It’s everyone’s favorite time of year – leaves turning, kids planning Halloween costumes, pumpkin spiced everything – that’s right, it’s Budget Season!!!
Having worked in-house at E&P companies for a decade or three, our team is familiar with the annual push-and-pull. How many wells should we drill? Are we going to backfill Georgina in Accounting and Jimmy in Ops? How the heck are we going get everything done next year?!
One really useful question to consider is “How are we going to increase worker productivity next year?” How are we going to train our people after 2 years of nothing but Zoom classes? Are we going to finish implementing that software we bought in 2019, or finally give up on it? How are we going to get the right data into the right people’s hands at the right time?
We suggest five areas to help you make real progress next year – if you build them into your 2022 Plan now, they might just get done:
01. Tie some datasets together.
You don’t have to start with a full-fledged data warehouse – there are interim steps that will move things forward without breaking the bank or distracting your team. A few ideas – get SCADA flowing into your Production Allocation system to reduce manual data entry, blend Accounting data with Field Estimates from OpenWells/Wellview for accruals, or tie your Land system to ARIES/PHDWin to eliminate confusion on interests and DSU’s.
02. Get your well list right.
With so many different departments in a typical E&P, agreeing on a Single Source of Truth for your well list feels painful and time-consuming, but it’s really valuable. Nail down the naming conventions and primary keys so that reporting and planning get easier and more accurate. The ideal way is with a Master Data Management system, but there are ways to get it done with just a few meetings and a spreadsheet, too.
03. Give the whole organization the same reports.
Modern Business Intelligent tools like Spotfire and Power BI are great for getting everyone on the same page, since everyone from the pumper to the CEO sees the same data. Consistent, live, understandable reports can be distributed automatically and securely. Whether it’s a Lease Operating Statement, Daily Operations Report, or full-fledged Executive Dashboard, work is more fun if you don’t have to argue about which version of the spreadsheet you’re looking at.
04. Restart in-person training.
After two years of self-directed career development, in-person training can be both an accelerant for skills *and* a surprisingly effective team builder. For people who prefer in-person, spending a day in a room with real people (and pastries) can be a breath of fresh air. And a boost to productivity after building some new muscles.
05. Redesign one business process.
As your assets and team change, the business processes you designed 5 years ago may be getting stale. You don’t have to rethink everything, but choose something that you want to improve, like accruals, financial reporting, or pumper route optimization. A little spring cleaning can make the whole year go better.
Give us a shout if you’d like to think through what 2022 should look like in your department or at your company. We love nothing more than talking data over a good maple-apple-squash-casserole latte, preferably surrounded by decorative gourds.
Looking for more ideas on planning for 2022?
Need help implementing? Or to bend an ear?