by Jason Skurcenski

Challenge

Having an up-to-date land and Geographic Information System (GIS) application is imperative for oil and gas companies as they identify well locations and manage land leases. However, software application upgrades can be time intensive and require thorough project management and coordination with internal and external staff. With its leadership already focused on the planning of several other concurrent strategic business and IT initiatives in addition to day-to-day business activities, the organization engaged Point B to help plan and execute the required software upgrade.

Detailed plans for success  

The Point B team began by bringing together the appropriate stakeholders from our client’s legal, business, and IT teams in order to understand the organization’s requirements and the work effort needed from each group.

With this understanding, we negotiated and established a clear contract and statement of work with the land/GIS software vendor—including pricing and scheduling. We also established a detailed plan that allowed each team to effectively plan for and schedule the required work from its team.

Project leadership makes the difference

Recognizing the integral part that the Land/GIS system plays in the organization’s business processes and the resulting cyclical nature of the GIS software upgrades, the Point B team implemented additional standard project leadership strategies. Our goals: to enhance the quality of the upgrade and reduce vendor cost and dependency in future upgrades.

Our project leadership strategies included:

  • A structured test approach
  • Testing by business subject experts early in the process
  • Cross-team planning and coordination
  • Documentation of the upgrade process and procedures

Point B’s leadership in contracting with the system vendor, together with our cross-team project planning and coordination, enabled our client’s organization to successfully upgrade its Land/GIS software without losing momentum on other strategic business and IT initiatives or impacting day to day operations.

We were also able to minimize post-go-live errors through a structured testing approach. Last, but not least in the eyes of our client, we reduced the cost of, and dependency on, the software vendor for future upgrades.