Panel – What’s Going to Happen on My Project?

Immerse yourself in the forefront of oil and gas innovation with insights from industry leaders Bill Van Sweringen, Sara Passone and M Al-Azahary B A Sani. Explore how Project Production Management (PPM) is revolutionizing capital projects, elevating safety, speed, and efficiency in the oil and gas sector.

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In a recent symposium, industry veterans Bill Van Sweringen and M Al-Azahary B A Sani illuminated the transformative impact of Project Production Management (PPM) on oil and gas capital projects. Drawing from 15 years at ExxonMobil, Bill emphasized PPM’s role as a game-changer in efficient project management. M Al-Azahary, shed light on PPM’s pivotal role in shaping Malaysia’s oil and gas industry.

The symposium explored real-world applications, spotlighting PPM’s incorporation in future project management initiatives. Emphasizing PPM’s guidance in optimizing project directions, speakers highlighted its potential in streamlining turnarounds, fostering efficiency, and closing the gap between theory and practical application.

A paradigm shift occurred as project owners recognized their integral role in the production system, disrupting the traditional view of contractors as solely responsible for outcomes. Attendees, including Sara Passone, marveled at PPM’s transparency in project execution, empowering frontline teams by revealing intricate production system details.

Bill Van Sweringen and Sara Passone shared firsthand experiences, showcasing PPM’s applications in carbon footprint optimization, portfolio management, and benchmarking. The symposium addressed challenges and opportunities, making it a vital event for those eager to revolutionize oil and gas project management.

Shifting focus to construction, industry stalwarts Bill Van Sweringen and Sara Passone delved into data-driven decision-making and the obstacles faced in adopting Business Process Management (BPM). Bill exposed flaws in traditional scheduling methods, advocating for superior tools. The discussion highlighted resistance to BPM adoption, emphasizing the need for concise definitions and one-page explanations, debunking misconceptions, and concluding with advice: “Just do it, start small, and witness the significant impact on construction project management.”


[00:00:00] Gary Fischer: He is responsible for investigating new technologies, digital and non digital, to achieve oil and gas capital projects safer and faster and more efficient. Spent 15 years at ExxonMobil in various project management global technology roles. So thank you, Bill. Alongside of his Al Azari of ETRONOS, he’s currently leading a team to drive transformation of ETRONOS GRU project delivery.

[00:00:23] Gary Fischer: He has 17 years of working experience in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industry. He was involved in

[00:00:29] Bill Van Sweringen: plant operations and maintenance before assuming a project manager role overseeing various plant changes and rejuvenation

[00:00:35] Gary Fischer: projects. He’s currently studiating project production management implementation within Petronas.

[00:00:40] Gary Fischer: He is also playing a role to shape Malaysia’s oil and gas industry players to adopt the methodology for in pre delivery for for whips. So let’s let’s get all the earring in the sock at you out. I mean, you all didn’t like there. How did you become aware of PPM?

[00:00:57] Bill Van Sweringen: Well

[00:00:58] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: I think, I say for one night, they got to be an old man.

[00:01:07] Bill Van Sweringen: Tell

[00:01:09] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: me spring BPM when you’re all right. The, the, the journey started about three years ago, right? In as soon as group project delivery, we started with yeah. Like any others, any other organization starting to look at digital transformation and innovation, right? So. We started a new initiative called as Project Management of the Future, right?

[00:01:35] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: And now it’s the future, right? So Project Management of the Future, where I was part of that initiative, right? And how we did is that we asked around and we get advice. And we asked around on several consultants. So, so the top one, the best ones. And we, we, we find what are the common things that there are proposal.

[00:02:06] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: Proposed to me, how should I improve my project delivery moving forward? How should I craft my project management of the future program? And project with the production management. IBM is, is the one that came out, out of most of the software. So that, that is how. We get started, we get selected, we be able to explore further, yes mid sense, right?

[00:02:38] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: In a way, science, right? Operational science, and, and we start averaging

[00:02:44] Bill Van Sweringen: from that. Excellent.

