Pims Experience and Benchmarking

This user guide provides an explanation of features and functionality in Experience module of Pims.

See also: product information.

Configuration and Setup

Before you can start to use the Pims Experience module it must be configured to meet your business philosophy or best practice.


Open the Setup form located in the Experience navigation menu to configure or review Experience key settings and setup data. This section is not intended for regular users of the Experience Module - usually an administrator or super users will complete the configuration. Some of the configuration settings might require the assistance from a Database Administrator.


Essential parts of the Experience module are the features related to cost normalization. What dimensions to include in the normalization calculations are selected here. Changing the dimensions for the normalization calculations will need to involve an administrator with access to modify database objects.
CutOff Type defines what is the type of a CutOff date to be used (i.e. MLS - Month Last Sunday, MLD - Month Last Day). CuttOff Type has to be selected at the initial stage before any of the CutOff values are defined in Experience.
General CutOff date is a default value for Personal Normalization CutOff (see Normalizing Cost section for details). This value is updated by a Server Job every first day of the month.
General CutOff date is also a middle point for automatically generated Normalization CutOff Dates span. "Time span to generate Normalization CutOff Dates" section is used to define the time period Normalization Index Factors will be automatically pregenerated for (see Normalizing Cost section for details).
The "Generate View based on Normalization Settings" button will generate the Database alter statement that will need to be executed by an administrator with the proper access.

Before you start populating the cost categories, input the number of characters to be used at each level of the ID's. See section Cost Categories below for more information.

Project Types

These are client specific project types. Examples of project types are:

  • Greenfield
  • Brownfield
    Project Sizes
    Project size might be a dimension in the normalization calculation. Examples of project sizes are:
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Huge

    The description field could be used to define the limits for the different project sizes.

    Design Data Categories

    General Categories of the Design Data are defined in the tab.

    Design Data Master List

    This is the main register of available design data. Later applicable design data might be specified for the different entity types.

    Entity Categories

    List of available entities categories

    Equipment Categories

    Equipment is categorized by a "Category" and a "Sub Category". The available categories and sub categories are registered in this screen. Different equipment categories might contain various data to be specified when registering equipment. E.g. "Mainline Pump Impellor Leaned" subcategory might have the following information to be registered:

  • Radius
  • Thickness
  • Weight
  • Color

    When adding a new equipment of this subcategory, these fields will be available for input.

    Entity Types and Metrics

    Entity Types are defined in this screen. The different metrics are defined pr entity type. For example, you may define the following metrics for "Jacket":

  • Engineering Cost per Design Capacity Main Power
  • Engineering Cost per Tons of Steel

    To create the above metrics, navigate to the entity type: Jacket. In the Metric Base grid, input "Engineering" in the Metric Base field. In the "Data Criteria" field define the criteria for Engineering cost, by clicking on the "..." button. A filter builder will open. (For more information regarding the Filter Builder, see the User Guide "General User Interface). Define the filter that identifies Engineering cost (e.g. "CostCategory starts with 'A'). Click OK to save the criteria.
    Check the "Cost" flag to indicate that you want "Engineering Cost".
    In the Metric factor section, input "Design Capacity per Design Capacity Main Power" in the metric factor field, and select the design data that holds this value from the Design Data drop-down.
    Add a new row in the Metric Factor section, and input "Tons of Steel" in the metric factor field, and select the design data that holds this value from value the Design Data drop-down.
    If you want to add a metric "Engineering Cost of Total Cost", select the metric base that you just added ("Engineering") and check the "% of Total" flag.

    To add manhours based metric (E.g.: "Engineering Mhrs per Design Capacity Main Power"), select the "Engineering" metric base that you just created, and check the "Mhrs" field.

    The metrics defined here will become available in the Data Analyzer and can be included in any reports that are designed. 

    Currencies and Exchange Rate

    Various currencies and exchange rates to base currency are defined in this tab. Exchange rate can be defined for any desired time span. This makes it possible to have exchange rates on a monthly, quarterly, yearly or any other desired level.

    Normalization Indexes

    In this section the normalization indexes are registered. Note that an index factor of "2" means a 2% increase for the selected time span. The normalization indexes are defined for the dimensions defined in the Settings section.

    See the section "Normalization Cost" for more information.

