Saturday, October 21, 2006

What is a Petroleum Lease Marketplace?

The final component of the proposal has been edited and the document is now complete.

Up until now we have not discussed what "may" be possible as a result of the organizational changes which are caused by a focus on the joint operating committee. Moving to the Joint Operating Committee (JOC) as an organizational model has an air of being too philosophical or intangible and thus there is a need to have some substance added to this concept. The following is how I see the manner in which this type of system will be developed to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry.

The Mineral Lease and associated agreements define and establish the rights and responsibilities regarding the lands and minerals described within the lease document. Looking at the Marketplace concept, these leases are bought, sold, traded, surrendered and pledged as capital in the oil and gas industry. Each lease provides to the holder the rights to those reserves and any associated production facilities. In short, the entire oil and gas industry "market" can be boiled down to these documents. These documents are the point where the industry and / or producer activity begins. The lease "market" in Calgary does not substantially differ from any other oil and gas marketplace in the world. What this proposed development is attempting to display and encourage is the virtual existence of an oil and gas market. Although initially limited in its geographic scope to the province of Alberta, many of the outgrowths of the system will be global in scale, with only immaterial differences in the reference values of the geographical data elements.

Given that the market for oil and gas leases is very large, the critical nature of this system will need to assume a number of variables that do not exist in their current form. If a producer has a lease that is in jeopardy of being surrendered, then the producer could expose the lease within the virtual Marketplace to determine if there is an interested party that may want to partner or purchase the lease and maintain it. Currently the scope of the offers to do business with the producer is limited to the extent of his or her personal network of interested parties. What if the lease was perusable and searchable by the entire market for a willing buyer? This system is designed to provide this environment to the oil and gas producer.

Taking the analogy of an exchange a little further, consider the possibilities of the Petroleum Lease Marketplace in terms of what this can do for a business. Search and discovery mechanisms could be built in as tools that would enable the producer to optimize the opportunities and hence the value of the lease. Data involving the prospective operation would be codified in the marketplace and the transaction processing would be an enabling capability and an inherent justification of the marketplace. This marketplace would then provide the means to collaborate on the methods of operation around the newly formed partnership. Where a Farmout / in, Joint Venture, Pooling or Construction Ownership & Operatorship agreement is facilitated in codifying the partnership based on the Petroleum Lease Marketplace Module. Adding secondary agreements (Novation, Area of Mutual Interests), Accounting & Operating Procedures as they are formed, agreed to, and counter part executed by the users of the Petroleum Lease Marketplace. This Marketplace will be the beginning of the industries commercial activity, establishing a base of software operations that would provide the producer with A.F.E., budget and operational programs. This system, ultimately, would be designed to facilitate the processing of capital and operating expenditures, revenues and royalties, based on the partnerships of producers needs and wants. This is the system that is being captured and codified in the Petroleum Lease Marketplace.

I have documented elsewhere the unique nature of partnership accounting for oil and gas. The business dynamics of each producer are so fundamentally different in terms of financial metrics and motivations. I have also described how the Partnership Accounting system mirrors the organizations needs. If two groups are partners and one owns the midstream assets that it in turn rents to provide access to these facilities to the other partners, the criteria for measuring and comparing results are different from producer to producer but the data is the same, only perceived differently. This is one of the fundamental aspects of Relational theory and is a tacit underlying theme in Java. Critical to the understanding of this system is that the metrics of each producer in a property are different and are directly related to each producer’s strategy and organizational capability. The difficulty in the partnership knowing the specifics of each producer’s motivations are unknown and not relevant to each of the other producers. The common interest that drives each producer is in harmony, as they are all driven financially to succeed. There is no conflict of interest because the motivation is consistent throughout the marketplace irrespective of the competing strategies employed by the different partners. And these unique features are relevant and evident to each producer in this system.

The Alberta Petroleum Lease Market.

The PLM is a database of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Leases for the land governed by the state, province or lessor. The lease, or concession, entitles the holder to the mineral rights and is the start of the process of exploring and drilling for oil and gas. This is therefore the natural place to start these software developments.

