Making a Real Difference in Plant Operations: A Q&A with Joshua Hicks
Updated: Jan 30
What’s your current project?
I am currently working for an Oil and Gas Operator that has Midstream assets. We are implementing Maximo for three large gas plants in Wyoming and streamlining their Enterprise Asset Management processes and data.
What are the top 3 issues that this project is solving?
This is a story of rapid growth and a small operator becoming a big player in a matter of a short few months. Our client grew rapidly through acquisition and added a very large gas plant in the Rockies to their midstream assets. As a result, they had to quickly scale up their capabilities and software to be able to:
Digitally track all aspects of the Work Order, Inventory and Purchasing Lifecycle
Provide Digital PSM Compliance for Gas Plants
Create shared platform across several Gas Plants to share data, assets, and team resources
What’s the one thing that you’ve done in the past 3 years that makes you the most proud?
Being able to help my son with college and see him graduate high school in spring of this year
Give us some background: How long have you been working with Operations and the Field? How many projects? What kind of projects?
I have been in the industry for the last 7 Years predominately working in operations and production. I’ve had the opportunity to work most roles of a consulting project, including business analysis, data engineering, project management, and program management. My passion is to work with the heart of oil and gas – the field. It’s where we can make a real difference – making a digital record of the physical asset to improve efficiencies, gain visibility in costs, and shave off the bottom line.
My most relevant projects include:
Maximo Enterprise Asset Management
Acquisition Integrations (Ops Data, Production Data, IT Network, SCADA)
ProdView Migrations, Integrations, and Implementations
Well Lifecycle and Master Data Management
WellView Implementations and Migrations to SaaS
SiteView Optimizations and Implementations
Rig Scheduling Implementations
How is working with the field different than the corporate office? How have you bridged the differences?
If you’ve ever worked in the field in Oil and Gas, you’ll know that there is nothing quite like putting on FR gear, putting in the work, exceeding expectations, challenging the status quo and seeing what it takes to get the results that Corporate Office needs to make key decisions. I tell my team often that I relate to the field because the Field knows what it takes to the get the job done. They dedicate their time to maintaining and optimizing assets; they also value relationships and your word. If you promise something to the Field (get their hopes up to make their job easier) you better deliver on it, regardless of what part of the project (beginning, middle, or end). Field Leadership plays a big success role when working with the Corporate Office or rolling out changes to the field.
The field is hyper-focused on their asset, namely it’s performance and it’s maintenance. The Corporate Office is looking across Fields from multiple areas and sometimes located completely different location than their assets. They have the need to compare metrics across Areas, Regions, and Divisions. When one area’s Field is missing information/data or coming up short on those metrics, they want to know why via comparisons. It is critical that data and processes that feed these metrics are standardized.
We serve as a critical hub, connecting the field with the people and the modern technology needed to scale with growth. I often work to help each side empathize with the other. I try to categories issues or gaps from the Corporate and Field perspective and see how solving one problem helps both sides. It is critical to find technologies that truly help the Field meet/collect Corporate requirements quicker and easier. Taking a trip to the field can also help bridge the gap. An example would be ensuring that Production Accountants see what Lease Operators and Foreman are trying to do in addition to collecting daily production information before end of day
What’s the funniest thing that you’ve seen or done in the field?
Not only am I a ‘Dad’ in real-life but I also act as the ‘Team Dad’. I actually saved the life of a co-worker. We were driving back from a long week of work in the field. We were implementing ProdView and SiteView. There were four of us (let’s call them Kim, Mandy, Sandy, and me) and we had left earlier than usual to help a co-worker catch an earlier flight back. On the way back, Kim took her seatbelt off to grab something out of her bag, when Sandy hit her breaks while driving at “top speed”. Before Kim could fly through the windshield, I extended my arm between them to stop her, to which I screamed! “Kim! Why is your seatbelt off!?” We were terrified at the time, but laughter broke out so fast. Mandy said that I pulled off a perfect “Dad-Grab” like before seat belts were as reliable as they are now. It was hysterical on so many levels.
What makes you the most excited about working for Novus?
The people. Management cares about their teams. Obviously, we need to deliver but Team health is a priority. If the Team is healthy; the Team will take care of the client.