This Is London, Dublin. Organisation Development.

Case Study

Organisation Design and Change planning  for Inpex


Organisation design and transition plan for a $30b oil and gas mega project



The Ichthys field development ranks as one of the biggest and most complex projects currently being undertaken anywhere in the world in terms of overall expenditure (>US$30b); managing the number of locations likely to be involved in the construction phase (at least 5 locations probable in Asia- Pacific); the exceptionally large Central Production Facility with the associated issues of construction, transportation, installation, hook up and commissioning; and the length, diameter and wall thickness of the gas export pipeline to Darwin.


The challenges include raising the project finance needed; coordinating and integrating all aspects of the work across locations, disciplines and time zones; ensuring that contingency is properly built into the budgets and planning; identifying and managing the major risks and agreeing realistic and achievable expectations.

DC Energy, an oil and gas energy consultancy based in Perth Australia, were, early in 2010, asked by INPEX to undertake a review of the Ichthys Project and develop a ‘blueprint' for the INPEX organisation in Australia ‘post FID' (once the final investment decision had been made). Subsequently they were engaged to develop the blueprint to a more detailed level and produce a ‘Transition Plan' to guide the key activities required to implement the organisational changes.


Dr Richard Plenty, Managing Director of This Is, was asked to join the DC Energy multi-disciplinary experienced project team, all of whom had substantive leadership and oil and gas experience, to provide expert international advice on the organisational and people issues involved; in particular assessment of the current organisation and the design of the blueprint.

Dr Plenty was subsequently invited to lead the project team in the second part of the assignment to develop the change strategy and transition plan for the implementation of the organisational blueprint to ensure that a world class organisation was in place before FID.


What we did

The first step was to assess the status of the Ichthys Project in order to identify gaps and develop joint action plans to ensure a successful FID submission and safe, timely achievement of first gas within the approved budget.  Key areas of investigation included strategic fit, value safeguarding, risk management, execution planning, organisation, management of major contractors, scope changes, sustainable development, project controls and organisation learning


The second step was to develop an organisational blueprint for the post FID organisation looking in detail at both structure and roles, but also covering issues associated with leadership, culture, people and systems/processes in an integrated manner.The organisation structure recommended took into account both the needs of the project and the development of the corporate organisation. Over 40 key position descriptions were produced including the key competencies required of each position.

The third step was to develop a change and transition plan to show how the blueprint could be implemented in practice. Changing the organisation structure and clarifying roles and accountabilities provided the starting point, but the plan also covered developing a genuine shared vision, upgrading the quality of staff, and putting into place more integrated and transparent processes and reporting systems which are both understood and followed. A detailed Transition Programme was developed to identify the timing of activities required to manage the phased implementation of the Blueprint organisation


The change model recommended was selected on the basis of the type of change needed, current best practice and fit with Australian culture. The approach set out a clear framework for change and encouraged the organisation to develop the detail through a structured process of engagement as the organisation structure unfolds.




At the time of writing (October 2010), the organisation blueprint had been fully endorsed in principle and implementation was under way with key roles being filled. The change strategy and transition plan were very well received and are currently being further developed in detail by the organisation. The process will continue throughout 2011.