BP’s Cherry Point Refinery in Washington, the United States, uses IBM Maximo enterprise asset management to manage operations effectively, including business-critical activities such as preventive maintenance, procurement, and inventory management.
However, the version of Maximo used at Cherry Point was out of support, presenting an unacceptable ongoing business risk. BP decided to upgrade the system to restore its supported status and issued a request for a quotation for a firm to assist.
BP engaged Denver in late June 2016 and the solutions and services provider completed the implementation on schedule, on 2 February 2017. Denver tested the system effectively to ensure responsiveness to user requests – particularly under load – was at least as fast as under the previous system. Furthermore, the provider right-sized the hardware used to run the system, helping reduce BP’s datacentre footprint.
BP’s Cherry Point leadership team was impressed enough with the outcome to label the IBM Maximo upgrade “the most successful IT project ever delivered at the Cherry Point refinery,” according to John Green, Manager of IT Strategy, Architecture and Project Portfolios for Global Refining & International Businesses, BP.
For BP’s Cherry Point Refinery in Washington, the United States, effective asset management is key to safe, efficient operations. The facility uses IBM Maximo enterprise asset management to manage operations effectively, including business-critical activities such as preventive maintenance, procurement and inventory management. About two-thirds of an 1,100-strong workforce – including contractors and employees – use the system.
However, the version of Maximo used at Cherry Point was out of support, presenting an unacceptable ongoing business risk. BP decided to issue a request for quotation for a firm to upgrade the system to restore its supported status.
“This was an important project for BP as, if the software experienced problems, IBM was not in a position to help,” says Max Rock, Denver. “BP needed a safe, proven pair of hands to align the system, processes and people and deliver a complete technical upgrade. This would allow Cherry Point team members to carry out operations safely, effectively and efficiently.”
As part of the upgrade, the successful bidder would have to remove some customisations that added complexity to the system.
BP selected Denver to complete the technical upgrade quickly and efficiently – with the firm’s ability to align people and processes to technical and business requirements key to the decision. Other reasons for BP’s decision included Denver’s successful completion of several projects for the business; the team’s knowledge and experience with refineries; its skill and expertise working with Maximo; and its ability to communicate effectively with BP’s in-house team and third parties.
For BP, the Cherry Point project sat within the Downstream One Maximo program, an architecture strategy that aligned the Maximo instances across its operations. The program aimed to ensure commonality to streamline Maximo support, enhancements and upgrades.
BP initially proposed to complete an in-place upgrade on existing hardware. However, Denver proposed instead to deliver the project on new hardware – specifically a new app server. “They accepted our reasons for the change, which included development and execution of a clear backup strategy; risk mitigation; and the fact the change would allow us to complete the upgrade in a smaller window, which meant a shorter outage,” says Rock.
“Within asset intensive organisations, enterprise asset management projects often fail to clear hurdles,” says Rock. “That is not an option for Denver. Approaching every Maximo project from a strategic perspective is the only way to deliver projects successfully.
“At a tactical level, we ensure projects continue to move forward if any products or processes experience problems,” he adds. “For instance, our approach at Cherry Point meant we simply needed to switch the old system back on if we experienced any issues.”
BP engaged Denver in late June 2016 and the solutions and services provider completed the implementation on schedule, on 2 February 2017. The provider finalised the project at the end of the following month. Denver operated effectively as the lead contractor for the upgrade and coordinated with BP and a range of third parties. “We worked closely with BP’s support organisation to conduct proofs of concept, testing, development of the upgrade approach and implementation,” says Rock. “We also worked with datacentre hardware, system and database support, digital security and performance testing and interface teams from a range of vendors.”
Rock attributes the success of the project to planning, persistence and communication. “On the planning side, we submitted an in-depth project plan in response to the request for quotation, and stuck to it throughout the exercise,” he says. “We also undertook a range of communication measures, including documenting and diagramming interfaces. And on the persistence front, we’d call other parties if work wasn’t being completed – and involve the project manager in the conversation if we had to.”
Denver completed the project within tight timeframes and tested the system effectively to ensure responsiveness to user requests – particularly under load – was at least as fast as under the previous system. Furthermore, the provider right-sized the hardware used to run the system, helping reduce its datacentre footprint.
“Implementing the Cherry Point upgrade project successfully was absolutely vital for the client and reinforced our ability to deliver,” concludes Rock.
BP’s Cherry Point leadership team was impressed enough with the outcome to label the IBM Maximo upgrade “the most successful IT project ever delivered at the Cherry Point refinery,” according to John Green, former Manager of IT Strategy, Architecture and Project Portfolios for Global Refining & International Businesses, BP.
“ The Cherry Point Maximo upgrade was a very high risk project due to the age of the existing version, extensive software customisations, a tight budget and a fixed delivery timeline driven by a major upcoming turnaround,” says Green. The skill and experience brought to the project by the Denver team enabled the successful delivery of the project on time, under budget and within scope.”
The leadership team lauded the collaboration between BP and contractors – that included Denver – as a ‘One Team’ effort – and pointed out the project benefits flowed on to a similar initiative at its Toledo refinery. “This was a technical upgrade of Maximo, removing non-standard functionality, reducing business risk and lowering the cost of maintenance and future upgrades,” the team says.
The project – that involved cutting over 12 systems external to Maximo, with 29 discrete interfaces – was delivered without business interruptions, the team adds. “All the work was meticulously documented and shared with our Toledo refinery [and] this has created a lasting legacy, not only for Cherry Point but for Toledo. We [were] very fortunate to have top-calibre people working together with the right values and behaviours to deliver these outcomes at Cherry Point.”
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