How has the approach to planning been impacted by incoming technology in the last 5 years and what are the key trends to be aware of?
First of all we are definitely seeing a good progress across the whole industry when it comes to a digitalization. So we’re seeing companies move away from spreadsheets and paper as well. Of course this leads to better version control and better availability of data.
Just to give a practical example, five years ago, we were seeing all of the work plans being done in excel spreadsheets, and as you can imagine if you wanted to take a look what was happening at the wind farm last last week or last year it becomes quite difficult to access and hard for engineers to analyze that data.
So we are seeing more progress towards digital solutions and better work processes based around these digital solutions. Which, as you can imagine, leads to more productivity and increased safety. We are seeing more software systems used for this purpose as these are generally more reliable at flagging any issues than an individual cross-referencing to spreadsheets.Rafa Dawid, Sennen Offshore Developement Lead
What are the data and planning challenges that need to be tackled next?
There is still a real disconnect between the increased desire for decision support systems and the actual uptake by those that could benefit from it most. With increasingly larger sites, using more vessels, with multiple contractors and a greater health and safety focus, there will be a natural progression to tackle the challenges that this brings. At Sennen, we are already some way down this path with our software designed to tackle these exact challenges.
With multiple data sources and siloed systems, it becomes incredibly hard to cross reference and bring data together. Even when smart algorithms exist, it’s very hard to integrate into the day-to-day processes without a good system in place.
Often the process is focused on planning without thinking about the resulting datasets. There is a challenge to ensure operators learn from historical data.Paul Grimshaw, Sennen CTO
A best practice approach to data in short-term planning and most importantly, how to get started?
We recommend to first of all analyse your existing processes, and try to pinpoint if there are any inefficiencies, user mistakes and preventable human errors. More often than not, there will be some low hanging fruit that you can start optimising. The next step is just really about delivering value by implementing to your existing processes. Don’t expect to get ito done overnight – from our experience it takes a few years to nail it down so we recommend that you turn to people with experience who will really help you along the way.
One specific example of best practice, is to have a way of linking your planed activities to what is actually happening on site. Have a process that links work orders to people and vessels, so that you can start gathering valuable data for later analysis. The data we’re gathering today, may only deliver value in a year or two, but it makes sense to implement a good, structured data gathering process as early as possible. But make sure the data you are collecting is structured and high quality. Implementing these processes in construction (and having data) will help you hit the ground running in the operations phase.Rafa Dawid, Sennen Offshore Developement Lead