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Challenges in Developing a Comprehensive, Automated and Flexible Oil Accounting System

[+] Author Affiliations
Lane F. Nordell, Hanif Ruda

Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Edmonton, AB, Canada

Paper No. IPC2004-0251, pp. 735-747; 13 pages
doi:10.1115/IPC2004-0251
From:
  • 2004 International Pipeline Conference
  • 2004 International Pipeline Conference, Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, October 4–8, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4176-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3737-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME

abstract

This paper will present the context, objectives, challenges and innovative software development and project management techniques that enabled the building of a comprehensive oil accounting (OA) system. A major stage in the continuing development of OA components, completed in 2002, replaced an aging legacy system and added considerable functionality. Components are added to the OA system on a continuous basis The target result is an automated crude oil balancing and revenue accounting system that interfaces with other pipeline-management software systems. The challenge was to custom build and implement an OA system that: • Significantly reduces dependence on IS resource’s specialized skills. • Automates data validation between pipeline operations and management software systems. • Reduces turn-around time of the monthly invoice cycle. • Dramatically increases customer’s information availability and enhances information dissemination to customers. • Accommodates new business rules with minimal reconfiguration effort. The project management approach was to compress system development and delivery into predictable and controllable segments. These segments deliver complete components into the production environment at established milestones rather than as a whole system at a single “big-bang” event. The segmented delivery approach is known as SCRUM in the IT industry. It enabled the team to react effectively to changing business requirements throughout development. Additional techniques known as XP (Extreme Programming) were also utilized to greatly enhance the quality and predictability of system delivery. XP stresses very strong and committed client project involvement. This paper will outline the oil accounting system components and the SCRUM and XP techniques the project delivery team believes have significantly enhanced the success of the project. Due to the proven success of these techniques they are currently being used in several other IS projects including additions to the OA system. In summary, the project management and software system development approach, and stakeholder involvement secured the success of the OA system delivery. These approaches embody the philosophy of continuous improvement and superior quality in information system delivery.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME

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