The PPDM Way

This policy describes the Professional Petroleum Data Management Association (Association) approach to the development of PPDM products and services (Products). The policy is intended to provide consistency in development activities and to assist members in planning their commitments to Product development projects.

This policy has been reviewed by the PPDM Association's Board of Directors (Board) and others. It is not intended as a static or rigid policy. The Association welcomes comments from the members.

  1. Association Values

    This policy is based on the following Association values that are foundational to the policy.
    1. Member contribution
      The power of the Association lies in the intellectual contributions of its members. Voluntary investment of effort and expertise is required at every stage of the Product development process. Business requirements, development priorities and Product solutions (with consistent architecture) are determined by the members who chose to be active participants in the development process. The pace of development is controlled by members' input of resources. Product development is impossible without the active involvement of members.

      This value ensures that the expertise and priorities of members are incorporated into the Products.
    2. Business driven requirements
      The Products are only successful when they are implemented by members and enable members to achieve benefits to their business. Members express their requirements through active participation in the development process, postings to the forums operated on the Association's web site and through their elected Board.

      This value ensures that Product development is tightly linked to the business needs of members.
    3. Orderly Development Process
      The Board sets the overall strategy for Product development to meets the business requirements expressed by members. The CEO of the Association creates annual operating plans based on the overall strategy and available resources. Members provide input to the development process through:
      1. Discussions at Association events, such as conferences and user meetings.
      2. Discussions with Association staff or board members.
      3. Creation of one-page proposals that can be distributed to other members for comment and involvement.

      This value ensures that Product development is orderly and represents the needs of the members.
    4. Use of Membership Fees
      Membership fees are an important component of the Association’s resources. The Association uses membership fees to maintain the Products and to operate the Association.

      This value ensures that the Association and the Products remain viable.
    5. Workgroup Funding
      The Association does not commit significant membership fees to Product development. The members of the Association who elect to participate in workgroups typically fund the proposed development work.

      This value ensures that Product development is driven toward concepts that are important enough to the members to attract funding.
    6. Democratic process
      The Association's bylaws and policies provide for direct annual election of all Directors, one member/one vote, and membership fees that are proportional to revenue or budget.

      This value ensures that membership in the Association is open to all and not dominated by a particular interest group.
    7. Access to the Products
      The goal of the Association is to make the Products widely available without restrictions of a separate price or license fee, while ensuring that the Association has sufficient funds to support and maintain Products. Products may be provided to members only, or for free, as determined by the Association. Non-members who benefit from the Products should consider joining the Association to contribute to the development and maintenance of the Products.

      This value maximizes the take-up of the Products and ensures that the cost of acquiring the Products does not become an impediment for smaller organizations.
    8. Governance and Reporting
      The CEO of the Association will regularly report use of membership fees and workgroup funding.

      This value ensures that the members of the Association are assured that the resources contributed are being used as intended.
  2. Development Principles

    These principles apply the Association values to the Product development process.
    1. Workgroups
      Workgroups are a key organization feature of the Association’s goal to further develop Products to meet member needs. The Board and the CEO encourage broad and effective member participation in workgroups.

      Workgroups may be proposed when a member produces a one-page proposal and circulates it for comment and expressions of interest among the members who indicate their interest through preliminary offers of staff and funds.

      Workgroups are formally initiated when the members of a proposed workgroup typically:
      1. Publish a Workgroup Charter that describes their proposed development work in more detail.
      2. Recommend how the proposed Product will be made available and supported for at least two years.
      3. Indicate the amount of staff effort and funding they are prepared to commit to achieve the proposed development work.

      Members of a proposed workgroup typically seek an endorsement from the CEO before investing too much time and resources. On the advice of the CEO, the Board approves proposed Workgroup Charters. Criteria for workgroup approval include:

      1. Participation by at least three members. For most workgroups, the Association prefers that the membership include least two E&P companies and one vendor.
      2. Described business need expressed by many members.
      3. Expertise committed to the workgroup by members.
      4. Workgroup scope in alignment with the mission of the Association.
      5. Realistic project goals and plans.
      6. Availability of sufficient resources –staff and funding commitments

      This principle ensures that Product development is positioned for success.
    2. Guidance and coordination
      The development of certain Products may be guided by a committee that provides strategic and technical advice to the Association. Such committees are established by the Board or PPDM and are accountable through the CEO. Members of these committees are chosen for their acknowledged expertise in the Product domain. The committee monitors the process of Product development and defines the Association's technical methodology and standards.

      This principle ensures guidance of Product development is approached with sufficient expertise.
    3. Change management
      All proposed changes to the Products are assessed to ensure that the value the change offers exceeds the cost of implementing it. Any workgroup proposing to rework a particular Product is expected to address this trade-off between enhancement and stability.

      This principle ensures the cost of change is adequately recognized.
    4. Timing of development
      The Products can only be developed with substantial input from the members as well as confirmed through adequate testing. Therefore, the pace of Product development cannot be pre-determined by the Board.

      This principle ensures the pace of development is roughly aligned with the pace at which members can absorb new versions of the Products.
    5. Role of Association staff
      The staff and contractors engaged by the Association facilitate the workgroups that are approved by the Board, and support ongoing operations and activities of the Association. Association staff members assess workgroup submissions for conformity with workgroup plans and compatibility with other Products, create and distribute the Product, test the Product for integrity, process change requests, and provide technical support.

      This principle ensures that Product development achieves reasonable quality and consistency.
    6. Version approval process
      Every new Product version is subject to approval by the membership. The Board determines when and how new versions will be released to the members for testing and approval based on guidance from the CEO. Criteria for Product version approval include:
      1. Product version conformity to the Product guidelines
      2. Evidence of participation of multiple members in the design and production of the Product version.
      3. Evidence of sufficient testing to ensure sufficient Product version quality.
      4. Evidence that the Product version will produce value to multiple members.

      This principle ensures that:
      1. Board oversight over Product development is maintained.
      2. Single member or narrow interest group domination of the Product development process is minimized.