The lease documents are populated into the database to represent the mineral rights for the region. The population contained within the database would be those that are under lease, being posted, auctions and prospective lands. The level of detail of information queried and available by an authorized user is recorded and controlled by the system. The ability to then buy, sell trade or surrender these leases would be possible through a variety of transactions managed by the system. Or, in other words, a Marketplace is formed with its own community.

From here the derivative works of the Farm-in, Farm-out, Novation, Joint Operating Agreement and / or Construction Ownership and Operator-ship could be developed through the collaborative environment of the PLM. Additional documentation such as the operating and accounting procedures would be available to be negotiated, documented and counter part executed electronically in this collaborative environment.

The PLM would be a virtual portal that gives the producer, investor or employee access to the Lease, agreements and its associated history. It would literally be the area where people would log in via the Human Resource Marketplace in order to go to work. Having both a Private and Public interfaces to the data elements and functionality, a producer who has an interest in a certain area would be able to engage the owners of any lease of interest, on future business opportunities and from there, pursue subsequent operations extending the operations management, accounting and administration function. The marketplace is a place where the people will go to do business.

Employees and contractors could actively contact producers and investors to offer and provide their services to work as consultants in the day to day activity of the lease, or contract for drilling rigs etc. Adding additional software developments to manage the approval of AFE's, Mail-Ballots, Contracts, Statements of Operations, and Statements of Expenditures and ultimately providing a high level of on-line commerce.

All of these operations are derived through the Joint Operating Committee (JOC). As was mentioned in the preliminary research document the JOC is, the financial, legal, cultural and operational decision making framework of the oil and gas industry. Why not move the accountability for those decisions over to the JOC? This conceptual alignment has received immense tacit support by most of the people who are employed in the oil and gas industry.

The accountability is currently managed by the hierarchy because that is the only logical manner in which an organization could control their assets during the past 100 years. Now with the Information Technologies available for "Collaborative Commerce" (Harvard's term) the hierarchy is not necessary for the purposes of 21st century operation, particularly in oil and gas.

Another key point is the methods by which the energy industry would pay for these transactions. The producers would need to subscribe to the system and pay a nominal fee for each transaction. Or, alternatively an assessment can be made on each producer based on the number of barrels of oil per day it produced. Assessing $1 per barrel of annual production would cost a firm such as Encana to access the system approximately $700,000 per year. I can assure you that no employee or individual would ever have to pay for access to the system. The oil and gas industry revenue is in excess of $2 trillion. The employee's use is almost guaranteed due to the fact that the alternative is to work the prospective 80 hours or more that their jobs would take through the traditional hierarchical methods available today. This is the definition of Web Services and accurately reflects the threat of how things may be developed in the near future. Users are key and their productivity is the focus of their, and the software development, efforts. A capable software developer is critical to achieving these results. This proposal exposes the opportunity for the industry to build this software.

For the sake of clarity, the information within this module appears complex and an attempt to accurately reflect "what" and "how" this operates is my purpose. So, in summary, the PLM is a market to buy, sell, market, trade, assign. novate, post, bid, surrender, a working / royalty interest. Facilitating the electronic capture, management, secure and authorized access to the documentation regarding joint ventures, assignments, novations, sales, AMI's, of working / royalty interests. And establishment of joint operating committees - CAPL, PASC operating and accounting procedures, caveat registration, assignment of committee members, their roles, their responsibilities, delegations of authority, programs budgets, A.F.E.'s, Mail Ballots, Amendments etc.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

A different approach.

It could be argued that the focus of this research is a software product that falls within the classification of vaporware. And it does. However I would put some spin on the classic definition of vaporware and call this a clean slate approach to oil and gas systems. The category that this "product" is in is difficult to define and therefore difficult to build without the express support of the oil and gas industry. This final research report is an attempt at communicating these concepts far and wide within the oil and gas industry in an attempt to find an audience. The strength of the concept of using the Joint Operating Committee requires that every data element, every relationship, and every process be revisited and rewritten. New modules and marketplaces will be built to eliminate the old software classifications.

I am attempting to articulate a vision of what a new approach could do in the systems area. It certainly is vaporware as no group or company has ever approached the joint operating committee as the central organizational focus. How can I, as one individual, do all this work in order to make a viable system exclusively for the producers? The clean slate approach has to be communicated in a way that the system could and should be built in order to accurately describe its features.

