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Large oil and gas company: Planning and implementing strategic business initiatives

A leading oil and gas company worked with Accenture to develop a transformation planning process and execute a set of global improvement initiatives.


The client is the drilling and completions organization of one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies.

Operating in 10 locations around the world, the organization focuses on deepwater, offshore and onshore production of liquid and gas hydrocarbons.

The client’s Upstream division set out to create and/or improve its drilling and completion processes and procedures. The organization identified more than 150 business initiatives to be implemented across its global business units, in 10 regions and three functions, over several years.

Because the proposed changes would potentially affect a large number of drilling and completions operations, the company needed to clearly understand the potential workforce impact. It also needed a standard planning process for the multi-initiative transformation and a consistent implementation approach. For help in driving the planning and implementation efforts (which included process design, estimating and capacity planning tool development, performance management tracking, and a global engagement strategy), the organization turned to Accenture.


Accenture and the client began the program by developing a strategy for rolling out the transformation initiatives. Client staff and Accenture consultants jointly led strategic planning sessions to shape the annual plan based on project priority, effort required, and results of feasibility analyses from all 10 of the client’s global regions. Next, Accenture helped the client develop the major implementation process, which involved changing processes at the HQ and regional levels, incrementally improving implementation processes, and then preparing for the transition to the client’s resources. Accenture also helped develop a three-day training program, which was delivered in two global hubs to forty individuals, and established weekly global calls to track project progress, share experiences and lessons learned, and escalate risks.

Throughout the program, Accenture was committed to keeping the program on track and instilling confidence in the new strategy and processes. Toward this end, the team relied heavily on proprietary and proven assets, including planning methodologies (for project planning), Accenture Plant and Commercial Services (for project delivery), and the Accenture Delivery Methodology (for setting up the program and shaping the project management office). Accenture also applied proven strategy principles to help the client prioritize initiatives and allocate resources appropriately.


With Accenture’s help, the client developed a structured planning process, executed a comprehensive set of improvement initiatives on a global scale, successfully achieved its implementation targets, and created sustainable systems and processes for planning, allocating resources, and deploying future improvement initiatives.

The success of the project was due to several factors:

  • The high degree of collaboration between Accenture and the client organization not only created a more effective planning and rollout process, but also positioned Accenture as a valued delivery organization.

  • The planning process produced a leadership-endorsed annual plan that balanced operational requirements with workforce capacity constraints. This balanced planning approach helped to ensure that commitments made could be fully delivered.

  • Dedicated program management and change management agents were deployed throughout the business units.

Their presence enabled relevant stakeholders to clearly understand why initiatives were being implemented, how they would be executed, and who would be responsible for their deployment.

  • Measures were put in place to monitor progress and re-prioritize initiatives to suit business needs. This provided accountability in each business unit and contributed to the high success rate for business initiative implementation.

An independent auditor—brought on board to assess the effectiveness of the implementations—found that each of the client’s 10 regions had implemented the initiatives in a standardized, comprehensive manner. Based on the success of the program, other parts of the client’s business have opted to enroll in the planning process to set a clearer direction in annual planning and learn how to deliver the desired results each year. Today, the project portfolio has become more diverse and more closely aligned to the client’s five-year strategy for growth and process improvement.