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The Secret to Cultivating Operational Excellence

Rick Heyland, RLG International
February 27, 2019

Continuous improvement is a big focus and opportunity area across industries. Companies are under extreme pressure to perform, but complexities at the front-line are often what hold organizations back from realizing their intended outcomes.

When it comes to complex and capital-intensive projects, like those found inoil and gas organizations, there can be thousands of front-line people across operational teams, contracting companies, and suppliers. With input from hundreds of different players, getting everyone engaged and working in harmony is tough.

Engaging the Front-Line

RLG International's philosophy focuses on connecting the front-line to the bottom line. By developing and supporting front-line teams and supervisors through coaching and implementing new strategies and processes, organizations can realize improved results.

Gary Yesavage, Chevron's former president of manufacturing for its downstream and chemicals operations has worked with RLG to improve maintenance turnarounds for the global refineries he managed. Yesavage describes how, "In a large turnaround, 500 contractors grows to 3,000 and there may be 20 or 30 different contracting companies working on your project, so you've got a mass of humanity coming together over a six-week period." Adding emphasis, he adds "You have to figure out how to build camaraderie and teamwork so everyone can be on the same page."

Innovative ideas and solutions can come about from every level of the organization. Listening to and engaging employees effectively can result in a step change in operational performance.

Technology to Improve Project Execution

Technology can play a pivotal role as well. Integrating insights from front-line teams and lessons learned across projects can be leveraged to positively impact efficiency, delivery, and costs of future projects.

Organizations are turning to low-code technology platforms like Appian to streamline manual workflows and deliver modern applications across the field and business, quickly.

These applications become a single source of project insight by:

    • Automating project processes and workflows

    • Providing collaboration and document tracking capabilities

    • Monitoring project status and performance

    • Givingmobile capabilities to employees and contractors

    • Leveraging existing systems, assets, and data

This leads to increased productivity for field workers, visibility for stakeholders, and control over critical projects improving both operational excellence and business value.

To dive into the topic of operational excellence further, make sure to read the 'The Business of Brilliance' article featured in Boss Magazine.

You will learn how RLG International's focus on front line worker engagement yields better performance and how Appian drives innovation with modern field applications for oil and gas companies.

Additionally, follow along with my podcast serieswith a monthly theme around continuous improvement.

Rick Heyland

COO, RLG International