Subsea System Engineering and Operations Consulting

Knowledge Footprint

We are in a challenging market…….is this really the best time for training? I would argue that it is an Excellent time to consider training and increase you Core Staff’s “knowledge footprint”.

It’s common that when times are good – we are too busy to train and when times are bad there is no money to train. Perhaps we need to rethink this position.

Too many times training is simply looked upon as “Cost” instead of either a strengthening of core capabilities or adding a new dimension to an employee’s general knowledge of a product or service. However, these are great reasons for providing training to key employees during this industry downturn and will allow an organization to operate in a leaner environment moving forward.

The key is to target training that adds value for the person’s position or job responsibility. To design a training program for a team of Drilling Engineers, the training should not be to a level in which they become proficient in services or tasks they would not normally perform – but rather provide them with targeted training to understand the fundamentals of those services or tasks so they can better communicate with those departments or service providers on what they need from them to accomplish a task or deliver a project.

Training in Quality Assurance is an area that can be beneficial.

Let’s use “Auditing” for example. An overview of what the Auditor does and what resources they use would provide benefits to the Engineer with a better understanding of the advantages, expectations and limitations of an “Audit”. This would allow the Engineer to broaden their core competency by being able to better communicate the need and objective for an Audit of a selected Supplier or Service Provider being performed by a Certified Auditor. The Engineer does not need to reach a level of proficiency as an Auditor.

“Inspection” is another area where fundamental training might be beneficial. The word “Inspection” needs further definition in order to communicated properly. For example, the Engineer is not likely to actually perform Magnetic Particle Inspection Services so a complete “Level II Magnetic Particle Class” is add value to their core competency as much as a comprehensive understanding of the Method, how it is performed, personnel certification requirements, and the distinct advantages and disadvantages associated with inspecting the equipment provided by the Suppliers and Service Providers they engage in performing their jobs.

I often say “people generally don’t know what they generally don’t know”.

Targeted training will allow a Core Staff to have a larger “knowledge footprint” in their specific job responsibility or career. It supports better communication and allows for the possibility of working in a leaner environment. It’s looking at the “bigger picture”. This is different than training designed to enable someone to perform a specific job.

We can all benefit from a broader “knowledge footprint”. If your specific job responsibility is Purchasing, Engineering, Accounting or some other critical path function within an organization – any training you receive should increase your “knowledge footprint” and enable you to communicate more effectively promoting continued and future success in your job.

In order to target the right training that will broaden the “knowledge footprint” for a person or department a competency assessment needs to be performed. These assessments can be as complex or as informal as needed to generate the right discussion on where targeted training is needed.

As we prepare for what many believe is a new “normal” in our Industry, training has to be part of the strategic discussion of how we do business. But when the discussion starts to develop don’t let it shift straight into “cost”.  Make it part of the plan to deal with the changes we are all facing. Shift the discussion on how to increase our “knowledge footprint”. It will increase efficiency and reduce cost.

Contributing Subscriber : Jim Hood

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…Brian is very knowledgeable on subsea systems including horizontal and vertical trees, completion risers and subsea test trees. I would recommend Brian highly for any work in this area….
Steve PierceDeepwater Well Intervention AdvisorChevron North America E&P