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Clear and precise requirements can improve project outcomes

Projects in the oil and gas industry are large and complex, and project execution can be negatively affected by unclear or ambiguous technical requirements. So, greater precision in the drafting of requirements for use in the oil and gas industry will make projects easier to manage and reduce risk.

IOGP’s new ‘Guidance on requirement development’ (IOGP Report 604) draws from good practices across the industry and has been applied by some Member Companies and in IOGP JIPs to improve the quality of their technical writing.

This guidance, supported by training and appropriate review processes, is recommended to be applied by standards development organisations to prepare technical content for effective digital application.

“Technical standards and specifications have tended to be a mixture of narrative, guidance, and prescriptive content,” says Tom Shortall, Chair of the Digitalization Taskforce that created this report. “The ambiguity arising from this mixture increases uncertainty and risk and can be difficult to manage. One improvement that the oil and gas industry can make now is to be more precise in defining requirements.”

“When we started exploring ways to improve the digital management of requirements, we found that we first need to improve non-digital aspects. Digital systems can help with the organization, processing, and communication of content, while better requirement writing practices will facilitate digitalization and better decision making.”

IOGP Report 604 aligns with the following material on technical writing:

  • INCOSE, Guide for Writing Requirements, INCOSE-TP-2010-006-02, Rev. 2
  • ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2: Principles and rules for the structure and drafting of ISO and IEC documents

Download the report from the publications library.

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