[00:02:45] Gary Fischer: Has anything else

[00:02:46] Bill Van Sweringen: for you? ExxonMobil had a venture and technology scouting group. I think they went to Stanford at the CT. We founded it as one of the speakers that’s the Center for Integrated Facilities Engineering.

[00:03:05] Bill Van Sweringen: And they, hey, PPO. So I came to one of these symposiums before covid. I’m still in person and got interested. And then we interviewed a lot of the symposium speakers has Microsoft, Chevron and some of the Exxon people, and took it from there and did it some desktop studies and kept. Kept invest again.

[00:03:33] Gary Fischer: So sir, you got our results. You’re starting

[00:03:35] Sara Passone: the analysis after it. No more. No Nothing. I I I I think that It’s been it’s been fascinating because some of the people in my company Soccer’s edition IACC and that when I say that my my husband passed me something Which you know, from Shepherd’s, like, what did he pass to, is it a, no, nothing confidential, it’s just an article, and, no, it’s, it’s in, it’s, it’s been for me, it, it was a, I just want to describe the sense of belief when I was, reading about PPM cause you know, decision quality Explain the front end of the project, kind of give you the frame and give you a sense of okay, there is some science into the madness, but I couldn’t find the same equivalent for the execution part, you know, and so for me reading about it on this publication, you guys have are always black or white.

[00:04:42] Sara Passone: I don’t understand. There is no color. Yep. But, but is that yeah, the sense of relief of seeing that there is science in the execution was very, was very big.

[00:04:55] Bill Van Sweringen: So definitely. You share a

[00:04:57] Gary Fischer: little bit with us, but show us, share a little bit more about what opportunities you see in their business to apply

[00:05:03] Bill Van Sweringen: production.

[00:05:04] Sara Passone: So for me, as I said, I’m in a now working in turnarounds. So I for me, turnarounds is like a factory. I do a lot of maintenance. We have turnarounds is two things. You do maintenance and you do projects that needs a fulfilled outages. So that’s it. So, I see turnarounds in really an easy application of of of BPM.

[00:05:33] Sara Passone: Just because actually you can when you it’s, it’s partially is the language also where contractor turnarounds. speak about because they have their own fabrication app that does multiple things for multiple operators. So I think that is an easy way. But the other thing I think is where I see application is definitely the new energy that you were describing and all.

[00:05:58] Sara Passone: And the only reason why I’m between is that, hey, as you said, they have very small margin. So the pressure is to bring to market. So how can you use a philosophy, factory physics that is used by manufacturers to break the market very quickly? How can you use the same philosophy to break the market after these changes?

[00:06:21] Sara Passone: But the other things that I noticed, I don’t do in URG, but I have three friends. These stakeholders in the URG are people who are used to factory physics. So, so I said, why, you should explain, this is the language that they talk. So is the production management become a common language to talk to stakeholders in the new energy?

[00:06:47] Sara Passone: I have a spider on this.

[00:06:48] Gary Fischer: So same question for you, where do you see opportunities that live production management can have?

[00:06:54] Bill Van Sweringen: So the PPM that we’ve seen so far is really, oriented sports and genetic cons. Construction. I think the application of the planning is a lot easier than a control. During construction, you only have 120 to a hundred pm in planning to convince what DP hem is and 5,000 in the in the,

[00:07:34] Bill Van Sweringen: in the embedded card. We have a very difficult problem already in engineering. But we have to take the design and the method, the execution, and get the optimum cost and schedule. And it’s going to become more complicated when we have to optimize the carbon footprint. So how are we going to do that? Right?

[00:07:57] Bill Van Sweringen: If we do it manually, it’s going to be quite hard. But carbon footprint is really just another resource of an activity. Just like a machinery or labor. Or, or a piece of equipment, you can track carbon. And then you can optimize for it using the equations that that are in there. Say, okay, what’s my best execution plan for low carbon?

