Digitalisation is a hot topic in the Oil & Gas industry, with many players in the market offering digitalisation services and products. There is so much information on the topic that users are overwhelmed and confused. Users often don’t know where to start. And once they got going and have identified digitalisation technologies, they often struggle to get the technologies deployed.
How to see the wood for the trees, and select the right digital technologies? What makes that some technologies get deployed, and other seemingly superior products struggle to get traction? How can you maximise the chances of success, and organise your activities such that the uptake of technology is accelerated?
People who have been involved in technology deployment activities will no doubt recognise these questions. And there are many other questions and challenges that come up as part of technology deployment activities!
Technology Deployment is a capability, and it takes time to build such capability. The founders of Deployment Matters have experienced that in practice. They led deployment activities in support of producing assets (in the remainder of this blog called ‘assets’) and greenfield/brownfield projects (in the remainder of this blog called ‘projects’) in a major Oil & Gas operating company. About 40% of the technologies in the portfolio were digital technologies. ~600 deployments were successfully delivered, resulting in net cash of >$1 billion.
The initial uptake was slow though, as the curve on the right-hand side shows. We have captured our experiences in tools, processes and insights that we make available to our clients, such that you can realise an uptake for technology even faster than the curve below shows by implementing our learnings.
The Technology Catalogue (www.technologycatalogue.com) is one of the critical tools for accelerated technology deployment, and is an example of digitalisation in itself. This webplatform enables people to quickly find available technology solutions for specific business challenges, similar to e.g. TripAdvisor, but then focusing on technologies for (initially) Oil & Gas instead of hotels etc.
We launched the catalogue last month with the initial batch of technologies, and we already welcomed >800 unique visitors to the site. Users can register and access the catalogue for free; suppliers pay a fee per technology per annum (academia and start-ups can include their technologies for free under certain conditions; contact us for details). You can expect to see an increase in number of technologies, modules and functionality in the coming period. We welcome your feedback!
Knowing what is available helps, but that alone is often not sufficient. It needs to be combined with knowing how to get it done. In support of this, we developed an intensive 1-day management training programme. Key takeaways that participants will get from this programme:
- Understand what makes that digital and non-digital technology gets deployed.
- Know how to use the right tools & processes to effectively address business challenges with technology.
- Understand the critical success factors for making the actual deployments happen and organise the technology delivery in line with these critical factors.
The programme is split in 10 modules. Throughout the course, there will be small group and plenary discussions. In summary, the following is covered in each module. If you like to receive a full summary of the course, please contact the Course Director, Erik Nijveld (email@example.com).
In this module, we discuss what makes technology deployment challenging. A typical challenge that always comes up is: “our industry is very risk-averse”. There is truth in it, but our experience is also that ‘risk-averseness’ is often confused with other factors that are at play, such as:
- People busy with day-to-day operations often don’t have the time and/or specific expertise to find out about technologies that can address their business challenges, or,
- They simply don’t know where to start with technology, or,
- Technology competes with many other things that can be done to improve performance.
We will discuss these and other factors. By understanding better what the key reasons are why technology is not picked up, we can do something about it.
2. Stepping in the shoes of asset and project leaders.
In this module, we explore and discuss the way asset and project leaders look at technology. The way these leaders typically think when it comes to technology & innovation can be summarised in three bullets.
- Most opportunities for improvement require no (new) technology at all.
- For areas where technology can play a role, the focus is on replication of proven technology.
- For any remaining big-ticket items, develop & deploy something new.
If asset and project leaders only focus on solutions as per the first bullet, they leave money on the table. The right approach has to be taken to introduce technology, and this programme helps you with that.
3. Understanding the business challenges/opportunities.
In this module, we explore areas where significant opportunities for technology can be found. A starting point can be the existing business improvement plans. Our experience is though that these plans often mostly take into account conventional solutions to improve performance. Examples are discussed what the ‘potential’ would look like by challenging assumptions that formed the basis for the improvement plans. Significant impact can be realised as a result, as e.g. illustrated in our recent blog – Focussed Technology Deployment: Reducing turnaround duration by 10-100%. The reduction can be achieved through a combination of non-digital and digital technologies (such as inspection robots).
4. Addressing the business challenges by applying a portfolio approach.
We strongly recommend a portfolio approach when introducing technology. Start with technologies with high ‘do-ability’. Once success has been made and a trustful relationship is in place, then it is the time to introduce novel solutions. We will discuss the tactics in detail as part of this module.
5. How to select technologies?
There are literally thousands of technologies on the market, and how to see the wood for the trees? Just like in daily life where we’re used to e.g. TripAdvisor to find hotels and restaurants, it is essential to give users easy access to technologies available on the market. The Technology Catalogue connects technology suppliers, users and experts. It helps suppliers to increase visibility for their technologies and helps users to see the wood for the trees. User/expert reviews give the confidence to accelerate the uptake of technology. Nothing gives more confidence than a review from someone we trust. In this module, various exercises are done in which participants apply the Technology Catalogue to select technologies.
6. Why are simple technologies unfortunately often not that simple?
In this module, we explore together with the course participants why seemingly simple technologies are not that simple after all. Many people who have been involved in technology deployment may recognise questions such as: “This is so simple, why has it not been done before?” In hindsight, technology deployment often looks easy… This short module forms the introduction to the next module, in which we analyse in detail what determines the (perceived) impact versus (perceived) do-ability of technologies, and the steps that can be taken to increase the chances of success.
7. The Technology Stress Test.
This is one of the key modules of the training programme. What makes that some technologies get deployed, and other seemingly superior products struggle to get traction? Our Technology Stress Test – based on 20 years of technology deployment experience – gives key insights.
The Technology Stress Test is performed through a structured dialogue around ~30 criteria grouped under 7 themes. The know-how that was used to develop the Technology Stress Test formed the basis for >600 successful deployments in recent years, resulting in >$1 billion net cash. Based on the outcome of the Stress Test, specific actions can be taken to increase the chances of success. See also the separate blog about the Technology Stress Test.
Experience shows that many digital technologies that seemingly get a lot of attention don’t necessarily score high in terms of do-ability. There may therefore be better digital technologies to start with.
8. Technology Mapping process.
This module starts with a question to the participants. What’s more effective? Start with the specific business challenges and select technologies that can address the challenges. Or: start with a list of technologies that worked for other assets/projects and assess impact for your asset/project? The answer is: it depends. Both approaches can work. It makes sense to start with the business challenges. Reality also is that most challenges are not unique to one asset or project. If a technology made a lot of money for one asset, it’s worth checking whether the same goes for your asset. In this module, we discuss a simple, fit-for-purpose process to conduct the mapping exercise.
9. Critical success factors for successful technology deployment.
In this module we discuss Critical Success Factors for technology deployment, based on all the years that we have been involved in getting technology deployed and replicated. By organising your technology delivery taking into account the critical success factors, you can maximise the chances that the technology gets deployed, and you can realise an uptake for technology as per the uptake curve in the figure shown at the start of this blog (or even faster, avoiding the slow uptake in the initial years!).
10. Reflection – what will you do differently?
The final module in the course is a session in which participants reflect – individually and in small groups – what their learnings are from the programme, and what they will start doing differently as a result. Something we encourage: focus on the key learnings. It’s more effective to take action on 3-5 items, than walk out with 30 items and run the risk that nothing happens. At the end there is one main measure of success: actual technology deployments, with tangible value delivery as a result!
You can download the course flyer or check the latest course schedule via our website (click here).
If you have any questions about this blog, the course or other topics: please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org