Many operators don't know what activities to undertake each month and each year to implement and sustain their Pipeline SMS. When reading API RP1173, it does indicate that many activities need to be executed, but gives no direction on how often they are needed and in what order they need to be conducted. Furthermore, it is left up to operators to decide what's best for them. This creates a great deal of trial and error for many companies which results in wasted time and resources.
We recently worked with Bill, the pipeline operator from our story on Leadership Commitment. Early on he had Leadership engagement building, but he still didn't know what activities to do, and in what order, after their Gap Assessment. "Should I do employee training? Should I define roles and responsibilities? Should I do risk assessments, inspections, compliance evaluations, management reviews, lessons learned...?" The list went on and on.
We provided Bill with a comprehensive calendar of recommended activities and processes - the PSMS Activity Calendar - as part of the Pipeline SMS Toolkit. The Calendar got their management system up and running by defining a repeatable cycle of activities that implemented key components of the PSMS and showed immediate results. The calendar is based on our proven 4-Stage Pipeline SMS Implementation Process. Undertaking these activities increased awareness and knowledge of the PSMS, got it implemented and got them ready for sustained continuous improvement.
The calendar, along with the other components of the Pipeline SMS Toolkit, is designed to enable full conformance to API RP 1173 as soon as possible. Completion of the calendar activities themselves directly achieves many API RP1173 requirements within the PSMS Elements of Leadership and Management Commitment, Safety Assurance (including Evaluation of PSMS Maturity), Management Review and Continuous Improvement, and Competence, Awareness and Training.
The order of activities can have a significant impact on implementation cost and efficiency, and the Calendar includes a sequenced schedule so you can appropriately plan your activities to maximize value for rallying leadership commitment, undertaking employee communications and training, and fulfilling ongoing Pipeline SMS activities like assessments, gap management, corrective actions, and management review.
Why is the Pipeline SMS Activity Calendar important? It gives Bill and anyone else responsible for Pipeline SMS implementation a well thought out project plan that identifies critical items that need to be done throughout the year for a successful and sustained management system.