[00:08:26] Bill Van Sweringen: So I think that’s an application for PPM. Is right, right now. It’s a very hard thing to do right now. It’s, you know, optimize cost and schedule for design and execution. Do it again. Fiat and Carlyx, it’s exponential. I think that there’s a, an opportunity in portfolio management because, all, ADM is tracking executions and time and schedule.

[00:08:56] Bill Van Sweringen: Well, you can have portfolios that work for, if you’re a bidding, or if you’re a big owner, you have thousands of projects to do, we can model them and then say, well, we’ve got 2, 000 engineers. Which one should I do first to give me the most intel? Excellent, cool. So, Portfolio Analyst is another one. Another one that’s kind of interesting for me, because I was working in technology and engineering you know, innovation and improvement, is Benchmark.

[00:09:31] Bill Van Sweringen: So, if I had a project, let’s say an LNG plant, I just mark it in PBM. I come along with a new technology, lean, AC elsewhere, I could change. Put it in there and see virtually whether that’s going to be a viable Shambilla movement or not, or whether the schedule is controlled by the compressor delivery gang of bastards, I’m not going to do anything for you.

[00:09:58] Bill Van Sweringen: Yeah. All right. So you can use it for benchmarking. And so those are kind of a little unusual, applications besides engineering and construction, which it’s kind of designed. Excellent.

[00:10:11] Gary Fischer: Voids out with your

[00:10:12] Bill Van Sweringen: perspective. All right. So,

[00:10:16] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: I, from my perspective, three goals, three, three angles for application of BBM, first on, on the ground, the project team, right?

[00:10:29] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: So BBM can provide the guidance for the project team on how they should go, where is the right direction to go, right? Because, because yeah, we, we have, I’ve been looking from, from, it’s this early morning about the schedule. It’s actually. We need to acknowledge that the different objective of, of schedule that we have now is actually mainly for progress measurement, instead of trying to control how the project is being done on the ground.

[00:11:04] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: So means the, the, the, the few people actually left by their own to determine how best they should be doing. Right. Is it optimized or not optimized? We don’t know. It depends on the. It got a good format and then get good productivity at all, right? So, so with a structured way, like UPM application, we can help the ground people, the frontliners, right?

[00:11:35] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: To have a certain direction. That’s one thing. Second, because of the nature of operation science, right? And, and the fact that the Most of this, we are trying to, to learn as well, but in, the, the advice when we see for manufacturing. The one of main aspect in our project is our fabrication yard. And somehow the fabrication yard doesn’t work like perfection.

[00:12:05] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: So our fabrication yard, although it’s so much, looks like perfected, but it doesn’t be operated like a manufacturing company. Right. So, so. So, this is an opportunity that we have to do the work with closely with, with South Hong Kong Sea Fabrication Yachts for them to be able to see how they operate the yacht utilizing vocational science and project production management and improve their performance.

[00:12:39] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: To be at while this manufacturing, right? So second and third is actually back to our team, right? Being an owner the the tendency is for us to We have we have Lump sum contract, we are already push the word to you, to you today, right? The realization in DPM is that not everything, right, determines by the contractor, because we are actually part of the production system as well.

[00:13:16] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: So the understanding by, by owner that, that I recognize, I acknowledge that I am part of the system. And if, I will also determine the performance of the system, not only my contractor, right? That is something actually not so easy to do really inside, honestly, because of the mindset of, I’m already giving this to you.

[00:13:39] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: Why should I be bothered by that? You should not allow me to be, to be, would be in a difficult situation. So, so, but it is a vicious cycle that, that with PPM, that We can help to improve the situation in terms of correcting the mindset of owners.

[00:14:02] Bill Van Sweringen: Yeah, and you’re a part of the system. I say, how did you get to that realization

[00:14:06] Gary Fischer: that, you know, where did the light bulb come on that, hey, I just was a part of the system of my contract?

[00:14:12] Bill Van Sweringen: I think we start with a simple,

[00:14:16] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: Production system of ng deliverables. We see engineering of, of developing deliverables from, whether by soldering, from we start with process design and all, until you really produce an isotope, right? But it’s just one part of the, the production system that it goes to review cycles.