    Personal Normalization Settings

    Personal Normalization CutOff dates are defined in this tab for each user of Experience module. The Normalization CutOff defines the date to which all the Cost values are normalized. If the Normalization CutOff is not defined for a user, original Cost values will be shown to a user.

    Revision Types

    In this section the different revision types are maintained. Examples of revision types are the baseline numbers (e.g. "CCE 1", "CCE 2", "CCE 3"), decision gate numbers, estimate classes or options.

    Estimate Classes

    Register of the different estimate classes that are made available. Estimate Class can be defined per project revision.

    General Data Categories

    Register of General Data Categories to be used when defining General Data available per project revisions.

    General Data Setup 

    Open the General Data Setup form located in the Experience navigation menu to setup General Data. Later General Data might be specified per Project Revision.

    Key fields for General Data Setup:

    Field Description
    General Data Name of the General Data
    Category Category of the General Data (defined in Setup)
    Unit Free-text Unit name
    Data Type Data Type of the data. One of the following values: Date, Number, Percentage, List, Text.

    Design Data Setup

    Open the Setup: Design Data form located in the Experience navigation menu to setup Design Data. Later Design Data might be specified per Project Revision Entity.

    Design Data is defined per Entity Type. Design Data is logically separated into the following groups: Cost related, Weight related, Process related, Opex related, Benchmark related. Overall tab has all the aforementioned Design Data.

    Key fields for Design Data Setup:

    Field Description
    Item No Free-text Item number
    Design Data Design Data selected from the lookup. Design Data Master list is defined in Setup Form.
    Category Design Data Category selected from the lookup. Design Data Categories are defined in the Setup form.
    Element No Free-text Element number - automatically filled by the value from setup when selecting Design Data.
    Unit Free-text Unit name - automatically filled by the value from setup when selecting Design Data.
    Data Type Data type selected from predefined list. Notice the "..." button in the lookup if the "List" data type is selected. List values valid for the current data type are specified in an opening dialog.
    Visible ... Visible {Cost | Weight | Process | Opex | Benchmark} values might be used in specific Design Data related reports.

    Projects and Project Revisions

    Projects and Project Revisions are registered in the "Projects" form.

    All the main project information is defined in the upper part of the screen: Name, Project Type, Project start date, APE Number, Project Currency, URL, Gate Number and Comments. Current Revision shows which of the project revisions is actual one (depends on the Sort Order of Project Revisions). Source Domain shows the name of the Domain where Project Baseline data is imported from (see "Imports" section for details).

    Upper grid shows all the Revisions of the Project with all the main information. Note that highest value in Sort Order field is used to define the Current Project Revision.

    Lower art of a form contains all the details of the Project Revision. There are four sections: Entities, General Data, Suppliers and Schedule.
    First tab's grid shows all the Entities belonging to the Project Revision. You can assign Entities defined for the current project to one or several Project Revisions.
    General Data tab contains a grid with all the information general Project Revision data (i.e. Max Water Depth, Max Wave Height). The values to be defined are specified in General Data Setup form.
    Suppliers tab contains the list of Suppliers defined for Project Revision.
    Schedule tab contains a grid with a list of scheduled activities.

    New Project Revision might be simply added in the Project Revisions grid by selecting the new revision from the lookup of available revision types.
    Usually it would be useful to create new Project Revision based on existing one including all the data and then just change appropriate data in the new Project Revision. There is a bar-button "Revision" -> "Add new Revision based on another..." for the following action. This action creates a new Project Revision and copies all the following information: Entities Cost, Entities Weight, Entities Design Data, Equipment and Equipment Data, Entities Reviewers.

    There is a bar-button "Delete selected Revision" for deleting a Project Revision with all the associated data. CAUTION! This action deletes selected Project Revision and all the related data such as: Entities Cost, Entities Weight, Entities Design Data, Equipment and Equipment Data, Entities Reviewers.


    All the Entities are registered in the Entities form.

    All the main information about the Entity is registered in the upper part of the screen. Only Entity and Project fields are required to be filled in for a new Entity to be saved. Project field shows which Project an Entity belongs to. Note that Entity can only belong to one Project, but several different Project Revisions. Project Revisions which an Entity belongs to are registered in the upper grid of the form. To assign an Entity to a new Project Revision, select a Project Revision from the first field lookup in the grid.

