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In the News: BP guides Denver project management tool development

Oil & Gas Today discuss with BP digital portfolio owner for productivity John O’Connor - how the creation of an end-to-end digital solution, provided transparency to cost and schedule performance across its entire portfolio of capital projects.

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Oil and gas digital specialist Denver has launched the Nostra project and portfolio management solution, which was created alongside BP.

Developed more than a decade ago for BP, the company helped create a tool that accommodated the project management needs of its operations.

BP digital portfolio owner for productivity John O’Connor said the company first teamed up with Denver in 2009 at its Brisbane refinery to create an end-to-end digital solution that provided transparency to cost and schedule performance across its entire portfolio of capital projects.

Nostra was created by the people who need the tool the most – project professionals who work in the oil, gas or mining industry.

Not only does the product help drive organisational success by providing a comprehensive solution that fosters greater collaboration of stakeholders across the business, but has undergone technological development to become a solution that other asset-intensive organisations could benefit from.

“We found the more we used Nostra, the far easier it was to estimate what we wanted to spend the next year. Then as we executed and delivered it, the closer we came to spending it effectively and the better we were at getting out funding for the next year. We found that we were getting more confident with the projects,” O’Connor said.

“The way we set it up is that they have all the relevant information at their finger tips straight away, so we were getting far better feedback than before.”

Denver director of strategic consulting Paul Northcote further highlighted that over the 10 years of developing the product, the company found that it didn’t matter if a project was worth $10,000 or $100 million, it needed to be delivered on time and within budget.

“The feedback we’ve received from project managers is so positive. When they see what Nostra is capable of, it immediately resonates with them as the solution was intuitively designed by project managers who fully understand how projects are managed,” Northcote said.

“By having all the information pooled together so that it is presented in the same environment, it brings simplicity and efficiency, helping teams deliver on the financial, operational and project performance.”

When it comes to the importance of technology within a workplace, O’Connor emphasised that it was critical in order to progress.

“Digital is getting far bigger in BP and is seen as a key driver going forward. As an industry that hasn’t typically embraced technology as well as it could, we are really diving into it and see it as a key enabler for efficiency and optimisation going forward,” he said.

In addition, through Nostra being implemented at BP’s facilities in Germany, Europe and the United States, Denver discovered the need for its product to be linguistically viable.

With the ability to provide access to other systems, Nostra can centralise all project management information in one place, which overcomes the challenge of other programs or software legacy systems that may be used throughout different projects, countries or sites.

“It has been incredibly successful in BP, and we have progressively built on it. When we took the product to Germany we had to make it linguistically viable. By doing that it made it highly configurable and I didn’t realise how valuable that would be going forward. It has put it in a unique position and it can go to various places,” O’Connor explained.

Following the success of Nostra, BP now uses it in six of its refineries globally, with plans to implement it into its upstream operations.

“With less time spent tracking and checking their data, project managers had more time to analyse and manage their projects leading to improved predictability and costs,” O’Connor said.

“To ensure that Nostra adapts to the changing project and portfolio management needs of asset intensive organisations, ongoing product development will be driven using a governance model originally put together by BP and Denver, to ensure consistency across new requirements and changes from new Nostra customers. This will ensure that Nostra’s scope continues to evolve and adapt to the wider industry needs and market conditions,” Northcote concluded.

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