[00:14:41] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: There are three review cycles, right, A, F, R, and F, S, C, and so on, right. And before you get into A, F, C, they approve of contract construction. And this review cycle actually goes to onus, right. And before it goes to onus, and it could be from, yeah, you have some consultant, consultants go to main court, where main court send to onus.

[00:15:04] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: And you repeat this three times, at least. Because if you have in perfect condition, you have three review cycle, right. And this is for one deliverable. I use that by 10, 000? 5, 000? And you know, that’s, that is why, we always have a delay in engineering. But we always chase our engineering consultants, and blame our engineering consultants for that.

[00:15:35] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: Actually, most of the time, it’s because of the return of deliverables revision, review. That is cause problem, we learn

[00:15:46] Gary Fischer: all and say, oh,

[00:15:50] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: and because Saudi will not tell that. Yeah. Because they want to, they want to maintain good reputation and Good, good, good relationship with, with On. Right. So Honest must have this kind of realization themselves.

[00:16:05] Sara Passone: Well, good piece is a, is a dear topic to me. So we analyzed, I analyzed, I told you I’m, I’m crazy about data. We analyzed, how many people were involved in work path planning review. So I took this data and I could download all the comments. It was a tedious, tedious job, but I did it. So there were, on average, there were 27 people involved in, work path review.

[00:16:39] Sara Passone: Only seven people were putting, really good comments. I said, I said, okay, so this document, this, this, this WordPax I’m going to 27, but only seven are really contributing. All the other comments are a waste, so why we do it? So it, it’s, in fact, that’s, that’s nothing that Power BI can do, only manual work can look at this code.

[00:17:09] Sara Passone: So, like, it’s, it’s, it’s fascinating that, as you said, we are part of the problem. So we start saying, I don’t need you to review it, I don’t need you to review it, I don’t need So we, we eliminate the number of people, and that speed up things and, and the quality of state, you see. That’s what I want to, what I want to do.

[00:17:33] Gary Fischer: Yes. So what, what was the most interesting or the more attract, most attractive

[00:17:38] Bill Van Sweringen: thing that made you curious about PTM?

[00:17:42] Sara Passone: Mainly, sure. So maybe that puts them right. Don’t get no. More curious. So, we spend, we all spend a lot of time, I mean, as as I said today, we The first things they saw me with all my PhD postdocs.

[00:18:01] Sara Passone: They are so . So the, that’s the feedback they gave me. So I spent a lot of time and I really enjoyed going to construction. Yeah. Actually didn’t tell them my father was a contractor. So I go the kind of people and and and I notice so, that the executives, so I, I, this. We are the experience that will build the floor, our suppliers or manufacturing or construction yard.

[00:18:35] Sara Passone: But what’s happening was not what was told to e executive, it was, so I will be on this project that you have major intervention so that we have every other call, every other day call with the executive. So what’s going on time ever. And I will have these weird experiences and say that you are not having exactly what’s, what’s happening.

[00:18:58] Sara Passone: So what’s making it curious and more interesting is, as I said in my presentation, is, is be very transparent of what’s happening by being able to layout, design, analyze the production system, you actually read the front line incentive. So I can see, I can see exactly what’s happening. It doesn’t have to go to multiple people to tell me what, what, what’s happening.

[00:19:27] Sara Passone: So that means the the thing that I Powered to the front line. Yes. So that’s what we Made me more interesting.

[00:19:39] Gary Fischer: So bill was it for you? Was it the air abuse you get or the sessions you had at this lesson?

[00:19:45] Bill Van Sweringen: Well, it was guys like, well, Barry Toe and James. So first when I got a little interested because Hess and McKenzie put out a, a study about how they’re all can field, I’ll say cost and schedule and prove it over seven years by a 40 percent or something.

