Oil Market and MSP Programme Management

Last Updated on March 1, 2024 by Nadeem Ahmed

“Crossing boundaries is by no means the exclusive preserve of project professionals”.  – Plant Management Professional of the Year 2005. Many professionals will choose an MSP Programme Management Course.

Oil & gas spend $7.5 billion every year!  This figure describes the industry but also the problems which it faces.  Fundamentally, there is a perception that “programme management” (as opposed to “execution management”) really does make things happen.  This is far from the truth.  Everybody in this industry will tell you that “if it ain’t broke, don’t Fix it”… Project Managers and programme managers are now far more likely to have a “Plan B” in this day and age.  After all, project management has changed immensely over the years.  Some of those changes have really been profound.  In the past it would involve lots of meetings and very little – no mixed – skills discussions.  Now the consensus is that less meetings are correct, a more open approach is better and the more focus on the content is a must.

Stable project management has never been more important.  Project managers are overloaded on more non-core activities (collecting measures, requests, financial information, budgets, process surveys) which mean that they spend more time running out of time to even implement management projects in the first place,  In reality,  time is money and the more time that can’t be spent managing change, it is just a waste.

There are basically three different types of project management application out there.  Which one is right for you depends on their abilities and skills with respect to the core market.  Everyone has their own criteria and in this we will focus on two very different specializations in project management.  One of which is “traditional” project and the other one is “agnostic project”.  This eventually fits in with the ISO (International Standards Organization) umbrella of management practices.

Traditional Project

Project teams are very cross-functional.  We meet with engineers, consultants, sales, marketing, operations and people from finance, human resources, IT/software and finance.  The spectrum of people issues involved is huge.   The priorities of our team is driven by the categories listed above.  This process is “traditional” in the sense that it is more than 20 years old.

Modern Project

This type of project is extremely small and dispersed, with people involved from different functional areas.  Our team is composed of people who have a passion for the work that they’re doing.  We come up with our own process strategies as our team works together.  Unfortunately, we still have to deliver projects in “traditional” behaviours.

Important: The project is more like a team effort and less like a project.  Labels do not seem to be very important anymore – except in the sense that somewhere along the way there has been a shift towards ” paraphrasing ” as team members switch and done a bit of internal messaging.  The success of a project is driven by how well your team works together.

Successes of Resources Used

First the two types of projects can be very exciting as they both have potential to be very successful.  Once you’ve decided to try one type or another, the real question is will you be successful or not.  The key here is one of attitude.  If you don’t out-perform the results, just the focus of the project on the wrong resources will not deliver a successful project.  In most scenarios the resources you will need are provided for you by the project performance metrics/Domain Scorecard.  The propsect of external AM will be fairly transparent and dependent on the project.  In our case we use strategies like “cross-functional” session meetings during project meetings in order to improve the Microsoft Project quality process through structured SPC (Reporting StyleProductivity scientifically).

Write a good project plan.  If you don’t, then you’re likely to spend too much time on planning.  The great tools are MS Projects and MS Project Pro.  Productivity negate project scope creep.

Make sure that scope avoidance is included in the plan.  It is very easy for a team to spend time on un-critical tasks and this results in wasted resources of both time and money.  Release executive can easily determine whether scope creep kills the project or not.