    Lower grid contains information about both internal and external Entity reviews.

    Below is the description of the Project Revisions containing Entity grid:

    Band Field Description
    General Information Project Revision The name of the Project Revision Entity is registered to
    General Information Description Additional information about Entity being registered to a Project Revision.
    Status Current Status Current Status is one of the following: Published, Draft, Internal Review Not Approved, External Review Not Approved. "Published" and "Draft" values are available from the lookup; depending on the value of Result field in Internal and External Reviews, the Current Status might be automatically set to "Internal Review Not Approved" or "External Review Not Approved" accordingly.
    Status Published Date Date when Current Status is changed to "Published"
    Internal Review Started The start date of an Internal Review
    Internal Review Completed The end date of an Internal Review
    Internal Review Result The result of an Internal Review is one of the following: Approved, Not Approved. Result cannot be set to "Approved" if any of the Internal Reviewers set "Not Approved" status of the Review.
    External Review Started The start date of an ExternalReview
    External Review Completed The end date of an External Review
    External Review Result The result of an External Review is one of the following: Approved, Not Approved. Result cannot be set to "Approved" if any of the External Reviewers set "Not Approved" status of the Review.
    Frozen Entity Data Cost Frozen A flag showing if the Cost Data of an Entity is frozen for the defined Project Revision
    Frozen Entity Data Cost Frozen By Shows a login of a user the Cost Data has been frozen by
    Frozen Entity Data Weight Frozen A flag showing if the Weight Data of an Entity is frozen for the defined Project Revision
    Frozen Entity Data Weight Frozen By Shows a login of a user the Weight Data has been frozen by
    Frozen Entity Data Design Data Frozen A flag showing if the Design Data of an Entity is frozen for the defined Project Revision
    Frozen Entity Data Design Data Frozen By Shows a login of a user the Design Data has been frozen by
    Frozen Entity Data Equipment Frozen A flag showing if the Equipment Data of an Entity is frozen for the defined Project Revision
    Frozen Entity Data Equipment Frozen By Shows a login of a user the Equipment Data has been frozen by

    Below is the description of the Entity Review grid:

    Field Description
    Reviewer PersonID of the Reviewer responsible for the Entity Review
    External A flag showing in the Review is Internal or External
    Reviewed Date A date of the Review submission
    Result Result of the Review - either "Approved" or "Not Approved"
    Reason Is a description of the reason why one or another status has been assigned
    Comments Any additional comments on the Revision

    There is a "Revision" bar-button with "Freeze Project Revision Entity data" and "Unfreeze Project Revision Entity data" options available. "Freeze Project Revision Entity data" sets all the Cost, Weight, Design and Equipment data to frozen, disallowing any changes in the appropriate Project Revision Entity data. Every individual data might be set to frozen state by clicking Frozen checkbox in the grid. "Unfreeze Project Revision Entity data" removes frozen state from all the Cost, Weight, Design and Equipment data.

    Cost Coding


    The experience cost data needs to be coded to a cost coding structure. Pims Experience includes two main structures; SCCS (Standard Cost Coding Structure) and Cost Categories. Other structures may be defined, but will require customization.


    The SCCS is designed to provide a uniform coding basis for the estimate preparation and to serve as a standard for collecting/collating historical data. The SCCS consists of three individual hierarchical coding structures each having separate and different purposes.
  • Physical Breakdown Structure – PBS
    This hierarchical structure defines the Physical/Functional components of «Projects» during any phase of development. The PBS provides a coding structure, which enables any known Oil and Gas Production and processing facility configuration scheme to be coded.
  • Standard Activity Breakdown – SAB
    This hierarchical structure provides a timescale attribute to express when during the project lifetime, expenditures and activities occur. The alphabetical prefix introduces a code for use of SCCS throughout all phases of a project, from exploration through removal of facilities.
  • Code Of Resource – COR
    This hierarchical structure classifies all project resources and categorises resources according to primary, secondary and tertiary levels of resources. This hierarchical structure also termed Code of Account (COA) classifies the complete scale of resources involved in developing offshore and land based installations.

    (ref: Norsok Standard Z-014)

    The SCCS codes are available in the form: SCCS. The data in this form is updateable, so codes and descriptions can be altered if required.

    Cost Category

    Cost Category is general hierarchical structure. Open the form: "Setup: Cost Categories" to view or maintain the structure.

