Wednesday, 23 June 2010
There are plenty of regular, sometimes daily, activities in the oil sector where knowledge can be reused for process improvement, such as drilling or construction. These are activities that go on all the time.
There is also irregular activity; activity that occurs in bursts, and then there is a long gap until the next burst. It is activity such as this where KM delivers perhaps the greatest value for both process improvement and strategic advantage, as you cannot rely on the human memory to remember the details of the previous burst of activity, which may have been 3 or 4 years before. (These are the cases which Nancy Dixon refers to as "Far Transfer"). On example of irregular activity might include mergers and acquisitions. Another is licensing rounds.
Most countries divide their territory (onshore and offshore) into licence areas or licence blocks, and periodically issue licences for companies to explore these areas. The licences are issued via licensing rounds, and blocks are awarded on the basis of the work programme bid by the participants. Non-active licences have to be relinquished and are rebid. Because licence rounds are highly competitive, and because they are the only way for the companies to access new reserves, then it is highly important in strategic terms to prepare good and competitve bids, without overbidding on acreage that later turns out to contain nothing. Bidding in licence rounds therefore requires huge application of knowledge and judgment.
When I was working as Knowledge Manager in BP Norway in the mid 90s, we had a highly successful 14th Norwegian round, including the award of a share in the "Golden Block", which turned out to contain the Kvitebjorn field. After the round was over, we conducted several retrospects with the core team and subteams to identify and record the knowledge of why things had gone so well. As a result, we put together a guidance document of tips and hints and successful practices, which was our "codified knowledge" of executing licence rounds successfully. Shortly afterwards, BP Australia got in touch with us, as they were about to go through their own licence round. Norway sent them the guy who had been the bid document coordinator for the Norwegian round, plus a copy of the good practice report, so they could "Learn Before" and reapply the knowledge in their own context.
Posted by Nick Milton at 08:07