I have identified several points that present future difficulties in oil and gas systems. Partnership Accounting, Human Resource Marketplace module, Petroleum Lease Marketplace module and the Genesys Technical Vision are the foundation of this final research report and are unaddressed by the competition. All these aspects of future software systems have to be addressed and neither SAP, Oracle or IBM have a solution or vision that is as compelling as shown in this research report.

To be more specific, the perspective of using the joint operating committee brings new and better ways of managing an oil and gas enterprise. From a systems point of view oil and gas has ignored and avoided the joint operating committee as it conflicts with the underlying purpose of the bureaucracy. Significant contradictions and conflict have crept into the oil and gas producers’ operations that results in the Joint Operating Committee being precluded from the systems used.

This project was originally proposed to the industry in 2004 as an $85 million software development project. The producer must ask itself,: isn't it more appropriate to keep your options open ? What if SAP and Oracle continue with their current offerings; will those be adequate in the future? A future with IPv6 capability? A further question that needs to be asked, and based on the work of John Hagle III and John Seely Brown, is : Are the proposed industry stratifications changing to be reflected as either innovation management, infrastructure management or customer management?
Is there an expectation or belief that the bureaucracy and its use of last century’s technologies can hold a candle to this vision? These technologies and the forces of change in all areas of the economy have to be addressed. Oil prices are up almost 300% will result in the reallocation of financial resources to support innovation. Organizations are constrained in their speed and innovativeness due to the bureaucracy and its refusal to accept the joint operating committee as the explicit form of organization. Constraints in human resources, field capacities and speed to market are real issues that jeopardize the industry.

We have consistently seen successful companies that were able to integrate technology into their strategy and form strong competitive advantages. A company such as HSBC. Homogenization on SAP is not a competitive strategy. I have now counted 12 calls to action from Harvard, Oxford Analytica, MIT, McKinsey, John Hagel III and John Seely Brown, Secretary Bodman, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox and a variety of others. Add to these calls the demands of the consumers. The time to act and put these software developments into play is now.

Ray Lane is a partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and a former president of Oracle Corporation. He knows what he is talking about. This entry will take you to a Business Week article that documents many important points. Two of these points I want to discuss in this entry, they are:

"The traditional method of selling big corporate software applications as multi million-dollar packages that take years to implement is broken."

"The 70% of startups out there that are trying to do what the big companies do, only better, faster and cheaper - it's a fools errand. The customers would like to buy that from a large company, so they’re going to lose out." Ray Lane

Surprisingly, perhaps, I think he is right on both counts. The large multi year, multi million dollar packages are the dinosaurs of the software world. Even Petro Canada tried to implement SAP and after $14 million gave up. It’s fallacious to try to retrofit the company to the software.

On the second point of Ray Lane's, stating that the startups will fail, is something that I struggled with at the beginning of this process and something that I think I can also prove is not valid in the oil and gas sector. The two points that I would assert in my defense is that I am the copyright owner of the methods and processes discussed in this research, and in the preliminary report. I published my thesis in May 2004. I have tangible evidence that the state of the art thinking was not as advanced as what I proposed in September 2003, and earned in the publication of the Plurality document.

Back in 2003 I concluded that the software vendors could consume themselves competing with new offerings and no one would have been able to secure a competitive hold in the market. The only manner in which to establish a competitive offering, I felt, was to own the intellectual property as the key competitive advantage. The copyright, and other forms of intellectual property are the only sources of value in this new age.

Secondly, if anyone thinks that a large vendor is going to be able to write the code for the Partnership Accounting, Human Resource Marketplace, Security, Petroleum Lease Marketplace module that I have spoken about in this report I think they would be mistaken in their expectations. What is needed is a clean slate approach and the heavy involvement of potential and future users. The day and age when the software innovations were brought to the industry’s door through the cottage software industry has ceased. The involvement of the industry in its software development needs is mandatory, and become an inherent capability

So on that basis I would agree and disagree with Mr. Lane. Intellectual property is the only method of securing any kind or competitive advantage in this new day and age. Those that attempt to build systems without their differentiation being codified and protected are in my opinion wasting their time. What is required to compete with this software is some fundamentally different basis of organizational structure for the software to define and support just as I have outlined here.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Application Architecture: Appendix

The two hardware vendors that will provide the development environment are Sun Microsystems and Apple Computer. The following are some of the tools and products that will be incorporated into this solution.