    Example of cost categories are:
    A Topsides
    A1 Offshore Facilities
    A1A Topsides
    A1A Engineering
    A1AA Electrical
    A1AC Inspection
    A1AD Structural

    The ID needs to include the parent id as part of the new key; E.g. A1 Offshore Facilities means that it's a sub category to A Topsides. The number of characters at each level is defined in the Setup form. In the example above, the number of characters at each level will be 1.

    Capturing Data

    There are three main ways of capturing data:

  • Integrate with Pims Cost Management modules. If you are already using the Project Control Basis and Contracts Register modules, data can be retrieved from these registers.
  • Importing from other systems. This can be accomplished by utilizing the in-built standard tool for importing cost data from XLS-based files, or by setting up a custom interface to the cost management system in use. E.g. through web services, Database-to-Database communication, via XLS, CSV files etc.
  • Direct Input in Pims. The screens are explained below.

    There is one screen that is used for both viewing and inputting or updating experience data, called "Experience Data", available under "Experience" in the menu.

    Cost Data

    All Cost, Weight, Design Data and Equipment Data are registered in the screen: Experience Data. There are separate tab pages for each category of data (Cost, Weight, Design Data, Equipment).

    Key fields for Cost Data:

    Field Description
    Description Description of the cost data
    Date Data (mid-point) for when the cost incurred.
    Cost Category The Cost Category for this cost item. Available cost categories are defined in the Cost Categories screen.
    WorkPack ID   WorkPack ID which the Cost belongs to.
    Manhours   Manhours is an optional part of Cost, where the amount of the manhours spent are registered.
    Qty Quantity of the cost-related items.
    Unit  Free-text unit value
    Cost  The actual cost value
    Currency The cost item's currency. The available currencies are defined in the Setup screen, in the Currencies and Exchange Rates section
    Finished The date when costs finished incurring
    PBS Physical Breakdown Structure
    SAB Standard Activity Breakdown
    COR Code of Resource
    Weight Data
    Key fields:
    Field Description
    PBS SCCS Code - Physical Breakdown Structure
    COR SCCS Code - Code of Resource
    Description Description of the weight data
    Weight (In Tonnes) The actual weight value
    Design Data
    Key fields:
    Field Description
    Item Item number uniquely identifying the design data
    Design Data The design data or characteristic. E.g. "Pumps", "Beds", "Capacity"
    Unit The unit for the value. E.g. "Kg", "Kw", "Ea"
    Data Type The Data Type for the value. E.g. "Text", "Number"
    Data Value The actual value

    Design Data records can be populated from the Setup or from another project revisions. Only Data Value is editable for each record.
    The Design Data grid is grouped by Category field by default. (For more information regarding grid grouping, see the User Guide "General User Interface).

    Key fields:
    Field Description
    Tag No The tag number that uniquely identifies the equipment
    Description Description of Equipment data
    Sub Category Equipment are categorized by a category and subcategory
    Supplier The supplier of the equipment
    PO Number The Purchase Number
    Quantity The amount of equipment
    PBS Physical Breakdown Structure (part of the SCCS)
    COR Code of Resource (part of the SCCS)
    Cost The total Cost of the Equipment specified - might be used in reports 
    Cost Date Data for when the cost incurred
    Remarks Additional cost-related information

    Additional information about the equipment is registered in the grid below. What information to be registered is defined against the categories in the setup form.

    Equipment Register

    All the information about all the equipment registered in the system is available in "Equipment Register" form.

    All the Equipment Categories and Subcategories are shown in the upper part of the form. New Equipment Categories and Subcategories might be added in the form.
    The read-only data for selected Subcategory and Category is shown in the lower grid. Note that the columns in this grid depend on the Category/Subcategory selected.

    Importing Data

    There are two main ways of importing data:

  • Importing Projects from Pims Cost modules. Experience data can be imported from Pims Project Control Basis and Contracts Management modules.
  • Importing data from standard file types (from Excel). Experience data can also be imported from other Cost Management applications via standard file type like Excel.

    Two forms are available in Experience for import: "Projects Import" and "Data Import".

    Projects Import

    "Projects Import" form allows importing Cost Data from Pims Project Control Basis and Contracts Management modules for a specified Domain.

