Innovations Key Factors, A ScenarioI want to take a look at Professor Giovanni Dosi’s “key factors” of innovation in the context of the scenario that we used recently during our review of the Partnership Accounting module. Recall that we had a number of producers who were joining together through the Work Order system to participate in an engineering study. This Work Order system was discussed in the Partnership Accounting module to highlight the manner in which it eliminated the logistical accounting difficulties that impede the development of these working groups. I now want to discuss how the efforts of working groups are added to the capabilities of the producer and are managed in the Research & Capabilities module of the Preliminary Specification.
Upon completion of the working group the producer firm will have a unit of knowledge that has been developed from the efforts of the group. Professor Carliss Baldwin provides us with some clarity here with her “knowledge begets capabilities, and capabilities beget action” comment. What is needed is for the producer to have a central repository for all of the knowledge of the producer that is accumulated through the various working groups and other “key factors” in which they acquire knowledge. This will be called the “Dynamic Capabilities Interface” in the Research & Capabilities module and will detail the source of the knowledge, the key factor, how it was acquired, and what it involves. This will be captured within a wiki style interface. This interface is also sorted by geological zone and other technical criteria, and will be populated to the Knowledge & Learning module for deployment to the appropriate Joint Operating Committees when required. Organizing a firms and Joint Operating Committees capabilities is the beginning of developing, deploying and effectively managing them.
Within any module of the People, Ideas & Objects application the user will be able to right click their mouse and select from a contextual menu of actions. These actions will include the ability to begin a Work Order, raise an AFE, prepare a Joint Venture Agreement etc. If the user can take action on the capabilities listed within the “Dynamic Capabilities Interface” then we have achieved the process that Professor Baldwin states is necessary. Having this information centralized for the producer, and the specific information for the Joint Operating Committee helps to concentrate the knowledge within one location within the firm. There will be little confusion as to where to find the answer to a specific question. When the user finds what they are looking for, the detail of the knowledge or capability should be specific enough as to define a process as to how it is successful implemented. Understanding that knowledge is never static, the ability to update the information with lessons learned would be part of the users responsibility. Recall updates from the Lessons Learned Interface is also done for the Joint Operating Committee in the Knowledge & Learning module.
The ability to annotate and reference the material within the “Dynamic Capabilities Interface” would make this more usable. In addition, with the tools that are available today, such as search, makes the information more valuable. What is truly valuable is the types of tools that will be available tomorrow. We are beginning to see some of these tools enter the consumer space with the iPhone’s SIRI virtual assistant. The first step however will be to acquire the knowledge and make it actionable through the ERP system of People, Ideas & Objects. Then we will be able to add these tools as they become available in the future.
If all that we were to do with the capabilities aspect of the Research & Capabilities module of the Preliminary Specification. Was to document the capabilities in the “Dynamic Capabilities Interface” then we would be wasting a lot of people’s time. The purpose in documenting the capabilities is so that we can deploy them, and that brings in the “Planning & Deployment Interface” which is the topic of discussion here.
Ideally I see the ability of a firm to deploy their capabilities as a key competitive advantage. The organization of that competitive advantage will be the focus of the management of the firm. It should also be noted that there is a similar “Planning & Deployment Interface” in the Knowledge & Learning module for the Joint Operating Committee. The analogy that I would like to use and have developed in the Preliminary Specification is directly applicable to the game of American football. Where the coach can call in a play and the team is able to execute that play based on their known capabilities, roll and skills on the team. I want to draw a direct analogy for the person who plans and calls on the capabilities of the firm or Joint Operating Committee in the “Planning & Deployment Interface.”
First we need to bring in the Military Command & Control Metaphor and understand that the role of the individual, as designated in that structure becomes a critical part of the planning and deployment of the firm or JOC’s capabilities. There can be only one Quarter Back and you need many Down Lineman. Filling the various roles in order to take the actions that are needed is as important as the capabilities themselves. The Military Command & Control Module (MCCM) imposes a chain of command across the multiple producers represented in the JOC, or firm and enables them to operate the pooled resources of these firms.
The “Planning & Deployment Interface” will take the three critical aspects of the firm / JOC and arrange them within a web like interface for the user to develop the actions they desire. The three critical aspects are the people represented in the MCCM, the capabilities and the time frame. Having selected the personnel that you want to execute the action that you have in mind, their available time becomes known to the interface from each individual's calendar. Selecting the capabilities from the Research & Capabilities, or Knowledge & Learning, module is then drawn into the interface. From there the user is able to “process” the information and based on the variables given determine when the work would be able to be completed. Then they may select additional resources to fill deficiencies in areas where the capabilities suggest they need more resources, conduct more studies to determine certain unknowns or proceed with the project.
Upon proceeding with the project the people who were selected by the user in the “Planning & Deployment Interface” are given the job to do. They are provided with an understanding of what and how and who will be involved in completing the project. Not that it should be a simple matter of execution, but they should at this time have everything provided within the “package” they receive from the “Planning & Deployment Interface.” That package should be comprehensive and detailed such that it is all that they need to be able to focus on the successful completion of the task.
The quality of the documentation of the capabilities will be the determining factor in how successful the project will be. If the detail contained in the “Dynamic Capabilities Interface” is of rich media, detailed and provides the user with a good understanding of what is required then the communication from what is expected and what is understood is not at variance. The people will be able to see clearly what it is that the project is about and how they are expected to complete the task.