The primary operating system will be Solaris.
The primary database for both development and deployment will be Ingress.
The tools used will be the Sun Microsystems family of open source Integrated Development Environments (IDE's). Consisting of Netbeans, Sun Studio Creator and Sun Studio Enterprise.
The build tool will be Maven 2.0 or better.
The repository will be Subversion.
Java v5.0 or greater will be the programming environment.
Java Swing and Java Web Start will be the default and only interface.

This application will operate as a "Software as a Service" (SaaS) that will be hosted on a number of geographical grids provided by Sun Microsystems. No hosting of this application will be done locally, but only through the grid offerings of the major tier one original equipment manufacturers, primarily Sun.

Java is the base programming environment. The reasons for the Java selection are its inherently strong security model, broad industry support and modern underlying technologies. It has been assessed as the most effective language to develop a comprehensive transaction oriented system such as this. Within Java, the Enterprise server that we have chosen is Sun Microsystems GlassFish open source offering. This is the first server to be certified based on Java V 5.0 and has the full backing of Sun Microsystems and the open source communities. Java also contains the Mobility Environment, which deals with the programming environment on cell phones pagers, and other devices that this proposal sees as becoming both prolific and ubiquitous. In the oil and gas industry the ability to monitor and control any and all of these devices will become mandatory and this is where Java has had substantial success with well over 1 Billion installed Mobility Environments.

As the technology vision denotes, IPv6 is a cornerstone of the Genesys application. This therefore will be secured through the grid provider.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Free like a puppy.

In this section I will describe the benefits in terms of free or open source software. Genesys as an application will be made available to be downloaded, reviewed, inspected and tested but not compiled into an application. The only fully compiled application will be the one all the users will access via the Sun Microsystems operated network and grid. It is critical to the producers that they have this free access to the code upon which they are operating their firm. The ability to freely verify the software code is unlimited. Industry needs a software capability that is as transparent as possible. As the licensee of the application, Genesys, will have the rights to publish the code in this manner. What is suggested is not that dissimilar to what Sun Microsystems does with their software offerings. It is an objective of this proposal that the code of the operating systems, database and specific application available to be inspected by anyone. This will not encumber the copyright of the software as no one will be licensed to run the actual application.

The best way I can think to describe how I expect the code to develop is it is free, not as in price, but like a puppy that is following its own thoughts and direction, a direction that is under the control of its users. A direction that everyone involved in oil and gas has stake in, but no specific individual or group has control of.

Harvard Professor Jeffery Sachs made an interesting point in the PBS Series "The Commanding Heights" by Dr. Daniel Yergin . Throughout the six hours of video, Professor Sachs was consistently called upon to identify and resolve the economic issues of individual countries. Bolivia, Russia and Poland were three of the governments that Sachs consulted with. In each case it became quite obvious that the solution was unique and therefore had a specifically crafted solution. Not a solution that would be assumed to be appropriate for each and every country, but a "custom" designed method of dealing with the countries issues. I draw an analogy to this "custom" oil and gas solution to note that the unique attributes of the energy industry need to be captured and resolved.

These unique oil and gas attributes (the joint operating committee) are not recognized or considered in SAP, Oracle or IBM. These oil and gas applications therefore preclude their respective vendors from the opportunity to ever provide a solution that might be considered adequate. Their basic designs were to provide the original equipment manufacturers and supply chains with a solution.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Human Resource Marketplace

More editing.

The Human Resource Marketplace is derived from the software's prospective user base of eligible oil and gas workers. Its purpose is to provide global access to the human resources the oil and gas industry needs to conduct its operations. Organizing the volumes of people and making them readily accessible by other users from interested producers and joint operating committee's. The Human Resource Marketplace will be a free resource for its users and is part of the overall system that will be financially supported by the oil and gas industry.

The population of these software users will include the full scope of the professions, trades and skill set found in the industry, and its suppliers, regulators and governments around the world. These users are the critical resource to the success of this system and the oil and gas industry. They are the driving force in defining and demanding the types and quality of software applications they need to operate effectively in the oil and gas industry.

