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Stop talking about saving time

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Digital oilfield technologies are often sold on the basis of the time savings they offer. Is this the best technique for getting them used in the industry?

'I have a personal theory that says that the busiest people have the most time, generally because they are the best organised,' said Julian Pickering of Digital Oilfield Solutions, speaking at the Digital Energy Journal 2012 Kuala Lumpur conference.

'One of the problems in our industry is we talk very glibly about saving time, its quicker to do this and all the rest of it, but it's kind of talking in the third party, we're not talking about ourselves. It's going to save someone else some time, or these people are going to be quicker.'

'How many people here would be willing to stand up to their boss and say, I've done everything I think I came in to do, it's 2 o'clock I think I'll go home, is that OK?'

'No, because we created this smokescreen of how busy we are. We say, I'm up to here, I can't, I've got no time, I'll stay in the office until 8 o'clock because I might be noticed by someone else and that will get me up the ladder. We're not actually ourselves working efficiently. We need to change the culture of the organisation where we work efficiently.'

'People are impressed, or people think they are impressed because someone is snowed under, and that doesn't necessarily equate to efficient working at all. Theirs is something about looking at the way we work.'

'We spend half our life in school talking about how we're not really studying but we're really secretly burning the midnight oil,' said John Redfern, Digital Earth. 'And then we start working, and we're not working as hard but we're always bragging about how hard we're working.

'At my very first job in an oil company, the only 2 bits of advice my boss gave me after the first month, were, one, put some money in your lunch budget, because I've been lunching a guy every day, every month, for the last 10 years and if you can do your job without doing it they're going to be asking what I was doing. Two, Put some files on your desk - it's too clean - they'll assume you're not doing any work.'

'When I first came to China, I spent the first year trying to sell software to the electronics industry. We had all these American use cases that say, 'you'll save so many man hours per month' and they don't care,' Mr Redfern said.

'The guy said, OK, it will save a few man hours. For the price of this software I can hire a full time engineer and he makes my coffee.'

'Certainly when we look at digital oilfield business cases, it is hardly worth calculating the cost savings,' Tony Edwards agreed.

But if you make an argument about how much drill rig time the software can save, the ales argument goes better, he said.



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» Digital Oilfield Solutions Ltd
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