Alex Hensley, Head of Operational Excellence at NDT Global, studied engineering at the U.S Military Academy at West Point and has held several positions in project management since; both in the military and in oil and gas.
Check out a few of Alex's tips below that have helped him deliver several pipeline integrity solutions to operators across the United States.
1. Communicate effectively Communicate with purpose. Communication with your customers should clarify a purpose, propose a solution, or inform them on the progression of their project. Due to technical components and minuscule details involved in managing ILI projects, your communication should always remain decisive and effective.
2. Stay adaptable and flexible The deeper we dive into the operators' needs, criteria, and integrity objectives, the more likely things will change as we go – and that's okay. Whether it's the sound properties of a planned inspection medium or a technology change following a review of anticipated features, it's best to remain adaptable so you can always adjust to what you encounter next.
3. Make customer objectives your own Delivering a successful ILI run is not limited to the physical inspection tool's success. An inspection is deemed successful when operators receive invaluable information that they can leverage for years to come. Our mission as project managers is to make customer visions come true and exceed expectations. An efficient way to do this is to fully adopt their goals.
4. Understand internal processes How does your customer's organizational structure play a role in what and how we deliver? It's always best to spend time understanding the alignment of their departments and the different viewpoints at hand, so you can better manage your interactions and processes.
5. Don't know? Just ask No two pipelines are the same. The more information we have, the better we can tailor the ILI to best meet the operator's needs. It's better to have excess information that you may not integrate into your workflow than having to scramble for more information later.
6. Be transparent When you are truthful with your customers and define the requirements needed to provide the best inspection solution, sustaining relationships can become easy. Nine times out of ten, your customers will appreciate transparency, and this makes for a lasting, positive relationship.
7. Guide while partnering As an ILI expert, it's important that you guide your customer in a way that is most fitting to their expectations and ILI knowledge. At the end of the day, you know what your tools can provide. The customer has the integrity experience and we, the project managers, bring experience from hundreds of inspections. With this combined experience, we can efficiently execute the customers' expectations.
8. Continue learning It is sometimes easy to settle with your current expertise if it's enough to satisfy your customer, but we should strive to enhance our current skillset in project management. In the ILI industry, it's important to expand our technical, regulatory, and process knowledge to confidently provide customers the best service possible.