The teams were formed and the change process began we ran a series of workshops and led the four 20-strong operations teams, allowing everyone the chance to express their opinions on the proposed changes and the way they wanted to be managed and communicated with before working together to find solutions.
A critical part of the whole progress was developing mutual trust. The management team visited each workshop for an informal lunch, an exercise considered extremely valuable for building trust by management and teams alike. We helped to implement over 50 initiatives born from the workshops, including ‘reducing paperwork’, ‘developing the best training models’, and ‘improving and streamlining permit procedures’.
‘The quality of the team leaders was a critical factor in the success. ‘They needed people with excellent technical skills and platform experience, who were well respected by their team members, who could lead and command in a crisis, but who also had strong people skills and a real passion in developing their people.
‘The biggest change in the way they do things, is that the operations and maintenance functions are working much closer together and with a much better understanding of each other’s roles, and this means that safety has improved 100 per cent. This is undoubtedly the way forward. Not everyone was entirely in agreement with the new way of working but it’s working so much better than before. There were too many departments trying to run a one-man band, but now we’re all becoming multi-skilled and learning about each other’s jobs.’
The new way of working has also changed the way the teams regard each other, making their bonds closer. ‘The operations personnel previously said mechanics had an easy time of things and vice versa, but now we all appreciate the difficulties.
‘The banter has improved too – it used to be case of operations personnel regarding mechanics as big spanners and instruments as wee spanners. Nowadays it’s fair to say that in many ways we’re all spanners!
Vital Resources consultants spent much time offshore, driving, devising plans and advising and helping the teams to implement their plans. The ’two on two’ off rotational schedule meant that communications between some of the teams was very distant and Vital Resources were able to bridge this gap very effectively. If we had not employed this method, it would have been likely that the whole concept might have’ foundered’, this approach, with their involvement has been vital.
The platform was run in two major silos production and maintenance. This meant:-
Vital Resources prepared and facilitated performance workshops, recorded and collated all data and then worked with the offshore and onshore personnel in order to implement the proposals. Vital Resources role has proved invaluable, since as an ‘objective’ third party we have been able to bridge the gap between management and worker and have developed excellent communications at all levels.
This approach to performance improvement has been very successful. It could be used as a model for similar improvements in operating practices across many organisations. Vital Resources have driven the process throughout. We now have a ‘process manual’ based upon the experience on this project which could be used as a tool to replicate similar changes where there is a need to improve performance.