[00:20:09] Bill Van Sweringen: I’m like, Oh, we’re looking for something that can improve our execution. But I went to the first symposium. And I’m listening to the speakers and they’re going, you know, your work in process is too high. Don’t, don’t send everything to the field early, like you described. And I’m going, you know, by then I’d already been working as a project manager for 40 years.

[00:20:33] Bill Van Sweringen: And I’m like, we’ve been doing it this way for 40 years. And everything out there, I mean, I compare it to what you said. So the construction guys can do whatever they want, to whatever order, unimpeded. And I’m thinking the speakers are wrong. That’s when my first one was. But I had just finished a multi billion dollar project out here in Baytown.

[00:20:57] Bill Van Sweringen: And I started kind of thinking about what was said in an unbiased way. What were the facts? I also had spent multi hundred millions of dollars preparing Laydown Area. I put stuff out there. I had vessels sitting there for nine months that I paid for and now I was preserving. I had flanges that were, rusting and I had to reface all the flanges.

[00:21:26] Bill Van Sweringen: We were moving stuff into the workface because I was, we needed to do the, maintain schedule that backed it up. We had to move it all back out for safety and efficiency reasons and then lost it. And you always have the safety incidents out in the field that you had to worry about in the late out in the area.

[00:21:49] Bill Van Sweringen: So, when I started looking at all the facts in an unbiased way and dropped my 40 years of experience, I was like, well, maybe there’s something here. And that we need to take a little closer look at what’s going on. I’ve got one of your thoughts that it’s refreshing to see some sort of science that’s being applied because right now, these big projects, it’s, it’s like, Personal heroics to, to get these things done.

[00:22:25] Bill Van Sweringen: And it’s tough on the project team and the people that are good at it. Is it, you know, burns them out. So I think that’s, the hell someone sound

[00:22:48] Bill Van Sweringen: looking at the gas

[00:22:49] Gary Fischer: out. It was a console security or that with some of you whispering in your dreams.

[00:22:55] Bill Van Sweringen: All

[00:22:57] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: right. Actually, people talking about, about data driven decision making, right? So, so instead of triple triple decision making or something whatever driven, right? So, well and, and talking about about decision quality is a good thing, right?

[00:23:22] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: So, we, we make a lot of decisions day by day in projects, right? Like, how to move towards data driven decision making. When most of the data we have in the project is actually unstructured data. We have a lot of data, but it’s unstructured data. And if we are, we’re trying to emulate manufacturing, they have all kinds of sensors and we are now working with people where is the sensors, right?

[00:23:50] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: So, so, and with all the dynamics that the, the, the, we have in the, in the project, as Yixuan said. That the people should be assessor, like how to put assessor effectively, so that we can have later, a proper data for this to decide proper, right? So that is, that is a kind of things that, that make me curious and, and, and coupled with the fact that it’s against operational science.

[00:24:23] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: You cannot be, you’re gonna go wrong with science, right? So, and how we can utilize all these kinds of analytics, right? First, to, to put, census on the people, the dynamics of people, right? So even in the, for example, in the sense of, of, of capturing commitments, right? Essentially we are putting census in people, right?

[00:24:50] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: And measuring that, measuring the, the performance of the commitment, right? It’s easier for us to have one conveyor belt, but not that easy for us to have on the people. But that makes the difference, because that enable the, the analytics that, that, that will guide us and help us provide this critical insights for us to, to move forward with the right direction.

[00:25:17] Bill Van Sweringen: Within your

[00:25:18] Gary Fischer: world, what do you think the greatest barriers are for the engineering and concession industry to adoption in the manure organization, what are the big

[00:25:27] Bill Van Sweringen: barriers? The big

[00:25:28] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: barriers yeah, a lot of barriers that depend on me. Right, but one of the key things, various is that, the fact that we still think that we can We can’t scale success with the current way of photo, right?

[00:25:49] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: So we can’t still achieve something, right? We still depend on Yeah. It’s just maybe something wrong with what we do. We just don’t do our current method properly, right? And we keep on trusting the current system, right? And keep on getting the

[00:26:12] Bill Van Sweringen: same thing as gold. So it’s the impression of people. This could take a while to answer.

