Woodside Energy Implements iServer for the Alignment and Standardization of their Technology

Industry

Mining, Resources and Energy

Region

Australasia

In this case study, read about how Woodside Energy adopted Orbus Software’s iServer for a long term architecture initiative

Woodside Energy is Australia’s largest independent oil and gas exploration and production company. Following Woodside’s establishment in 1954, they have grown to become a leading supplier of energy to the Asia Pacific region. Today, Woodside produces the equivalent of around 900 000 barrels of oil each day, from a portfolio of facilities which they operate on behalf of some of the world’s major oil and gas companies.

iServer provided a “clear, unambiguous, definition of the business problem and clear traceability.”

Paul Prout

Senior Solutions Architect

The Challenge:

An inconsistent architecture that lacked standards and controls, unclear business-totechnology traceability, as well as inconsistent technology artifacts.

The Solution:

Implement a common language and methodology for describing architecture.

The Result:

iServer is the integral tool for Woodside Energy’s architecture work, used in combination with the TOGAF, ArchiMate and Application Portfolio Management Solutions.

  Woodside Energy faced problems of an inconsistent architecture that lacked standards and controls. Ambiguous artifacts were being created by decentralized teams and stored in disparate locations, predominantly focusing on the technology layer.

Obstacles

In 2011, Woodside Energy adopted Orbus Software’s iServer for a long term architecture initiative that was aimed to align and standardize technology across various business projects. The objective was to deliver consistent and related artifacts which would articulate how business objectives are realized using the people, process, and technology layers.

Today, iServer is the integral tool for Woodside Energy’s architecture work, used in combination with the TOGAF, ArchiMate and Application Portfolio Management Solutions. Woodside’s Architecture and Technology team operates with a core group of architects, as well as a number of Project Solution Architects brought in on an as-needed basis to extend the team’s capacity across business projects.

Searching for a Tool

Prior to 2011, Woodside Energy faced problems of an inconsistent architecture that lacked standards and controls. Ambiguous artifacts were being created by decentralized teams and stored in disparate locations, predominantly focusing on the technology layer. This resulted in an unclear business-to-technology traceability, as well as inconsistent technology artifacts being produced by different teams throughout the delivery lifecycle.

Woodside required a tool that would be easy to use, with a shallow learning curve. As Microsoft Office is used across the enterprise for model creation, the tool needed to offer full interoperability. TOGAF and ArchiMate alignment was essential to allow for the level of standardization Woodside was looking to implement, and a low entry cost was also a significant factor. They were also looking for a tool that would allow for automated creation of visualizations based on relationships across the entire repository.

Early concerns for the implementation of an enterprise architecture tool within Woodside included the worry that any value the tool created would be long term, in that the value could only be realized once a critical mass of architecture models was reached. A primary concern was the period of time it would take to reach this critical mass.

iServer Meets Requirements

Following an assessment of multiple EA tool vendors, Woodside Energy opted to implement Orbus Software’s iServer product suite, including the modules of iServer Portal, HTML Publisher, Data Exchange, and Reporting Services. Woodside also selected iServer’s ‘out of the box’ solutions for TOGAF and ArchiMate, as well as APM later in 2013. iServer was chosen because it best suited the architecture requirements of Woodside, and the primary influencing factor to the final decision was a combination of a low entry cost, and the use of Microsoft Visio as the tool’s platform.

With iServer’s connection to Microsoft Office, the learning curve for new users was minimal, resulting in an easy to use tool that was simple to implement. Additionally, as iServer allowed diagrams to retain their native Visio file format, sharing diagrams with colleagues who didn’t have access to the tool was made easy. iServer also offered full TOGAF and ArchiMate alignment, allowing the placement of tight controls and standardization across business projects.

Concerns of value creation were overcome as delivery teams were realigned, and iServer implemented a common language and method for describing architecture. This in turn saw an increase in the number of objects being reused and interrelated across various business projects, and the overall adoption of iServer as the primary modeling tool increased overtime.

iServer has also helped Woodside energy meet its enterprise architecture objectives by offering capability modeling and describing key organizational objectives.

Benefitting from iServer

Following the implementation of iServer, the tool is used to describe baseline and target states from the perspective of various business stakeholders. Timelines and bubble charts provide application custodians with visualizations that are easy to generate and maintain, and Business Process owners can view application traceability through to the individual tasks and activities with BPMN diagrams.

Woodside Energy identified four key capabilities and benefits of iServer that have been the most important in aiding the alignment and standardization of their technology:

  • A single repository.
  • Definition of standards and patterns.
  • The re-usability of objects.
  • Impact traceability.

Looking Forward

Today, the Architecture and Technology team of Woodside Energy blueprints the enterprise by connecting the people, process and technology layers.

They achieve this iteratively by using a proven architecture framework, and whenever anything is changed a clear traceability is created, providing the opportunity to assess the impact of change on subsequent layers. Woodside’s engagement across all business segments ensures clear and consistent definition of their enterprise and its key capabilities. This provides a basis for developing effective business services, standards, and strategies which, when combined with impact traceability, creates a window of opportunity to facilitate successful business outcomes and ensure the enterprise maximizes their organizational efforts.

In the future, Woodside Energy believes that iServer will continue to add value to their enterprise architecture initiatives. Plans include increasing emphasis on Business Architecture modeling, specifically the motivational aspects, taking into account the strategic imperatives and key capabilities.

iServer products used

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