Projects: Decision Gate Optimization – Capital Value Process

Objective: To optimize the decision gate process and develop a lean and mean investment scrutiny staged gate process for oil sands capital projects.
Focus: Strategy      Growth      Performance
Domain: Capital Projects
Client: International operator in oil sands sector


Our client’s decision gate process for large capital projects deemed to be very detailed and slow (4-6 month). We helped client to develop a light but efficient decision gate process optimized for sustaining SAGD pads and other capital projects in their oil sands business unit. The consultancy work addressed:

– Stakeholder engagement, including but not limited to sponsors, senior leadership, CFO office, PMO, HSE, subsurface (G&G), facility, drilling & completion, commercial, mid-stream, land, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and regulatory,

– Strategy review, framing and KPI alignment,

– Review and understanding of the corporate requirements (client headquartered in the EU) at each decision gate (

– Review and mapping of the documents and deliverable at each stage,

– Redundancy analysis and optimization,

– Process mapping (in/out, monitoring, control, feedbacks, loops, etc.),

– Optimization,

– Conclusion.


The optimized decision gate process found superior and fit-for-purpose for oil sands business unit. Following improvements achieved:

– start-to-end time of the decision gate process reduced from 4-6 month to 8-10 weeks (while satisfying Calgary leadership team and headquarter’s requirements),

– Better interface management among stakeholders in oil sands projects

– Deliverables and documents for each decision gate reformatted on a core documents and project specific to allow improved efficiency, better track record and smoother knowledge sharing.


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