    Destination Projects are listed in the grid of the "Projects Import" form. Source Domain field has to be filled in with the name of the Domain to import Cost Data from. You can import data into one or several projects by pressing "Import data into selected project(s)" bar-button; you can also import data to all the available projects by pressing "Import data into all Projects".

    Import procedure uses Current Baseline Number from a specified Source Domain as a new Project Revision to insert data to. CAUTION! If such a Project Revision already exists the data is rewritten.

    Data Import

    "Data Import" form allows importing Cost Data from other Cost Management systems via Excel file.

    To import Cost Data you first need to load it from Excel file into a temporary storage in "Data Imports" form, where data can be cleaned up and verified. Use "Load Data from Excel" bar button to retrieve data from Excel file.
    After data has been retrieved, field mapping have to be performed to specify what data in Excel file corresponds to what field in Experience. Various data clean-up actions might be performed with data in "Import Data Editor" dialog before import. Press "Add Data to Import" to put data into "Experience Data to Import" grid. The grid is fully editable, so the data might be modified before import. Press "Commit Import" bar-button to import Cost data to the system. You'll have to select which Project, Project Revision and Entity import data to.
    After data has been imported, temporary records from "Experience Data to Import" grid are moved to "Imported Experience Data" grid for archive.

    Normalizing Cost


    The Pims Experience module supports normalizing cost at various levels. As part of the initial setup the dimensions to use as part normalization are selected. Cost can be normalized to any date, both backwards and forwards. (Note that Normalization Indexes have to be provided for Normalized Cost to be shown instead of Original Cost)
    When capturing data for the Experience module, a mid-point for when the cost incurred needs to be registered. This information, combined with the normalization indices and currency exchange rates will then be used as a basis for computing the Normalized Cost.

    The normalization indices can be entered directly in the Setup form. If external tools for generating normalization indices are used, an import can be customized to retrieve this data directly.

    Setting the normalization date

    The normalization date used for Normalized Cost calculation might be set in two places: "Personal Normalization Settings" tab of Setup form to set the normalization date for several users; "Normalized Cost" dialog in Data Analyzer form to set personal normalization date.
    Note that the date the cost is normalized to is stored per user. In the left-bottom corner of Data Analyzer you will see the "Cost normalized for {date}" for your user.

    Updating the normalized cost

    The normalized cost will dynamically be calculated. So when the cost is updated, cost is automatically normalized to the normalization date selected.

    Dynamic cost normalization is ensured by the Normalization Index Factors that are automatically pregenerated for the default period of time. By default Index Factors are generated for a period of two years (12 month before General CutOff Date and 12 month after it). The time span might be set up in the Experience Settings tab of Setup form. If a Personal Normalization date set is out of the predefined Normalization time span, additional Index Factors are generated.

    Working with Benchmarking Metrics

    The Pims Experience module has a generic concept for defining metrics. End-users with the required access can define metrics based on criteria, such as SCCS codes, cost categories, design data etc. The system will automatically update the values as cost or design data is updated.
    To define metrics, see the section "Entity Types and Metrics" in "Setup" section.
    The metrics that are defined will be available for analysis in the "Data Analyzer" screen. Custom reports can be made to show these metrics.

    Reporting and Analyzing Data


    Pims Experience includes a flexible Data Analyzer that can be used as basis for reporting and analyzing data. In addition custom reports can be designed. An end-user Report Builder tool is also available. For more information, see the user guide: for "Creating Reports".

    Personal Workspaces

    Each user can define a workspace, which is a collection of Projects/Revisions/Entities that will be analyzed and compared. Open the form: Personal Workspaces to define or maintain workspaces: A personal workspace is defined by filtering for entities by using the various criteria. E.g. to define a workspace for all "Jackets" built in the regions: Alberta, Baltic Region and Barents Sea, open the Regions tab page, and selecting the above regions. Note that you have to hold the CTRL-key down to select multiple regions. Then open the Entities Type tab page, and select "Jacket". The current filter will be shown on the right side.

    Additional filter can be defined using the Design Data, Equipment Data, Cost Data or Weight Data. If you only want to include Jackets with a total weight between 2500 and 3500 tons, open the Design Data tab page, and select type of design date (e.g. "Cost related"), and then the relevant design data. Input the values (2500 and 3500) in the last two fields. To include all the Jackets with a total weight below 3500 tons, fill in only the last field leaving the “From” field empty.

