Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Knowledge transfer is the process by which experienced personnel share-distribute knowledge, skills and behaviors with colleagues, and with personnel who will replace them.

Since the 2014 economic downturn, the oil and gas industry continues to lose many talented professionals who cannot be replaced. Some are moving away or changing careers and thus will be unavailable for future hiring. Worse, this attrition is increasing as more baby boomers reach retirement age. With the loss of these resources, new talent alone simply cannot replace the experience and knowledge that leaves with them. New talent will need to be attracted and retained, and knowledge needs to be transferred from the existing to the new talent. This article provides more information: Canada’s Oil & Gas Workforce Will Need More Than Talent or Canada’s oil and gas workforce will need more than talent.

The Independent Project Analysis (IPA) Industry Analysis reported in 2011 that 78% of projects experienced cost or schedule overruns. In 2014, the Ernst & Young Global Ltd. (E&Y) Spotlight on oil and gas Megaprojects reported that 64% of projects experience cost overruns and 73% of projects experience schedule overruns. In 2014, Bent Flyvbjerg’s What You Should Know about Megaprojects and Why: An Overview reported that budget and schedule overruns are not a new phenomenon for oil and gas or other project-based industries.

The Knowledge Transfer (KT) Project provides key documents (guidelines and best practices) to support the successful supply and service of oil and gas projects, and projects in other sectors (e.g., industrial, infrastructure, mining and power). Knowledge transfer is the effective and efficient transfer of knowledge from subject matter experts to other professionals. KT Project documents capture decades of valuable, relevant subject matter expert knowledge and experience, and help organizations mitigate, minimize, and eliminate project challenges caused by knowledge gaps. KT Project documents save organizations significant time and money.

The inability to efficiently manage a complex supply chain, and deliver projects on time and on budget, is a major barrier to project success. Industry executives are more concerned about capital project predictability than ever. The Westney Consulting Group article Why Projects Overrun And What To Do About It states that many Canadian oil sands projects have experienced 50 to 100% cost overruns. Cost overruns and schedule delays are not unique to oil sands projects. In fact, these challenges are experienced across all industries, especially on major projects. What project does not want to decrease costs and downtimes, increase efficiency and predictability, and improve competitiveness? Industry needs innovative, cost-effective solutions now more than ever.

Tribal knowledge is unwritten information that may or may not be commonly known by others within a company. Tribal knowledge is required to efficiently produce a quality product or service. This knowledge may or may not be a best practice. Because tribal knowledge is undocumented, it is prone to change and variation over time.

Key knowledge is intelligence of crucial or paramount importance that provides an explanation or solution. Key knowledge is a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject as implicit (i.e., practical skill or expertise) or explicit (i.e., theoretical understanding of a subject). The KT Project describes a series of key knowledge topics, which are guidelines with proven rubrics for effective and profitable solutions that were developed from decades of experience.

Retention of critical knowledge involves capturing key knowledge in an organization so it can be used again later. It can be applied in the three domains of assets, people, and projects.

A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in producing and distributing or moving a product or service from the supplier to a customer. Supply chain activities involve the transformation of natural resources, raw materials, and components into a finished product.

The 2013 Oil Sands Manufacturing report by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) stated that the ability to deliver projects on time and on budget through efficient supply chains directly impacts investment decisions. As the primary solution, it recommended that detailed how-to guides be prepared to improve communications within the supply chain. The KT Project is a premier provider of guidelines for the supply and delivery of successful projects. These documents offer owners, EP companies, suppliers, and others, with the best practices and resources needed to strengthen supply chains by improving communication and increasing understanding.

The KT Project provides relevant, comprehensive, key documents (guidelines and best practices) to support the successful supply and service of oil and gas projects, and projects in other sectors (e.g., industrial, infrastructure, mining, and power). KT Project key documents are for an engineering and procurement (EP) company acting as an agent or a consultant for an owner-user or resource company. Guidelines key documents may also be applied by other organizations (e.g., consultants, constructors, distributors, fabricators, and manufacturers), with modifications where required to suit specific needs and work processes.

