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A question we receive a lot from our customers is: “Where do we begin with OpenGround?” One of our goals is to expand the awareness of how connected workflows within OpenGround and the wider Seequent ecosystem can make your processes more efficient and safe.

When starting to use OpenGround, many questions can come up about how to do things in a new way – from the field to the office and beyond.

We’ll shed some light on the steps to take and pitfalls to avoid that we’ve found while implementing OpenGround for organisations over the last five years.

OpenGround is designed to give engineers confidence in the data that the log output contains. Although it is vitally important to understand that this is not the end state for the data within a connected ecosystem.

In this article, we’ll cover four principles that we use with customers at the start of their OpenGround journey to help them succeed.

Principle 1: Start small

To help make any larger change successful, dividing the goal into smaller tasks and focusing on building a team’s skills at each step is extremely effective.

Here are some examples of areas that you could start with:

  • Building Geology Descriptions
  • Displaying SPT Results
  • Laboratory Results Workflows
  • How to make the borehole logs look like your company’s standard outputs

The best approach to tackling all of these challenges is to break them down and keep it simple.

For example, if you carry out a lot of SPT or auger locations but only occasionally carry out rock coring, you can focus on the SPT and Auger logs and the data entry for these tasks. You’ll be able to come back to the rock logs and data entry for those in the future.

If your aim is too large, the scope starts to creep and you can negatively impact the team’s motivation.

Keeping the elephant small when trying to eat it is key. This is the first principle.

Principle 2: Develop your team

Building a team of Power Users – skilled, motivated people who know OpenGround at an administrator level – will help you onboard new project teams, build new workflows, and keep a single source of truth for your data to drive consistency across the organisation.

They can also uncover and answer questions specific to your implementation and connected workflows.

In our experience, having a group of Power Users to help manage the system going forward is essential in ensuring a smooth onboarding process.

Some organisations have changed people’s roles to reflect that managing digital data is an essential part of their business. Power Users can support other teams and solve data management issues that come up as projects get delivered.

Again, eat your elephant in small chunks. It’s best to upskill one team to help the next team and develop your Power Users of OpenGround.

If you don’t make time and space for the Power Users to learn and implement the new solution, you may drift into a state of partial implementation: where investment has been made to get started but the value of using the system on all new projects cannot yet be realised.

In this position, it’ll seem like it only works sometimes, for some data, on certain projects. That’s because you’re lacking the expertise across the board to maintain consistency and quality.

Principle 3: Land and expand

Expansion doesn’t just mean to new teams and projects, it can also be incorporating more workflows and different types of work into OpenGround.

Let’s return to the previous example of completing SPT and Augers logs and data entry in OpenGround. One way to expand this use case would be to expand that workflow to all teams. Another way, would be to start on the rock logs and data entry.

In both cases, it’s important that the onboarding is led and developed by Power Users who can support the wider team.

As always, we recommend the first principal: Start small and expand incrementally to ensure benefits are realised quickly.

Once Power Users are able to deliver projects with OpenGround, the next step is expansion.

It’s also important to praise and showcase each team’s success in public if you want other teams to come and ask: “Can we use OpenGround on our project too?”

Principle 4: Seek guidance

We always recommend our users use the OpenGround wiki site as a first port of call. There, you will find video content, how-to guides, and full user guides.

If you need technical support (for example, if you are trying to work out why something isn’t working and don’t know why) our support and success team are on hand to help.

If you haven’t come across the success team on your OpenGround journey, their main purpose is to help you reach your goals. This can involve a quick chat at a conference or event, or even bespoke consulting work to help you solve tricky data management problems.

There is help out there and our team is here to help: You are not alone.

Another essential way to stay in contact is to join the community of people taking part in our Ground to Cloud webinar.

We’ve found that by following the principles set out in this article, organisations are better set up for success.

They’re also much better placed to take advantage of interconnected workflows – which help accelerate the site investigation and design process.

Interested in OpenGround or the wider Connected workflow?