As has been stated elsewhere, the ability to access the necessary human resources is a challenge for the energy industry. This challenge is expected to increase as the brain trust of the industry begins their retirement. Industry already is taxing the maximum amounts of employee time and is actively competing on the basis of lifestyle benefits to acquire and maintain talent. This proposal assumes that industry agrees with this author's opinion that people want to be more effective at their jobs. Enhanced employee effectiveness is best achieved through higher productivity and this proposal shares these concerns of industry and its employees. I am boldly suggesting here that the condition of employee effectiveness begins with the effective reorganization with these objectives in mind. The process of creating more creative, productive and innovative oil and gas workers needs to be planned and implemented through this software development proposal.

What this proposal offers industry is a software development capability. An ERP software development capability that sources its application development's leadership, direction and functionality from its user's involvement and demands. It is these users who will demand and expect the necessary software applications be crafted and built from the developers employed by Genesys. Creating a virtual environment where developers and users collaborate. Building a new generation of software systems based on the reorganization of the industry around the Joint Operating Committee.

The Human Resource Marketplace user's interface will be their gateway to completing their task's, fulfilling their roles and responsibilities to the Joint Operating Committee's that actively hire and engage their skills. Each user will have free and unlimited access to the Human Resource Module to manage the:

  • Marketing of their skills.
  • Day to day interactions with other users.
  • Managing and completing their work.
  • Accounting, billing and banking services.
  • Work orders and contracting with producers.
All access will be controlled by a high quality security system that ensures access to the system is by authorized users only. It will ensures all access is accredited and verified as to their accessibility. Included in this verification will be:
  • Educational transcripts.
  • Verified and supported employment references and documentation of their Curriculum Vitae.
  • General ranking and task capability. (See section on Military Command.)
Once accredited it will be up to the user to maintain their on-line presence and work environment. Representatives of the producers will have access to source their employee needs through the Petroleum Lease Marketplace module and or Partnership Accounting described elsewhere. It should be evident that this module is conceived as the major point of contact for the user working in the oil and gas industry. All the primary transaction and document access, creation and processing is done, from the user's point of view, through this portal.

Specific technical attributes of the Human Resource Marketplace module.

This application will manage the Genesys domain name for users based on "". This will be the manner in which people access their work and tasks, eliminating the need "to drive to the office". This portability of the user creates issues regarding the level of automation adopted by industry. Manual processes will be limited in the virtual world, primarily due to the need to present data to many different users simultaneously. Efforts through this application need to be focused on this point. If a firm requires paper pushing employees in the future, they will have no competitively sustainable business, and potentially no business partners. Nonetheless to help with this transformation of the working environment, Google's Tessaract OCR (Optical Character Recognition) engine will be embedded within this application.

Each user, producer and joint operating committee will have access through their specific portal (Human Resource Marketplace, Petroleum Lease Marketplace and / or Partnership Accounting modules). Therefore security at the portal has to be of the highest grade and quality possible, has to capture these needs and most importantly the security module needs to be built first. To layer in a management security requirement after the system has been built will prove fruitless. The security module specifications and possibilities that exist today are such that the type of security level that can be achieved will be more then adequate for the needs described here. As this system will also be operated on Sun Microsystems grid, a higher level of security is achieved and provided. Security is the first priority for this system.

The Human Resource Marketplace will provide:
  • Modules for marketing their products and services. These will consist of blogs and Wiki access for each user to actively promote and market their skills and services to the full range of producers as represented in the joint operating committees, service providers and employers.
  • Access to community based Wiki. (Specific areas for Accounting, Geology, Engineering, and Land etc.) Including glossaries, dictionaries and other reference material pertinent to the oil and gas industry.
  • In the military command section of this proposal there is discussion surrounding how the command and control of the hierarchy is replaced. The command and control issue is resolved by adopting a military command type of structure. The rank and role that an individual will have with respect to its client producers and assigned joint operating committees that make up the users "place of employment".
  • Search module access (Google appliance) within the user's authorized domain.
  • Project management module consisting of a variety of project management, calendar and task management.
  • An RSS pool / reader.
In short, a social network for the oil and gas industry worker to access and manage the work they are doing. It may appear that the service will take on a "MySpace" type of atmosphere and that would be incorrect. The purpose of this environment is that the presentation to the other users is based on your professional life, not just a social aggregator.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Security Model / Module.

