Tim Wigham, Head of Performance Improvement at EXCEED well management and performance improvement specialist, shares why investing in your people, processes and performance will yield significant long term savings.

With the industry in a constant state of change, now is the time to invest in ways to optimise operational efficiency. The pressure on management is immense, cost pressures are increasing, and the key challenge facing operators is having to ‘do more with less’.

Added to this is the requirement for operators to apply solutions which enhance safety, increase reliability and uptime, and reduce well construction time and costs. Implementing a proven systematic approach to planning and learning is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’; it’s an essential component to help the industry maximise efficiency and become more resilient.

Having worked with operators internationally as well as the North Sea[AW1] , EXCEED's performance improvement methodology achieves these efficiency aims whilst typically delivering a return in investment in excess of 10 : 1. That’s a significant $10million saved for every $1million invested.

With clearly quantifiable benefits, now of all times is when investment should be made into a solution that is guaranteed to deliver a return that significantly exceeds the initial investment.

Performance Coaching

Performance improvement is not about reinventing the wheel or introducing new technology. It is to help operators achieve optimal performance by getting the most out of their existing systems and processes, working alongside their team inclusive of contractor and service partners.

EXCEED coaches work side-by-side with the rig leadership team to benchmark performance, identify improvement opportunities, track and close out lessons learned, and ultimately accelerate the learning curve. The earlier the engagement, the greater the opportunity for learning, particularly on shorter campaigns where the operator has get it right first time.

This dedicated expertise ensures the rig leadership team can confidently focus their undivided attention on managing operations and logistics, with the assurance that they have the resources in place to track performance, close out lessons learned, and drive the continuous improvement process.

EXCEED boasts a ten-year track record. Over that time, the engagement and delivery model has consistently evolved and we now offer a tried and test approach, with evidence that it works. A recent example of the success of our approach was during a two-well project we completed earlier this year with an oil and gas supermajor in Southeast Asia.

Case Study

From April to October 2015, EXCEED was contracted by the operator for a two-well drilling campaign in Southeast Asia to help alleviate planning and streamline processes for improved rig efficiency. The short project duration meant the team needed to make an immediate impact – effectively hitting the deck ready to go.

Straight away, EXCEED relieved some of the workload through the integration of risk management, HSE bridging documentation, drilling program and logistics plans and the transfer of plans to the rig team. Thereafter, we worked to engage the rig team and service partners during the Drill the Well on Paper (DWOP) phase, sharing past experiences, incidents, successes and failures and considering potential risks to the project, both positive and negative.

A strong focus was placed on what contributed to inefficiency and how time and cost savings could be made. Offshore, we facilitated advance planning meetings focused on planning the work ahead, editing work instructions and ensuring offline preparation tasks were completed ahead of the critical path.

Weekly conference calls from the rig to the onshore team provided a forum to discuss and close lessons learned. Most importantly, solutions were applied to the correct governing documents to benefit future operations.

Engaging the Wider Team

The key to getting the most out of people is to genuinely invest in them. The project included a diverse workforce from Japan, Malaysia and Europe, so we developed a team identity that transcended all cultures and supported a legacy that will live on long after the job was complete.

The brand for this project was called ‘TENAGA.’ A regional word for dragon, a protector of the sea, this clearly embodied team spirit and a culture of safety – both vital for the project. With many challenges and significant lessons learned, the TENAGA team used each obstacle as a launch pad for tighter teamwork, better communication and continuous improvement.

Lessons Learned and Working Smarter

A safe and productive work place relies on inspiring leadership, strong teamwork, committed crew and good morale – all of which were achieved on this project.

Going back to basics with the rig teams helped them embrace new ways of working, and resulted in impressive savings. As it was a two well project, we were able to learn from issues that arose on the initial well and immediately implement and apply key improvements.

Research consistently proves that visual learning is the most effective means of transferring and retaining information. First to introduce videos as part of our performance improvement process, EXCEED coaches also film, edit, and produce rig activity and safety videos.

The resulting videos are used as planning and learning tools, integrated with the relevant work instructions and accessed via iVISION. This is our online knowledge management platform to enhance safety, accelerate learning, encourage transfer of best practice and promote standardisation.

With zero recordable incidents throughout the project, 350 lessons were captured and closed out and implemented with a further 170 WorkSmart ideas submitted. This led to the project coming in safely, on time and under budget, whilst the TENAGA team spirit improved throughout the campaign.

By dedicating a committed resource and developing a continuous improvement model from DWOP through to final review, sizable cost savings were achieved on the two-well project. Overall, the project team realised savings in excess of $15million on the campaign.


In the current climate where operational efficiency is key, performance coaching should no longer be considered an optional luxury. Combatting inefficiency is a responsibility. It is an essential part of rig operations which demonstrably instils an improved safety culture and increased productive time and has proven to pay for itself many times over.

For more details, visit Performance Improvement

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