In light of the continual erosion of value from increasingly large and challenging exploration & production (E&P) projects, an international oil and gas company wanted to host a seminar to drive home the value of its stage-gated process in developing E&P assets. The client also wanted the session to give attendees basic knowledge about Front-End Loading (FEL) phases, awareness of key gatekeeping functions, and provide insight into when to take actions that result in successful asset outcomes.
IPA Institute staff collaborated with client officials to create a 1-day seminar to bolster management’s understanding of its role in the company’s stage-gated process for E&P projects. Before delivering the seminar, the IPA Institute surveyed the client’s senior managers regarding their perceived value of the company’s stage-gated process and their roles in the process.
Survey responses suggested the process was viewed as a bureaucratic process that fostered a check the box mentality rather than a value-adding process requiring discipline and engagement at each phase of project development.
Based on this feedback, the IPA Institute focused the seminar on the advantages of implementing and following stage-gated processes, relying on previous IPA research to support the advantages of adhering to the work process. The seminar delved into the client’s gated process by reviewing and identifying, for each stage-gated phase during FEL, the phase objective, key decisions, and key deliverables. Organized discussions about the client’s stage-gated process were also built into the seminar, centering on key functions and their roles and challenges associated with certain governance roles.
IPA’s E&P Pathway to Success framework for assessing the total asset, including illustrations and graphs using data from IPA’s upstream projects database, was used to demonstrate the way in which improved project performance outcomes coincide with adherence to the IPA framework. Project case examples and exercises were created and used throughout the seminar to reinforce the learning objectives.
Delivery and Client Use of the Results
Responses to the pre-seminar survey were eye-opening for the client and helped shape the course’s direction. The seminar was administered to the client’s senior management in a traditional classroom setting and received positive feedback from participants. The senior management personnel now have a better understanding of not only their individual roles within the company’s stage-gated process but also the overall value of the process and how a check the box mentality can undermine the objective.