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For a startup oil and gas firm, the road to operational readiness is a long and intensive one, requiring a company to navigate delays, workforce turnover, regulatory changes, and market pressures. It’s imperative that the startup not only has the right teams, but also that those teams have access to the right tools to plan and manage their projects. New challenges regularly materialize. As a result, it’s the CFO’s duty to stay aligned with other functional units to ensure that the right plans and people are in place, pertinent variables have been considered, funding is appropriately allocated, and projects remain on track.

Controlling projects according to a well-thought-out plan is easier said than done. With frequently changing circumstances across multiple years and large-scale capital investments that stakeholders expect the organization to effectively manage, how can startup oil and gas companies stay organized, be resilient, and succeed across business units? The answer is connected planning. Connected planning at its most raw level is the ability for multiple teams to communicate about where the business has been, where it’s at right now, and where it’s going. These teams are not just various project teams involved directly with development but rather the business in totality, which can include commercial, supply chain, legal, human resources, and finance. All these teams have goals to meet, and they’re involved with each other whether they know it or not.

Achieving Operational Readiness Through Connected Planning

Consider the basic functions within the company. The commercial team has ultimate responsibility for selling oil and gas. But that team can’t sell without an engineering team to develop pipeline infrastructure, and the engineering team can’t use those pipelines without a maintenance team to make sure they stay in operation. Both engineering and maintenance need the right components at the right times from the supply chain side—and the supply chain side relies on the purchasing team to make sourcing decisions. Those teams are all made up of people—who had to be found, qualified, hired, and supported by human resources. None of those teams can function without the funding budgeted for and allocated to them by the finance team. And the finance has nothing to budget for any of these teams without profits from oil and gas sales… which leads us back to the commercial team. It’s a circle, with no starting or ending point, where every team relies on every other team, directly or indirectly. So why does planning for each team so often happen in silos? This is the question that connected planning seeks to answer.

So what exactly is connected planning? It’s an approach that should guide technical and process decisions that a modern start up oil and gas company makes, especially as the company invests in planning tools to support its organization and teams. Tools like Coupa, which helps the supply chain and procurement teams maximize purchasing potential and gain control over spend management. Or OneStream, which can drive monthly close and consolidations and give you a single source of truth for reporting. And Anaplan, which gives you the ability to run unlimited financial scenarios, pulling in data from across the organization to make better predictions and plan for any outcome.

These tools by themselves have the capability to tie teams together, and to make sure data crosses silos in your organization. But maximum value comes from integrating these tools, using them together to tie areas of the business together. As the leader with involvement in data tracking, performance management, spend management, and more, the CFO is uniquely positioned to enable connected planning at their organization. It’s just a matter of getting started.

Spaulding Ridge Can Help Oil and Gas Startups Reach Operational Readiness

Spaulding Ridge implements and integrates the tools mentioned above and brings industry expertise in helping startup oil and gas organizations reach operational readiness. By pairing technical ability with real industry experience, we can implement solutions that meet the most granular needs of oil and gas startups. In this business, the risks are high, and your plans need to be bulletproof. Spaulding Ridge can help your organization get from development today to operationalizing tomorrow.

If you have questions about how your company can reach operational readiness, feel free to reach out Anthony Lin, or learn more about our energy team and offerings here.