A bespoke system and agile methodologies enable a Government Authority to scale their operations

The offshore petroleum industry is characterised by the potential for severe hazards. The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) work with industry, workforce, stakeholders and other authorities, to prevent accidents and environmental disasters on petroleum drilling platforms within Commonwealth waters.

With more than 50 inspectors focusing on regulatory activities that save lives, NOPSEMA had to ensure their operations were efficient and scalable. They wanted to move away from error-prone manual data entry to reduce administrative overheads, to allow inspectors focus on the crucial aspects of their roles. 

Off the shelf regulatory management systems left much to be desired; NOPSEMA wanted to create their own bespoke platform.  Seeing  similar projects go over time and budget, while failing to achieve expected outcomes, they wanted to try a new way to deliver software.

They chose to partner with ThoughtWorks. Introducing agile software development capability and mindset into the organisation - a revolutionary approach for a government authority.

ThoughtWorks delivered all releases on time and within budget, in addition to delivering exactly what we asked for. The project delivered the most important functionality first, realising benefits within 6 months of project start.” 

John Townsend, CIO NOPSEMA

The new Regulatory Management System (RMS) is a world-class platform that simplifies the processes of  life saving regulatory activities. The RMS integrates the existing electronic document and records management system (EDRMS), making the platform easier and cheaper to maintain. Reports are now produced automatically and can be easily accessed via the new web-based dashboard, which bypass the need to connect to the EDRMS to obtain those files.

When NOPSEMA was given additional regulatory responsibilities, they had to introduce new functionality ahead of the legislation change. Continuous Delivery techniques enabled the team deliver the software well before the deadline. Automated environment provisioning gave NOPSEMA the power to decide when to go live with new features.

The most satisfying comments on RMS come from OH&S Inspectors who state they couldn’t imagine working without RMS. Those who’ve recently left NOPSEMA appreciate the value it provided compared to the systems in place at their new employment.” 

John Townsend, CIO NOPSEMA

The engagement has turned into a six-year partnership. NOPSEMA is one of the first government authorities in Australia to embrace agile and continuous delivery techniques. This approach and the bespoke platform have revolutionised NOPSEMA’s operations, enabling them to provide industry workers and Australian citizens with a safer and cleaner environment.