Replanning for Major Tech Change - Transocean

The bigger the project, the harder they can fall. It requires the coordination of thousands of tasks, with a myriad of resources and monumental amounts of materiel. Just getting a project of such magnitude started is a considerable challenge. And there will be changes, especially over lengthy timelines.

To borrow from our client’s operation field, a large project is similar to a large ocean going vessel. To enact a course change for a vessel of nearly 100,000 tons can take several nautical miles to execute. It takes effort and time. Many ships over the centuries have foundered just trying to stay on course, let alone navigate narrow passages , shallow waters and ragged coastlines.

We are proud of the role we played working with John McCann and Transocean on this challenging effort to keep Deepwater Titan’s launch ‘on course.’

Getting a large project back on track is one of the most difficult challenges imaginable.


The scope changes for the Deepwater Titan presented a significant challenge for the project team headed up by Senior Project Manager, John McCann. The first change, upgrading the mud systems, required access to the mud room located on deck 3, two decks below the main deck. The mud systems had already been installed, yet technology had advanced since the ship’s construction began. This would provide an opportunity to upgrade the mud systems and achieve greater pressure capacity. Access to the mud room with a crane was only possible through one entry point on the main deck.

The second change was the installation of a new Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) system. This new addition to the project scope required significant additional piping for the low pressure, high pressure choke and kill systems. MPD uses specialized equipment (which can include such items as a Rotating Control device, additional choke manifold, drill string check valves, and fluid/solids control equipment, among others) to control the pressure in a well being drilled. The new manifold was being built in Houston and the expected construction completion date was well after the ship was scheduled to depart Singapore.


John McCann and his team of subject matter experts (SMEs) engaged Wayne Greenwood of OverVue Planning Systems Inc. to facilitate a comprehensive project restoration plan using OverVue project software. The team imported the remaining portion of the delivery schedule from Primavera P6 into OverVue. The original Gantt chart was transformed into a Project Flow Diagram . The unique graphical layout enabled the team to calculate the time needed for the two scope changes to be completed by post-handover and prior to Deepwater Titan’s departure from Singapore to the Gulf of Mexico.

Using a process called OVERProof, the original plan was tested to determine if the two new scope items could be completed without negatively impacting the schedule. The team then used a process called OVERHaul to create a preliminary restoration plan that identified the major ‘choke’ points associated with the new deliverables.

The team then created a series of Possibility plans that were analyzed and compared until a final restoration plan was agreed upon and submitted for approval. The restoration plan was then exported back into Primavera P6.


OverVue’s project flow diagram, along with its OVERProof, OVERHaul, and Possibility planning processes enabled the team to efectively address the challenge of scope ‘creep’.

  • The final restoration plan enabled the team to reduce the expected increase in time needed to include the added scope elements by 48 days.
  • The reduction in lost revenue combined with other savings totalled $24 million US.
  • The overall time required to identify the impact of the scope changes and achieve a realistic and achievable plan was 5 days.

These results were achieved by getting all the key subject matter experts together and using their experience to flesh out alternative solutions. The various ‘what-if’ scenarios were easily viewed and compared using OverVue.


  • OverVue presents a powerful yet simple to use graphical interface. The software’s unique project flow diagram, along with its OVERProof, OVERHaul, and Possibility planning processes enabled the team to effectively address the challenge of scope creep and achieve a successful solution.
  • The team’s expertise and experience, along with the software’s capabilities, allowed for a quick turnaround time and ensured that the project was delivered on a more timely and cost effective basis.
  • This serves as a great example of how technology and project management processes can be leveraged to effectively manage significant project scope changes and ensure successful project delivery, even near the very end of complex projects.

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