KT Project documents may be used as-is and are customizable. These documents can be rebranded with your organization’s logo and formatting. In addition, document contents may be customized to suit the specialized needs of your project or organization to include project-specific best practices, work processes and appropriate terminology.

The KT Project provides resources that eliminate, overcome, and prevent project supply and delivery challenges, including:

  • Best practices for common and atypical interactions and scenarios;
  • Clear strategies to mitigate and reduce risk;
  • Clearly-identified client- and project-specific requirements;
  • Comprehensive definitions and descriptions for thousands of common industry and project terms;
  • Easy-to-follow holistic flowcharts that illustrate and summarize general and specific steps for critical workflows, processes and procedures;
  • Effective methods to eliminate and minimize quality and technical adversity;
  • Guidance to increase value with continuous business;
  • Industry- and discipline-specific guidelines that minimize unwanted variation;
  • Proven methods to optimize team member alignment and focus;
  • Proven rubrics (key knowledge) for profitable solutions developed from decades of experience;
  • Step-by-step methods that standardize tasks;
  • Strategic tactics that minimize costs and maintain conformance to schedules; and,
  • Useful road maps to increase profit margins.

No! Does your project:

  • Maintain a database of precisely defined, current terminology?
  • Overuse similar terminology (e.g., preferred terminology is not defined or used)
  • Have and work with personnel with diverse backgrounds and experience?
  • Work with complex and multi-disciplined scopes that involve different industries?
  • Operate in more than one area, geographic region, or jurisdiction?

The nature of industry- and project-specific terminology means that this is a challenge that must be addressed. Without clear and continually improving communication, projects experience negative consequences (e.g., increased costs, schedule delays, or worse). Words are the master key to successful communication. Communication is the master key to successful projects. KT Project’s Common Industry and Project Terminology is a comprehensive reference that defines thousands of relevant industry and project terms. This article provides more information: Is Your Project Using the Master Keys to Success?.

Jargon is abbreviations, expressions, and specific words used by a group or profession, which are difficult for others outside the group or profession to understand (e.g., in the pipeline construction industry, the phrase poor‐boy crew).

Quality surveillance is the short form of the phrase supplier quality surveillance.

Supplier quality surveillance provides a risk management function, rather than a quality management function (e.g., it is not an ISO 9001, Quality Management Systems — Requirements program). Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent using four main components: quality planning, quality assurance, quality control, and quality improvement. Risk management is the identification, evaluation, and prioritization of risk exposures – followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability or impact of unforeseen events. Risk mitigation involves decreasing the probability of a negative risk occurring, and protecting project objectives from impacts of negative risk.

A supplier quality surveillance log is a spreadsheet or other resource (e.g., Microsoft Access, Excel, or SharePoint file or site) that is used to record and analyze information about inspection assignments. A log may have few or many data entry points.

Inspection is a quality surveillance activity performed by comparing inspection results with specified requirements to verify if conformity is achieved for a product or service (e.g., physically examining or measuring, reviewing documentation for one or more characteristics, or both).

An inspection and test plan is a quality document used to record and control all inspection and testing requirements relevant to a purchase order or scope of work. It details all inspections or tests, with referenced specifications or requirements and the acceptance criteria, and identifies the parties responsible for acceptance (e.g., signature and date for verification, witness, and hold points). This document lists the supplier’s name, address, job number, relevant equipment, and project names and numbers.

No! An automotive shop cannot be compared to an energy project supplier. Energy projects have dozens or hundreds of purchase orders issued to suppliers and their sub-suppliers in world-wide supply chains. Supplier quality surveillance is a risk management strategy used to ensure that materials and equipment are delivered completely, correctly, and on time. An inspector is a certified or qualified and experienced professional who also acts as the project’s “boots on the ground” or “eyes and ears” at the supplier’s facility. Projects will always need boots on the ground. This article provides more information: We Need Smart Boots More Than Smart Phones or We Need More Smart Boots, Not Smart Phones.

