WorldWide Drilling Resource®

8 JULY 2020 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® Open the Doorway to all the Event Photos during CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 To see more photos from this event, go to Feel free to download at will and print the photo(s) of your choice. Compliments of WorldWide Drilling Resource ® . Photos are copyrighted and released for personal use only - no commercial use permitted. How to Make a White Elephant by Britt Storkson Owner, P2FlowLLC According to Wikipedia, a white elephant is “a possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost, particularly that of maintenance, is out of proportion to its usefulness. In modern usage, it is an object, building project, scheme, business venture, facility, etc., considered expensive, but without use or value.” Who gets the prize for the world’s biggest white elephant? The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) makes a good case for the Berlin Brandenburg Airport located outside of Berlin, Germany, with their article titled: Berlin Brandenburg: The airport with half a million faults And there literally was 550,000 faults identified and documented. Construction on the new, state-of-the-art Berlin Brandenburg International Airport began in 2006, and was scheduled for completion in 2012. It is now 2020, and the airport still hasn’t opened. The cost is over three times its initial budget, and still rising. Not only is the building unused and useless, it costs about $10 million dollars a month just to maintain. It has train service that runs every week day, but the trains are empty and run only to ensure proper air movement through the tunnels. The reasons this airport isn’t completed and doesn’t work properly are the usual suspects, such as poor management, corruption, and incompetence on every level, as well as too many cooks spoiling the broth. One other reason caught my eye: The hugely com- plicated technical infrastructure. In other words, the control systems are way too complicated - to the point that nothing works. This is what happens when the vendors (the sellers of the computer control equipment) are allowed to dictate the terms. Often, one brand of control system is unique and incompatible with anything else out there, so the vendor can “corner the market”. They build the “gift that keeps on giving” because if something goes wrong, since they defined it, they are the only ones who can fix it. Lots of potential billable hours there. The result is the manufacturers are not very concerned about quality control because the more times it fails, the more money they make. They are also not very interested in making it user friendly for the same reason. Why make the product easy to use and intuitive when more “bells and whistles” mean more “factory training” is required, resulting in more and larger invoices? The bottom line: You take lemons and make lemonade. The vendors also leverage the dynamic of what has been called the “cost-sunk fal- lacy” where people (or in this case organizations) are often hesitant to cut their losses when they've already invested time or resources into something, even if it might make logical sense to do so. I’ve worked in the tech industry, and one would not believe how much money was spent on flawed and nearly useless equipment, but the decision makers refused to toss it and go to something else because they wanted to save face. The problem is, saving their faces costs the companies huge sums of money. Simpler is always better, and it is up to the project managers to make sure the bet- ter things happen. Anything less usually means big problems and cost overruns. Britt Britt Storkson may be contacted via e-mail to Downtown drilling. ~Tom Bates Subscriber Snapshot