[00:26:18] Bill Van Sweringen: You know what I’m getting? I’ll be quiet. So the ANC barriers. I think the biggest thing is in the ANC industry, we don’t teach operations research. We call it operations science. We call it operations research. And if people don’t know, know that. I mean, we do for manufacturing. You can, we go in our company, go to the manufacturing guy and tell him about this and they go, yeah, sure.

[00:26:46] Bill Van Sweringen: And you go to the construction guys, they go, what, what are you talking about? You’re crazy. It is a scheme now. And I said before, it’s a Rolex because of that. Now the second thing, and I’m going to just reiterate everything you said today about schedule. It, it is over relied upon in our business. It’s most schedules are wrong and a lot of reasons, but I think it’s because they don’t have all the activities that are actually taking place in there and there are approximations of work and depending on how good the scheduler is, you could get a decent schedule or you could get crack, right?

[00:27:33] Bill Van Sweringen: And but the big problem is. That’s the only tool that we give to our managers to say how we’re doing. It’s a flawed tool and it takes, as you pointed out, it’s always late. It’s always six weeks, 30 days best. It’ll be six months that you’re re baselining. I can’t use it as a project manager. I’ve never been able to.

[00:28:00] Bill Van Sweringen: It’s just a waste of time, in my opinion. We need better tools and schedule. Now, and this I’m going to get a little critical. What are the barriers to the organization? And I think that one of the biggest barriers is that we don’t have a very simple, succinct definition of what BPM is. A one sentence, two sentence that people can grasp.

[00:28:26] Bill Van Sweringen: I’m going to my manager and say, you should invest in this and I can’t explain what it is. Now, I, I went to several symposiums, interviewed all sorts of people, and finally came up with like a one to two sentence definition, and it’s not perfect, right? Oh, I like it. Oh, it’s, it’s a simulation of a work process using operations research principles to get throughput through a system with efficiency.

[00:29:00] Bill Van Sweringen: It’s something like petting it, but it’s not perfect. I think PPI needs to have a really good definition that people can come in and say, Oh, I understand it. Give it to your boss. Your boss goes, Oh, I got it. It’s not just a bunch of hand waving, right? So the second obstacle in an organization. Is people don’t have operations research experience in the construction industry.

[00:29:26] Bill Van Sweringen: They do in manufacturing and so forth. The third obstacle is change. And it, you know, our contractors, by the way, I was a contractor 32 years before Exxon. Our contractors have, experience systems people training to get these complex projects built. You’re going to come in, I’m going to come in and say.

[00:29:55] Bill Van Sweringen: Oh, on this billion dollar loan sum. Construction contract, I want you to change the way 5, 000 people do their work. No, nobody’s going to risk their career for that. So as I said before, I think you can do BPM in the planning phase pretty easily. There’s only 20 people to convince, other people maybe. And if you’re going to do it in the construction phase, you got to start small, small little projects, prove it, arc about it, and so forth.

[00:30:30] Bill Van Sweringen: So the fourth barrier, I bet seven, by the way, you have true one start. So, there’s a perceived expense to build these models. I think that, there’s work for the PPI. How do you ingest the 3G model into the PPM model? We, we have to redo everything. And throw away data and put new data in. We need to be able to just ingest it in.

[00:30:59] Bill Van Sweringen: It takes weeks and weeks, and the teams get tired waiting for results. So, there’s an eye patch on APM. Changing personnel. People learn about it and then they go away. And my group aren’t going out. There’s a perception that repetitive projects are the only projects VPM works well on. And that if you’re in a remote location, you can’t do just time delivery, so it’s not going to work.

[00:31:32] Bill Van Sweringen: And then the last one which we found by experiment was if you’re going to build a model and you want people to follow it, the recommendations that come out of it, you got to convince them that the model is right. You spend a lot of time doing that, and that’s not that the sequence is right, but all the rules are right.

