Operations readiness and assurance

Operations Readiness and Assurance is used primarily in the Oil & Gas exploration and development business, but it is also used extensively by the U.S. military, NASA and the global finance sector, to name but a few. Simply put, it can be used anywhere where a requirement for a certain level of assurance, that a given status or specified capability exists (or will exist, at a given point in time), is required. It is commonly known by the acronym OR&A (the ampersand is used and retained in the acronym for clarity) [1].

The need for OR&A in Oil & Gas projects was recognised long before there was a name to collectively identify the problem. In the late 1990s, there were a large number of high cost Oil & Gas projects moving into their operational phases that were already exhibiting major problems.

Contents

Operations Readiness

Is essentially, the process of preparing the custodians of an asset under construction (and their supporting organisation) such that, at the point of delivery/handover, they are fully ready to assume ownership of the asset. Furthermore, that they accept responsibility for, and are capable of, performing the safe and efficient operation of that asset in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

Assurance

In this context, refers to Stakeholders in a project who cannot wait until a project is completed, and handover to the operations team imminent, to discover that something has been omitted or overlooked which would subsequently prevent operation of the asset in the manner stated above. The word 'assurance' refers to the act of reassuring the various stakeholders in a project or venture that their asset and organisation is in a state of Operations Readiness, (or providing a measure of assurance that it will be, by the time it is required).

Project Delivery Assurance (System)

OR&A is synonymous with Project Delivery Assurance in as much as both concepts have the same functionality. They both work within the same field, but whereas OR&A is geared to the operations/aset owners viewpoint, a Project Delivery Assurance System (PDAS) focusses on the viewpoint of the project management to provide that same assurance for every aspect of the entire project.

Dashboard

The most popular method of providing an overview of both of these systems (OR&A and PDA) is by creating a business 'dashboard' style overview. Based on the metaphor of the instrument panel in a car, the computer or digital dashboard provides a business manager with the input necessary to "drive" the business. Highlights with colors similar to traffic lights, alerts, drill-downs, summaries, graphics such as bar charts, pie charts, bullet graphs, sparklines and gauges are usually set in a portal-like environment that is often role-driven and customizable. More information on digital dashboards can be found here [2]

Sources

Although several good sources exist in related fields, such as the excellent book by Trevor L. Young entitled 'Successful Project Management' and an equally good one by Ashbury and Ashwell on the subject of HSEQ Auditing, other resources (either in print or on-line) that further explain this concept are hard to find. One source that gives some sound information about OR&A, Project Delivery Assurance and Pre-start-up auditing (PSUA) can be found here [3].

References

  1. ^ http://www.acronymfinder.com/
  2. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashboards_(management_information_systems)
  3. ^ http://www.operationsreadinessandassurance.com
  • Trevor L. Young, Successful Project Management (2000, 2006) 2nd edition, Kogan Page Ltd. ISBN 978 0 749 44561 4
  • S. Ashbury & P. Ashwell, Health & Safety, Environment & Quality Audits (2007), Elsevier Ltd. ISBN 978 0 7506 8026 4

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