And more back from the editor.

Security Module

This module concerns all user access to any and all markets / modules contained within all of Genesys. The important element of this discussion is the methods, procedures and types of security provided here will be the first order of business in the development of this software. Clearly identifying and implementing the highest level of security is the objective and this can not be implemented after the fact or after any of the software is developed.

Therefore, in summary, security includes:

- Elliptical encryption technology via Solaris on all communications. ( )

- Sun Solaris has now released their "ZFS" file system providing historical and 128 bit file storage. ( ). The benefits of using Solaris is that it provides new and critically needed tools for the general user community. "With ZFS, Sun addresses the important issues of integrity and security, stability, and difficulty of administration". With 128 bit addressing there is no limit on the amount of files the system can address. With the global scope of this application, and mission critical nature, it is necessary to have this level of capability.

- Single Sign On (SSO).
- Global access on all public and private networks.
- UserID, Password, Authentication and smart card.

- Encryption and signing keys for documents and transactions are separate from those that are provided for access and security.

- Contacts - LDAP access to all registered users located throughout the world.

IPv6's inherent security model that provides IPsec, the protocol for IP network-layer encryption and authentication.

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Is the Joint Operating Committee Revolutionary?

And more from the editor.

Is the joint operating committee organization focus revolutionary?

Unequivocally Yes.

Using the definition provided by NASA scientist Dr. Robert Casanova, (Click on the title.)

"Revolutionary paradigm shifts are simple, elegant, majestic, beautiful and are characterized by order and symmetry.”
The comments that I have received personally regarding the value of the concept consist of the "well of course" type. People realize immediately the value of the concept. Over time their thinking moves them to make comments like "this solves the majority of the administrative issues in oil and gas." Or "It's an entirely new discipline." On the strength of the concept the rewriting of the entire energy industries software to a more efficient paradigm is possible. Every data element, relationship or process is affected by this change.

I think this concept is revolutionary, and here is why. I can see each element of Dr. Casanova's description of revolution in the overall concept of using the joint operating committee as the organizational construct. It also dovetails well with the current technology offerings, is consistent with many people's technological visions and a variety of academic theories. It is simple; it could solve many difficulties in oil and gas, and provides a natural element of both order and symmetry. My vision of the ease of how the solution gets built in terms of functionality, logic and process reflects this simplicity.

In oil and gas there are many legal documents that support and define the Joint Operating Committee and these have been in place since the beginning of the industry. Industry associations, codified processes, documents, and the many legal agreements form the legal foundation of the industry. The strength of these documents and procedures form the culture of the industry and establish normal and acceptable practices of operation, decision making, financial accounting and reporting. This is global in scope and systemic throughout the energy industry.

The area where the joint operating committee fails is in the accountability framework. This has long been the domain of the hierarchy. And now the hierarchy is failing in providing the shareholders with adequate and effective controls. This has become such a problem that the U.S. congress has implemented Sarbanes Oxley to provide the assurances the shareholders need. Clearly Sarbanes Oxley is not working well and provides little comfort to the shareholders at large. Form my point of view the legislation has done little outside of reinforcing the entrenched bureaucracy.

What would happen then if the tax, SEC, FASB and Sarbanes Oxley accountability's moved to the joint operating committee? Would there be a greater alignment between the decisions being made? Yes, most definitely. When accountability is separated from operational decision making, difficulties occur and are presented. There is no one responsible for the bad decisions and no one can trace the good decisions to their source. After a period of time people begin to realize the time and effort necessary to make a difference is not worth it and very quickly stop trying. Not the proper attitude of an innovative producer.

It is my belief that the development of this system will enable the industry move further and faster. Innovation is the driving force behind this final research report and proposal and the industry is the primary beneficiary.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Tacit organizations and creation nets.

More from the editor.

McKinsey Consulting, John Hagel III and John Seely Brown have published a series of articles which touch on "Creation Nets" and "Tacit Organizations". This is a summary of the articles as they apply to this research proposal. Much of what is said is a direct call to action and I have selected this article to stand on its own with respect to how the industry could and should be re-organized.

