Information, or lack of it, can result in unnecessary cost and risk. For example, suppose you are selling your million-dollar home. There is lead paint in the house and you disclose this to one potential buyer, but neglect to tell another. Based on the information provided, the first buyer rescinds his offer, and the second buyer, blissfully unaware, goes through with the purchase. When the second buyer eventually finds out about the lead paint, not only does the sale fall through, but he also sues you over misinformation. Imagine a similar scenario on a facility costing billions of dollars in another country, and it is easy to see the ramifications of mismanaged information and how it can be financially staggering.
This was the reality in which our client found themselves while engaged in a large capital project in another country. Due to the massive scale of the endeavor, a network of investment partners was engaged. Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, our client was obligated to provide financial and technical data needed by the partners to meet their own project commitments and secure continued investment participation. Errors in the information provided could result in unraveled partnerships, loss of credibility, and even litigation.
Unfortunately, managing information proved challenging for several reasons:
To address these challenges, the client contracted Access Sciences to create an information infrastructure to:
Decentralized information exchange on a large capital project, risking potential project stoppage, litigation, and billions of dollars of lost revenue
Designed an information infrastructure to guide and support accurate and timely dissemination of information
Reduced risk, improved contractual compliance, and empowered partners to make informed business decisions
The primary goal of the solution was to enable information consistency and sharing at the same time with the right people. A risk assessment of the organization revealed many of their pain points could be ameliorated by implementing policies and supporting guidelines. It was also important in designing the solution to maintain the client’s corporate agility and minimize any impact on existing work practices.
We developed a communication policy to provide guidance on how information should be disseminated, both internally and externally. It also defined content ownership regarding information sharing, clarifying when information requests should be fulfilled and when they should be funneled up.
To provide a support system, we designed a new function and role to coordinate the exchange of project information and manage the information access rights of the partners. A functional mailbox facilitated communication between the new role and project staff and served as a central collection point for relevant email communications. Documents were managed in a central repository to control versions and reduce duplicates.
The breadth and many moving pieces of the project required all involved to be comfortable and confident in the process and comply with their responsibilities regarding the exchange of information. To facilitate their desire and ability to comply, we communicated the importance and value of the new process and we provided training materials.
The combination of people, process, and tools in the newly created information infrastructure resulted in value for the client and all its partners: