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Khurais Passes its Lessons on

Source: 6/17/2009, Location: Middle East

Every activity is an opportunity to learn. It stands to reason, then, that one of the biggest activities in the history of the energy industry also provides one of the biggest opportunities to learn.

In an effort to pass those lessons on to others, Khurais project personnel, including contractors and representatives from a variety of Saudi Aramco organizations, have been gathering in workshops to collect lessons learned. “This initiative is in line with the objectives of the ‘learning organization,’ one of the initiatives implemented by Project Management to improve project performance,” said Ahmad Sulaim, manager of Khurais Project Department.

“We hope that future projects will capitalize on the successes of the Khurais project and the wealth of experience shared during these lessons-learned workshops and build a better and safer tomorrow in Saudi Aramco,” said Abdallah A. Al-Suhaimi, a senior project manager in the Khurais Projects Department’s Infrastructure and Pipelines Division.

A lesson learned is knowledge gained from experience, successful or otherwise, in order to improve future performance. Experiences shared by project teams during such workshops are published in the Lessons Learned Knowledge Base. When implemented in other projects, the lessons improve project performance, raise the level of employee competence and ultimately have a positive impact on Saudi Aramco’s bottom line.

Including contractors and vendors in the workshops will enhance their knowledge of Saudi Aramco execution procedures, thereby improving their performance in future projects.

The workshops were seen by the participants as huge successes. Many used them as opportunities for interaction and team-building. Al-Suhaimi has taken the lead in the Khurais team lessons-learned program and championed the first-of-its-kind workshops with contractors and local vendors.

Saudi Aramco’s Lessons Learned Knowledge Base has been up and running since 2001, when it was developed by Capital Program Optimization Division of the Project Support and Controls Department.

A Construction Industry Institute research team in 2007 identified Saudi Aramco’s project management lessons-learned program as one of the most advanced in the construction industry, due to its high level of maturity and innovative features. The research team measured program maturity by assessing seven characteristics: leadership, lesson collection, lesson analysis, lesson implementation, resources, maintenance and improvement, and culture.

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