Asset Management Thinking Applied Documents


Oil & Gas


Mid-stream Oil & Gas Company

Treat Operational Content Like Other Important Assets

The Oil & Gas industry leads all industries in the Asset Integrity Management (AIM) of physical infrastructure – tracking inventory, monitoring condition state, and planning maintenance are common practice and for good reason. By considering operational content like any other important asset, AIM fundamentals can be applied to the content used in training guides, standard operating procedures, and safety processes. Establishing a strategy and employing information management tools and best practices, ensures an organization will maintain a sustainable and efficient level of service from content assets.

The value of thinking about operational content in asset management terms was on display during a recent project with a leading midstream oil & gas company. The organization is committed to applying the latest technologies and progressive thinking across the organization. Its physical infrastructure systems, supply chain, and resource management structures are among the best in the world; however, the documentation, or operational and training content, that guides these functions needed modernization.

Training guides, employee on-boarding programs and operating documents were out of date, incomplete, and in some cases inaccurate, having not been maintained to reflect updated processes or new equipment. This problem is not exclusive to this company but is an industry-wide problem. As procedures, equipment and organizations in general change, so too must the documentation that is meant to capture an organization’s operational know-how. This know-how is fundamental to an organization operating in a competitive and highly regulated environment.

During the initial content audit, it was measured that 30%-40% of content was duplicated across the organization. This contributed to the inventory of content being overwhelming to manage and keep up to date. As a result, content had become unreliable and operators had little faith in the documentation that they were supposed to regard as truth. Inefficiencies were measured in operations as well as isolated and costly mistakes attributed to out of date, incorrect, and inaccessible operational content. This was a growing problem and fundamental changes to the way the content was managed was made a priority. Although the audit pointed to some major challenges it also uncovered huge opportunities to optimize the body of content.

To begin to restructure the body of content, an information strategy was developed including a road map to guide the organization from a reactive state towards operational excellence. A content taxonomy was established for all content that defines how topics are organized, described, and ultimately labelled for inventorying. Document templates were established, a collaborative portal introduced, and easily accessible eLearning modules were rolled out in key areas of the business.

This work leveraged the client’s existing in-house tools that were brought up to date and integrated to ensure a seamless delivery of the solution. The collaborative portal was added to allow the user groups to provide feedback while executing work. Other notable features of the project involved single source authoring and attached metadata to streamline document creation, search and, future content management. The content is now searchable from a single portal and the cost of ensuring that content is up to date and accurate can be significantly reduced.

The tangible business benefits of this project will be realized into the future and include increased operational efficiency, decreased risk of information-caused accidents, reduced cost of maintaining documents, and faster employee on-boarding. This project showcases the potential for adopting an enterprise wide knowledge store and applying asset management fundamentals to operational content.

For more about projects like this one, contact Innovatia to learn how you can turn your information challenges into organizational assets.


Quick Facts


  • Inconsistent, outdated, inaccurate content
  • Major operational risks
  • High and increasing cost of information development and management
  • Content duplicated in 30-40% of topics
  • Key people retiring without important tacit information being captured
  • Unclear root cause of these problems


  • Information strategy, taxonomy & road map
  • Implement structured content database to act as single source of truth
  • Reusable document templates paired with structured database allow efficient content management and dynamic deployment
  • A combination of the client’s existing systems, with a collaborative portal, and work processes
  • Integrated feedback opportunities facilitate continuous improvement
  • Meta-data used to help find, categorize topics and track document revisions and use

Business Benefits:

  • Safety improved through increased clarity and usability of operational content
  • Minimized involvement of high cost senior resources in the documentation process
  • Reduced cost of future document creation and management
  • Process Improvements Initiated: the work exposed gaps in the client’s processes and process improvement projects included in existing operational excellence program

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Founded in 1999 and with offices across North America and globally, Innovatia’s 650 professionals deliver top quality solutions to their clients. Innovatia delivers knowledge management services in three areas including Learning Solutions, Documentation, and Technical Support. These solutions span the entire solution set from custom design and development through to delivery and support bringing the latest innovations in Knowledge Management to their clients.