The innovative and capable oil and gas producer is in need of the ability to document and deploy their capabilities in an efficient and effective manner. Here is a way in which the deployment is planned and executed with an understanding or “meeting of the minds” based on the quality of the documentation in the “Dynamic Capabilities Interface.” It being not just a repository of data that might be used someday by someone. But a living source of quality capabilities in which the producer or JOC depends on to make sure that the execution of their projects are successful.
Who ever it is that implements the project through the “Planning & Deployment Interface” will be selecting the various capabilities documents from the “Dynamic Capabilities Interface.” When they do this they will be able to ensure that the capabilities they select reflect the “final” status necessary for the project. If there is further documentation that needs to take place or more work is needed to advance the state of the capabilities that are selected, these attributes can be added. This would have the effect of keeping the documentation up to the state of the capability within the firm or the Joint Operating Committee. Recipients of the information, once the “Planning & Deployment Interface” was processed, would be able to compare the capabilities information they received with the previous version they viewed, and determine quickly how the capability has changed from that previous version. This could be done by way of differing colored text or some other means. Then they could assess what impact and consideration that change would have on their portion of the task and if they were to have any issues as a result.
Just as with the selection of the various capabilities the resource selection would have any updated information regarding the capabilities of each individual. If the completion of a course or program, the successful implementation of other capabilities etc would be available to the user who initiates the “Planning & Deployment Interface.” This information could be incredibly detailed and include the contributions that the individual made to the “Lessons Learned Interface” in both the Knowledge & Learning, and Research & Capabilities modules. Their performance reviews from previous tasks and any comments about the role they undertook in previous assignments. This information should be available for in-house staff, resources that are pooled through the various Joint Operating Committees that a firm participates with, any suppliers and vendors or contractors that the firm or JOC may have hired to work on the task.
The timing of the project and its completion are somewhat flexible based on the number of resources that are put on the project. This makes for a bit of a paradox, as if the team gets too large you lose the cohesiveness that the team needs to rely upon. Understanding that the people that are resourced into these tasks are probably assigned to multiple projects, and their participation is somewhat constrained by these limits, the time line may reach beyond what is initially the target.
Lastly the “Planning & Deployment Interface” has been about the known knowns to this point. There are a variety of known unknowns and unknown unknowns. To document these, if possible, is the role of the team members once the project interface has been processed and assigned. Recall that Professor Dosi states “In very general terms, technological innovation involves or is the solution to problems.” Dosi goes on to further define this as “In other words, an innovative solution to a certain problem involves “discovery” (of the problem) and “creation” since no general algorithm can be derived from the information about the problems. Solutions to technological problems involve the use of information derived from experience and formal knowledge. It is the specific and un-codified capabilities, or tacit-ness” as Professor Dosi describes “on the part of the inventors who discover the creative solution.” A section of the interface should be set aside where the team can collaborate on these points and provide some innovative solutions for the producer or JOC.
It is therefore asked specifically, how can the knowledge, information and capability of oil and gas firms solve the technical and scientific problems of the future? How can a firm more effectively employ its capability to solve problems and facilitate the discovery of new problems and creation of their solutions? I think the development of the “Planning & Deployment Interface” as described here would provide the producer and Joint Operating Committee with these sought after abilities.
Focusing on the Producers Earth Science and Engineering CapabilitiesPeople, Ideas & Objects software application modules enable the producer firms and Joint Operating Committees to focus on their core competitive advantages. These being the land & asset base, and the earth science and engineering capabilities of the innovative and profitable oil and gas producer. The Research & Capabilities module of the Preliminary Specification is the key module for the innovative producer to focus on their earth science and engineering competitive advantages. We have been discussing the “Planning & Deployment Interface” of the module and now we want to discuss how the producer maintains the pace of change in the underlying sciences and technologies.
The simple answer to this question is that the producer and particularly the Joint Operating Committee will not have the distraction of the long term acquisition of scientific and engineering research and capabilities development affect the day to day implementation of the knowledge of the firm or Joint Operating Committee. Recall at the beginning of this modules review we defined the time horizons for the Research & Capabilities module, and the Knowledge & Learning module, as the long term and short term respectively. The Research & Capabilities is about the acquisition of capabilities and their documentation, and the Knowledge & Learning is about their deployment, implementation and execution. The fact that there is a “Planning & Deployment Interface” in the Research & Capabilities module may lead to some confusion, however, it is there as there are times in which the producer firm needs to implement the capabilities that it has for experimentation and its sole benefit.
This separation of the time horizon for the Research & Capabilities to take the long term perspective, provides the appropriate mindset for the producer firm to focus on the overall development of the earth science and engineering disciplines. The ability of the producer to match the pace of change in the underlying sciences and mapping the necessary changes within the “Dynamic Capabilities Interface” will communicate the changes from the organization to the various Joint Operating Committees that need that information on those capabilities. These changes and the communication of the changes to the appropriate people in a timely fashion will provide a means of increased performance for the producer and JOC. Providing a foundation for the producer to further build and implement their competitive advantages of earth science and engineering capabilities.
Restating for clarity purposes. That is how the Research & Capabilities module enables the producers to develop, implement and integrate advanced capabilities within their organization. The research undertaken by the firm should not interrupt the day to day of the operation. However, when the research augments the firms capabilities the “Dynamic Capabilities Interface” is updated with that knowledge. These capabilities as they are listed in the“Dynamic Capabilities Interface” will be available to be selected on related criteria in the “Planning & Deployment Interface” of the Knowledge & Learning module. If the research conducted by the firm is unresolved or undetermined in its conclusion then it would not belong in the “Dynamic Capabilities Interface.” If it remained unresolved or undetermined then it would indicate that further work was required and therefore remain open in a Work Order for completion or resolution.
The Preliminary Specification provides the oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy.