Bringing Reality to Activity based vs Role!
Upstream Gas Field example of why Activity based thinking in Operational Experience design is going to be critical for success.
Last week I introduced the concepts of “Activity based “user interfaces vs Role Based, this is shift, and I want to this week bring reality to this concept with a story.
Here is Australia we have a number of big projects around “Unconventional Gas” like elsewhere in the world this is introducing significant operational challengers. The challenge with this type application is in traditional gas a well was drilled and would produce 20 years and it would be managed, the new unconventional gas type fields you have 1 to 6 new wells been drilled and coming on line a day, they only live 3 to 5 years , and you have 1000s of them.
To put this context a particular project traditionally would have had an operator every 5 to 10 wells, but they only have 25 to 50 wells, but in the next 2 years this company will drill 10000 wells, and they don’t plan on having 2000 operators. What they expect is an operator will be able to handle 50 to 100 wells, and eventually the “Operational Center” overlooking all the fields will handle all 10000 wells. So here we have an application which will have:
· Roaming operational workers working out of car, but connected and able to go to a particular well or compressions center.
· Local compressor operator stations controlling local water treatment/ or compressor plants
· Basin or field control stations controls 1 to 5000 wells in the field
· Operational Center can control all operations 10000 wells, 400 compressor stations etc.
The operational execution plan to run this operation requires a team of people between all these types of user interfaces that can collaborate, and execute activities. Due to the fact that the distance between wells is approx. 1 km, the distributed operational system is 1000s km / miles in area.
When designing the operational experience for this application, requires thinking to enable decisions to be made quickly, with the assigning of activities dynamically to knowledge workers based on skill and location and this requires:
· The wells and assets to be intelligent so they report by exception, so the operational workers, operators, maintenance, or process engineers do not have to monitor the system, the system monitors itself and prompts on exception and this is not alarming it could be escalation based on a number conditions.
· How a worker could be at say the field control center, then accept a task to be done, get in their car and drive to a site maybe 100km away, and still be in contact, still be able to see the information, and still able perform actions, and collaborate with the other members of the team.
You will see an important step here the knowledge worker from the Field office accepted a task/ activity, probably based upon information on a condition that would effect production. This activity may have been within the scope of his role, but now he is 100km out in the field and the “operational Center” notices another unsafe condition beginning to develop in a compressor station 20 km from where the field worker is. Due to the fact that he is the only personal within 100 km, and therefore a couple of hours closer to situation, the Operational Center should be able to assign a new activity/ task to the field worker. He is able to accept this, even though the task and activity is outside of his role, on immediately accepting the activity all the required training, online instruction is available to field worker from his roaming unit (car) and he is able to collaborate with the operational center and other experienced team members. The field worker is effectively acting as an agent for others to go to compressor station, while driving the 20km to the site, he able to communicate with the experts and understand the objectives and results intended and the current situation.
This is more than assigning a task/ activity it is the fact that the system is designed in activities with all the required data, information, experts, knowledge, procedures, online instructions including online certification if need. This design enables a dynamic operational strategy to be applied across devices, roles and locations.
Interesting thought, does traditional HMI / operator station design thinking satisfy the above??
There seems to be confusion on the concept of "Federation" so standby lets discuss next issue.