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Factors That Can Influence Task Completion Schedules

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FACTORS THAT CAN INFLUENCE TASK COMPLETION SCHEDULES

Because of the unpredictability of the factors that can influence task completion schedules, it is difficult to determine with certainty how long a project would last. (Wysocki 2012, P. 187). No project activity illustrates this more succinctly than the drilling project. Despite the familiarity with doing this type of project, I have never seen one completed as scheduled as each drilling project brings its own peculiar challenge and at the end of the day the drilling Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) becomes at best an intelligent guess.

Wysocki (2012) has identified six methods or techniques that can aid in task duration estimation. They are discussed below:

1. SIMILARITY TO OTHER ACTIVITY

This is where experiences of similar tasks that have been completed in other projects are borrowed and applied in the current projects. Presently we are planning a new drilling project in one of our onshore fields and one of the lessons from the immediate past drilling project was to pull out of hole and change the drill bit before proceeding to drill through a particular geologic interval. This would reduce time for us since the interval has some abrassive sands which dulled the drill-bit resulting in reduced rate of penetration (ROP) which is the speed of drilling over that interval. with this lesson we hope to stay as close as possible to the WBS.

2. STUDYING HISTORICAL DATA

One of the things we often do in the oil and gas industry is to study analogues. These are oil fields or drilling projects that bear semblance to the current field or project that we plan to embark on. This wisdom originated from geology which has revealed that every surface or subsurface geologic process happened extensively and can be explained by what has been seen elsewhere. This is the whole essence of Historical geology. Because our drilling challenges are mostly subsurface, bringing historical knowledge often helps to adhere to the WBS as closely as possible.

3. SEEKING EXPERT ADVICE

Since most of the emerging new technologies in drilling are first encountered in the drilling practice itself, many a times, my company relies on the vendors of these tools to guide with their expert knowledge before and while drilling.

4. Applying the Delphi Technique

This technique involves using a group knowledgeable in a specific task and obtaining task estimates by asking each member of the group to make a best guess of the task duration. The results of each person is plotted as a histogram and cut-offs are applied until an acceptable average is obtained as a representative of the group's estimate.

5. APPLYING THE THREE-POINT

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