    To remove one or another main filter simply deselect the value in the appropriate grid or click on the filter values in the "Current Filters Selected" grid.
    When the criterias are completed, click on the "Generate Personal Workspace" button in the toolbar. The tab page "Workspace content" will then be populated with the entities satisfying the criteria.
    Note that only Cost Data and Weight Data filters are currently stored per Workspace, all the other filters defined will be applicable to any currently selected Workspace when clicking "Generate Personal Workspace" button. Check if the filters defined are applicable before generating Entities for one or another Workspace. 

    You can further narrow down your selection of entities by specifying more precise criterias or deleting those rows that are not relevant.

    Note that when you do not specify any Project Revision explicitly in the filters, only one revision (with the highest Sort Order) per Entity will be added to the Workspace. When you select some of the Project Revisions, all the Entities from the specified Project Revisions meeting all the other criterias will be added to the Workspace. Sort Order is defined for Project Revisions in Projects form.

    There is a possibility to share a Workspace with other users or groups. Two access levels are available for users of a shared Workspace: "User" and "Manager". "User" access level allows users to see and use a Workspace in Data Analyzer, but no editing is allowed. "Manager" access level allows users to edit a Workspace by adding or removing Entities, updating filters and sharing a Workspace with other users. Both "Manager" and an owner of a Workspace are able of deleting a Workspace.

    To share a Workspace click a "Share Workspace..." bar-button, a dialog will be open. In the upper part grid select a Group or a separate user to share Workspace with. Click "Add as User" button to grant "User" permissions to a selected user or a group of users. Click "Add as Manager" button to grant "Manager" permissions to a selected user or a group of users. You can select several users and/or groups at a time to grant same permissions. All users and groups having permissions for a current Workspace are listed in the bottom grid in the dialog. To withdraw permissions from a user or a group, just delete appropriate row from the bottom grid. Click "Done" button when you finish editing Workspace sharing permissions.

    To delete a Workspace press "Delete selected Personal Workspace" bar-button. Note that when a shared Workspace is deleted, share users are not able to see and use a Workspace any more. 
    To quickly remove all the filters defined press "Remove all Filters" bar button.

    Data Analyzer

    The Data Analyzer uses the in-built pivot capabilities allowing the end-user to "turn & twist" to analyze the experience data. The data can be exported to various formats (e.g. Excel, PDF).

  • Select the Workspace you want to analyze. All your available workspaces are listed in the upper left corner.
  • Select what kind of data you want to view (Cost, Weight,  Cost per Weight ratio, Key Data or Percentage of Total)
  • Select what you want to appear as you row headers and column headers in the pivot grid that is generated (you will be able to drag and drop these after generation)
  • Click on the "Show Results in Pivot Grid" button.

    To move a field to a different areas (column headers, row headers, data area, filter area), you can select the field, and drag & drop it to the desired area.

    Saving Layout in Data Analyzer

    Data Analyzer is highly flexible to show data in a way a user wants. In addition to the predifined templates of showing data, users may easily make some changes in the UI by dragging and dropping the fields, resizing, filtering and sorting various items. Once all the appropriate improvements are made, the current layout might be saved for later usage.
    To save a layout press "Save" button in a layout section. If the layout was already saved you can save it as a new one by pressing "Save" button and typing in new name. To delete a layout press "Delete" button and press on the "X" button near the layout to be deleted.
    To load a layout simply select it from the layout lookup.

    Chart in Data Analyzer
    There are five different chart types available:
  • Bars
  • Bars Stacked
  • Bars Stacked 100%
  • Line
  • Pie

    Select the chart type, and then mark the data in the pivot grid that you want to have illustrated.

    The button "Copy to Clipboard" in the toolbar, will copy the chart to the clipboard, for usage for example in Excel, PowerPoint, MS Word or other presentation or reporting software.

    • Dashboard

      Adaptable to meet the needs of the project. Use the Personal Workspace to elevate pertinent data. Analyze the project portfolio via graphical reports at any point in time. Take advantage of the robust dashboards and reporting.
    • Variance Report

      Adaptable to meet the needs of the project. Use the Personal Workspace to elevate pertinent data. Analyze the project portfolio via graphical reports at any point in time. Take advantage of the robust dashboards and reporting.