DWOPs – Why looking backwards can help you to see in to the future


“In the business world, the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield”

Warren Buffet

Wild Thinking is asked to facilitate a lot of DWOP (Drilling the well on paper) sessions. These are technical sessions that also have a number of other exciting variants, including CWOPs (Completing the well on paper) and IWOPs (Intervening the well ….) etc. The basic idea is simple – you are about to embark on something that is technically very challenging, so before you start,  it’s good to get everyone involved together and pull apart the plan to look for any cracks.

“All well and good” I hear you say, but how come in the industry as a whole, many of these DWOP sessions fail to unearth stuff that can totally derail a project? Risk registers might be up to date, geologists reports might be hot off the press and service providers briefed and ready to go, but does any of this guarantee that everything will go to plan? No, because in business there are no real guarantees of success. The best you can do is to narrow the odds, and the best way to do that is learn from experience!

If you have got a lot riding on delivering something complex, then do what we do in DWOPS – look backwards to help you look forwards. You will need to get the right people in the room – people who have got the experience to offer real insights. You will need to get the right data – the historical information that tells the stories of previous successes and previous failures. Put the two together, mix in a bunch of people who are responsible for getting it right this time around and then you can really start to get a picture of what is likely to happen. Ignore the past at your peril!

Wild Thinking’s experience in the design and delivery of effective DWOPs might be just what you need to set your project up for success. We have plenty of lessons learned and feedback data from previous sessions that we would be happy to share with you.

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