[00:31:52] Bill Van Sweringen: Like, you can’t do construction with one crew above another, so you can’t put that in, that can’t be a result, it has to be the rule, right, don’t do that, it got hot work, he got out these, these things separated, so forth, these rules, which govern construction, end up with his head. You got to get them in the mob, and then you got to prove to them it’s there so that they can say, Oh, yeah, I believe this was all that.

[00:32:19] Bill Van Sweringen: Does that sound fair? Anything to add to the

[00:32:21] Sara Passone: sentiment I know? What he said, everything he said, I subscribe to it. I, it’s I think the resistance for me it’s going to reactors. So, we have these now very well decided Act for Discipline, Code, and Project Controls in our project. And they are you know they have their own discipline, their own practices, their own documents, their own policies.

[00:32:52] Sara Passone: So, you go out and tell them that, well, they have definitely some other code to act on. Also, it’s not good enough. Good is a true rejection and, and these are the people by the way that whisper in the ear of the project manager and the project directors and the executives. Everybody has a friend in the project controls the project manager because P6 is too complicated for them, so they need a translator.

[00:33:15] Sara Passone: So then I’ll have a friend you know, also good events. So, so, so this, for me, this is the, the behavior. So the people, the it’s very difficult to open that, to, to, to break the mold. Sure. All the things you said. Going back to the easy definition of the project, PPM absolutely needed. I need.

[00:33:46] Sara Passone: Regression I talked about. I need a one pager, very simple, that I can, one sentence with three bullet points, that I can explain what it is, and then a vector pitch, because I get, I get lost to, no, but you know, let me explain, and then I have to explain what the operation and search is, and, you know, they don’t understand.

[00:34:07] Sara Passone: So something very simple. I think that, What, we all do in our company, a form of, Aysham is pretty good at that as well a form of decision quality. But what I think changed the game for decision quality was like he was taught in a very simple way to executive. So I’m looking for a day where my vice president is going to say, okay, tell me more in a project review or in a project sessions.

[00:34:39] Sara Passone: Tell me more when so what are you going to do when the MTLK rate is going to show? When they’re going to ask this question, then the day. The game is going to change because the entire system is going to say, Oh, it’s going to ask to literate, to have, you know, capacity, it’s going to ask about. Then I’m going to answer to that, to, to, to, to that, those questions.

[00:35:06] Sara Passone: So now you’ll be an exec, you know what I do, when it takes to prepare a slide pack for, for runners, you guys. So yeah, so, so, so that is why things are going to

[00:35:17] Bill Van Sweringen: change.

[00:35:19] Gary Fischer: So, real quick, like, because we’re, we’ve got a little bit of time, but Yeah. One short sentence. Yes. Advice for the audience who may be contemplating taking the PPM

[00:35:29] Bill Van Sweringen: journey.

[00:35:29] Bill Van Sweringen: What advice would you give them?

[00:35:31] Sara Passone: Don’t be scared of your loneliness. I haven’t, I’ve got, I’ve got a lot, a lot, a lot. As a true Jedi, you gotta be alone to. So yes. So, so, so, absolutely, so truly that isn’t truly that when he’s alone in the situation. Wrong. Yes. No ab So yeah. So that is the and, and the you.

[00:35:56] Sara Passone: The second one is you’re gonna be right and they’re gonna be wrong. They’re not. That’s another one not, but yeah. Be I think, I’m always a very optimistic person, so, yeah, on it, on it, and don’t be, and, get rid of the needle, try to explain to it, the needle, let it, like, what is it? Go to the front line.

[00:36:25] Sara Passone: And explaining to them what you’re trying to do in a way and they that follow you. I think that’s what I learned. They want to, they’re committed to the work. They want to do a good job. And so trying a way to explain to them what you’re trying to do and they will follow. So that’s is to me the, to the word of us a

[00:36:44] Gary Fischer: squeezing on their air house.