"Tacit interactions are becoming central to economic activity. Making those who undertake them more effective isn't like tweaking a production line."
This article states that tacit interactions, consisting of collaborative and complex problem solving, are the primary means of future economic value. The majority of these interactions are found in western-based economies and are conducted by those that earn higher salaries. The article goes on to say;
"During the next decade, companies that make these activities - and the employees most involved in them - more productive will not only raise the top and bottom lines but also build talent based competitive advantages that rivals will find hard to match."
"But building these advantages won't be easy: companies must alter the way they craft strategies, design organizations, manage talent and leverage technology."
Today the technology exists to collaborate at a basic level. In the next ten years the development of collaborative applications will enable those firms that choose to increase these tacit interactions, with "competitive advantages that rivals will find hard to match."

McKinsey goes on to better define what is meant by tacit interactions noting "the searching, coordinating and monitoring activities required to exchange goods, services and information". The developed economies are finding the volume of tacit interactions are growing faster than in any other category or job description. Increasing to the point where they are taking up almost half of the resources in certain industries. The developing world is not far behind and has opportunities that could match the developed worlds pace in a very short period of time.

Automation of the business process, or transactional activities, does not augment the performance of tacit interactions. How a firm may increase those tacit interactions and increase performance is not well known or defined at this point.
"But that must now change. Executives will have to learn to innovate, and manage in era when tacit interactions dominate and drive performance."
Facilitating the opportunity for people within your organization to increase tacit interactions requires the management to provide the tools for people to do their jobs. In oil and gas, I would suggest that direct participation of all members of the joint operating committee, collaborating in a virtual environment is a part of the Genesys application being developed. Each engineer, geologist, administrator and developer are there to represent their companies' interest in the area. Collectively the groups are able to collaborate and have the software support their thinking and decisions with tools that handle the business end of these interactions. For example, if it is determined that a sand frac is to be used on the well the following processes would be invoked:
  • the contracting firm is chosen
  • a purchase order is created
  • a contract is made
  • the invoicing and payment for those services are completed
These are all as a result of the decisions made by the joint operating committee (JOC). This frees employees to conduct a greater volume of tacit interactions and innovations that are necessary to meet the market demands for energy.
"Workers engage in a larger number of higher quality tacit interactions when organizational boundaries (such as hierarchies and silos) don't get in the way, when people trust each other and have the confidence to organize themselves, and when they have the tools to make better decisions and communicate quickly and easily."
McKinsey has conducted a survey of 8,000 companies and determined that certain sectors had higher levels of tacit interactions. Within each industry the number of tacit interactions was widely variable and appears to have a direct correlation to the overall performance of the firm! McKinsey goes on to say;
"The need to move forward is both substantial and urgent."
High levels of tacit interactions were consistently shown to have built substantial competitive advantages. These advantages were difficult to be replicated by competitors as their "power lies in the collective company specific knowledge that emerges over time."

McKinsey goes on further to state that these require a;
"New Management Science"
"Require changes in every facet of business, from hatching strategies, to organization, to managing talent, and leveraging IT."
The Genesys systems will be developed with the joint operating committee as the organizational construct and focus. This will enable high levels of tacit interactions and collaboration throughout the enterprise, the partnership in which the JOC is represented, the industry as a whole and the individual professional groups.

Consistent with the need to revisit all aspects of the firm, McKinsey believes the role and purpose of strategy and its development take on a higher importance than they once did. This becomes the critical task of senior management to provide the overall scope of interactions and their derivative innovations. This implies that innovations occur at the front lines of the business, not in the management ranks. The means that companies use to enhance the volume and value of tacit interactions is captured in the following;
"Tacit interactions reduce the importance of structure and elevate the importance of people and collaboration. Some of these changes are already underway. In many companies people now come together in project teams, address an issue, and disassemble to start the process again by joining other informal teams. In fact this approach is common in certain professional services and engineering firms, so their organizational charts rarely reflect what is really happening in them. Hierarchy busting has been a theme in the business press for years, but the pace of change has been slow and its effectiveness questionable."
The technology that companies will need to employ is fundamentally different from those used today. In addition to the enhanced communications, these technologies needs to be brought into context for the next ten years that McKinsey suggests these changes will occur. This proposal provides a technical vision that is necessary for these interactions to grow in unpredictable ways. Key will be the asynchronous process management and its ability to mirror the unpredictability of events as they occur.

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