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Project Management in Energy

Following the continuous growth in the global energy needs, the need in thorough capital projects management and control is increasing.

Meeting this increased demand requires the development of many new energy sources, including hydro power, nuclear power, transmission infrastructure, clean power plants/stations with reduced CO2 emissions (in line with the EU’s 2020 directive) as well as offshore environments.

Recent Turnaround from nuclear power-orientation to other energy sources completely changed the energy situation in Europe and many new projects (mainly solar and wind) are being executed and planned and older plants are being renovated and up-grated (thermal, hydro).  

Projects in this industry require huge investment, both monetary but also in terms of organizational commitment. It is essential that companies learn project management best practice in order to mitigate or avoid project risks at all level. Capital projects involves high risk and is not something that can be avoided, however most risk can be mitigated or eliminated with the right risk management approach.  As a result Risk Management is critical for success of the entire project and, furthermore, integral to the success of the entire company.

Main industry challenges:

  1. Lack of Clarity in the Scope of the Project and Stakeholder Expectations
  2. Shifting Organizational Priorities and Portfolio Prioritization
  3. Project Changes and Knowledge Not Well Managed
  4. A Lack of Portfolio Project Management Skills, Knowledge and Tools
  5. Increasing Need for Training and Mentoring of Project Sponsors

Projects are undertaken in a business environment which is rapidly changing – speed and agility become paramount, although this is not always possible for long term large complex projects – a bringing together of traditional and agile ways of working is needed.

In the energy industry, successful execution of projects in the design,
construction, and operation of plants and facilities is dependent on
more than ensuring that schedules and budgets are met. Management
of the asset life cycle from planning all the way through to
decommissioning requires systems and tools that support a project
framework that can leverage information from a multitude of sources
to drive decision making, effectively integrate information, and permit
collaboration with key partners both externally and internally during
all project phases. At the same time, the framework must allow energy
companies to meet stringent regulatory requirements.
Information technology (IT) plays a critical role in the execution of
capital projects. The ability to leverage essential information at the project
and portfolio level becomes knowledge for operators to successfully
execute capital projects while mitigating risk, ensuring safety, and
maintaining compliance in a resource-constrained environment. IDC
Energy Insights believes the following elements are essential to
supporting successful execution of capital project management:
● Knowledge management that provides the ability for a system to
capture and disseminate information to all participants, all while
controlling access of key information to maintain security
● Collaboration that supports the secure exchange and feedback loops
between all parties, including external partners, complemented with
a policy-based records management and archiving framework
● Integration of information from all stages of the asset life cycle and
the ability to identify, capture, and effectively incorporate and
leverage information in the asset life cycle