[00:36:46] Gary Fischer: They great like Bill Winter. Sure to

[00:36:48] Bill Van Sweringen: say some advice. One point. There are a lot of There’s a lot of There are a lot of systems that are being pushed out there. There’s lean, advanced work packaging, CPM, backwards, AI for scheduling. All these, lean, Alice, PPM, all these things are being pressed and buttered meat.

[00:37:14] Bill Van Sweringen: And they’re saying this is the best thing since sliced bread and I can move it. Right? So how does the manager choose? My suggestion, look at the five levers that, that we have in operations management and you look at each one of those and say, which levers are they pulling, like CPN, it’s what process, okay, lean, like the inventory, work process and resources, but they’re not pulling all five.

[00:37:44] Bill Van Sweringen: And that’s why they’ve got some successes, but they ultimately fail. In particular, as you mentioned at the beginning. They don’t, most of them don’t have variability. And that’s the one that kills you.

[00:37:59] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: You know, that

[00:38:02] Bill Van Sweringen: one day, one day, one. All

[00:38:05] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: right. So, a price for the audience, right? Just do it. I can just do it. Just do it, don’t, don’t delay. I think one of the best, one of our best decision we made two years back, is just to start small. Correct. Not waiting for the for the big project, the right project.

[00:38:26] M Al-Azahary B A Sani: Yeah, we got in the car, we struck the And you like it, same if you, you, you, you, if you try a little bit too much, it’s just too significant. So it ain’t been a big project.

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Gary Fischer, PE

Project Production Institute

Gary Fischer, PE

Project Production Institute

Gary Fischer is the Executive Director of the Project Production Institute (PPI) and Chair of the PPI Energy Working Group.  He has over 40 years of experience in all aspects of capital project development and execution across downstream, chemicals and upstream in Chevron.  As GM of Chevron’s Project Resources Company, he was responsible for Chevron’s project management system, a supporting team of subject matter experts, an early concept development group, and Chevron’s decision analysis function.  Before retiring he took a special assignment to deploy Project Production Management and digital transformation across Chevron’s global portfolio of capital projects.  Gary’s prior experience includes project leadership roles in engineering, construction, and project management spanning across all segments and many locations. He also served as the upstream director of capital projects for Eurasia, Europe, and a gas to liquids venture with Sasol.

Gary holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Colorado State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

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Bill Van Sweringen

ExxonMobil (Ret.)

Bill Van Sweringen

ExxonMobil (Ret.)

Bill Van Sweringen is the former Digital Strategy Advisor for ExxonMobil Global Projects Company, where he was responsible for investigating new technologies, both digital and non-digital, to execute oil and gas capital projects safer, faster and more efficiently. He spent 15+ years at ExxonMobil in various project management and global technology roles.

He received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and his MBA from New York University Stern School of Business.

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Sara Passone


Sara Passone


Sara Passone is Turnaround Manager for BP Americas. Before that, she was a Delivery Manager at BP responsible for the delivery of engineering, construction and Hook Up and Commissioning of Cassia C platform in Trinidad and Tobago.  and completion of Brownfield work on Cassia Hub. Over the past 15+ years with BP, Sara has worked in capital project delivery and led multi-disciplinary project lifecycle execution from FEED up to STARTUP by developing and implementing operating strategies, optimizing business processes, and leveraging technology solutions in Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Trinidad & Tobago.

She is a Post Doctorate Fellow in Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and she received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Loughborough University in the UK.

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M Al-Azahary B A Sani


M Al-Azahary B A Sani


Al-Azahary is currently leading a team to drive transformation in PETRONAS Group Project Delivery. He has seventeen years of working experience in the oil, gas and petrochemical industry. He was involved in plant operations and maintenance before assuming a Project Manager role overseeing various plant change and rejuvenation projects. He is currently spearheading Project Production Management (PPM) implementation within PETRONAS projects, and also playing the role to shape Malaysia’s Oil & Gas industry players to adopt the methodology for improved project delivery performance.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering and a Master’s degree in Process Plant Management from University of Technology Malaysia.