has adopted from our customers is a love for acronyms. Rarely do I visit a site that doesn’t have a dizzying array of abbreviations from AFE (authorization for expenditure) to PEP (project execution plan). In turn, IPA uses acronyms for many of our evaluations, and most likely the funniest-sounding is UBUB.
A UBUB, or Upstream Business Unit Benchmarking, is a way to benchmark a suite of exploration and production projects
– offshore or onshore – developed and executed by a single business unit.
The UBUB allows the business unit to measure performance and track improvement for the projects that are vital to production, but small enough that they perhaps don’t merit an individual IPA project evaluation. A typical UBUB project scope could be the installation of a new compressor on an offshore platform, an instrumentation upgrade, or the installation of new flowlines, among many other possibilities.
Like small projects in other industries, these projects have their challenges – they often compete for operations support and may be executed with heavy contractor involvement. However, those projects that use Best Practices can be executed significantly faster and cheaper than the competition.
About the Author
As IPA’s Manager of Plant-Based Systems, Phyllis Kulkarni oversees all global small project benchmarking, turnaround benchmarking, and licensing of the FEL Toolbox software. Phyllis joined IPA as a Project Analyst in 2002 and has led numerous site benchmarkings, project evaluations, and onshore and offshore megaproject assessments. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Phyllis can be reached at email@example.com.