Here are five avoidable estimating mistakes that also apply to engineering and procurement projects.

  • Unrealistic expectations – optimistically or pessimistically biased expectations
  • All your eggs in one basket – other data sources not referenced or used
  • Lack of incorrect permits – incorrect or missing permits (or approvals)
  • Designing in a silo – constrictions or limitations not understood
  • Missing details – equipment, labour, and materials not accounted for

In recent years, only 31 percent of projects came within 10 percent of their budgets. Now 78 percent of engineering and construction companies believe that project risks are rising. Projects will benefit from, and need, KT Project resources to improve communication and increase understanding. This infographic provides more information:

The everything goes according to plan (EGAP) principle applies to a plan that is overly optimistic and unrealistic. It assumes that an activity or project will be completed without hindrance or challenge, and exactly as planned.

A best practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted over all alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means (e.g., the most efficient) or because it has become a standard way of doing things (e.g., to meet certification, ethical, or legal requirements). Best practices are used to maintain quality and can be based on benchmarking or self‐assessment. It is a feature of accredited management standards such as ISO 9000. A key talent required when applying a best practice is the ability to balance the unique qualities of an operation, organization, or system with the practices that it has in common with others.

A smart practice is the ability or the means of achieving a goal or objective in a safely and cost‐effective manner.

A smart project is intelligent and forward‐thinking.

A megaproject, gigaproject, or teraproject is a capital endeavour (e.g., large infrastructure construction project) that is characterized by:

  • A long timeline for development and construction (i.e., years)
  • Extreme or vast complexity (especially in organizational terms)
  • Involvement of multiple public stakeholders, private stakeholders, and large investment commitments (i.e., in the billions or trillions of dollars)
  • Potentially long‐lasting impacts to the economy, environment, and society.

According to Merriam‐Webster, the first use of the term megaproject was in 1976. Mega is an adjective that means very large; but as a unit of measurement, it means a million. Giga means a billion. Tera means a trillion. Recent developments in the size of the very largest projects indicate that we are in the tera era of trillion‐dollar projects. Projects with costs over CAD $1.34T (USD $1T) compare with the gross domestic product of the world’s top 20 nations, and are similar in size to the national economies of Australia and Canada.

The iron law of megaprojects is over budget, over time, over and over again. This law occurs in the presence of weak front‐end planning and poor project management.

The megaproject paradox is that even with risky scenarios, megaprojects have never been more in demand, and the size and frequency megaprojects have never been larger.

Reporting on reporting is when project management or stakeholders require source data to be transcribed from the original software to another software program or file format for reporting purposes. The collection of these data may be required from several sources that do not export or output data that correlates with the required reporting format or function, or both. Thus, a third software (e.g., another spreadsheet) may be used to filter, prepare, and sort the data for input as the reporting data. This work process may be time‐consuming and at high risk for counting, data input/output, or other errors.

A quality verification point is identified in the inspection requirements document or an inspection and test plan as: witness, hold, verification, or other activities (e.g., audit, document review, in‐process, observed, or non‐witnessed). For the supplier, these are quality control activities. For the engineering and procurement company, these are inspection activities.

A hold point is a critical quality verification point where quality surveillance representative attendance is mandatory. Work may not proceed past a hold point without their attendance or acceptance in writing. The supplier shall provide advance notification for attendance to be scheduled.

A witness point is an important quality verification point where work may proceed past a witness point after notification has been provided. The supplier shall provide advance notification for attendance to be scheduled. Also, a witnessed test generally identifies any activity at a supplier’s facility that is attended (witnessed) by project personnel (e.g., factory acceptance test, hold point, observation point, and walk down). An observation point or observed test is API’s phrase for a witness point.

Success is:

  • A lack of failure
  • A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity
  • The accomplishment of an aim or purpose (e.g., a desired or favourable outcome)
  • The attainment of popularity or profit.