We would like to introduce Bill, a Pipeline Integrity Manager who has been asked to implement a Pipeline Safety Management System (PSMS). Bill is in a situation like many companies where he finds it difficult obtaining ongoing commitment from Leadership to implement the Pipeline SMS. API and its partners have done an excellent job of raising the profile of Pipeline Safety Management Systems and supporting Bill's initial implementation efforts. Unfortunately, this commitment is becoming very hard to sustain without a disciplined plan of ongoing activities and deliverables and Bill saw the commitment going down.
Describing to Leadership what a Pipeline Safety Management System is, and how it works, is an extremely difficult task. “It’s this thing that helps us manage risks, meet compliance requirements and makes our operations better with the hope of achieving zero incidents”. Sounds great but this concept is very abstract without seeing and experiencing the real thing.
Bill recently completed an API RP1173 gap assessment using API's Implementation Tool. This seemed the right thing to do, but pretty soon the gap assessment results and resulting actions got mixed in with other company priorities and were forgotten. The concept of a management system and an ongoing process of implementation and improvement was never fully understood or embedded.
It soon disappeared off Leadership’s radar, until one day the regulator turned up and started asking hard questions. Leadership couldn’t show them the management system and couldn’t easily show progress being made on implementation. The Regulator said they need to have a complete management system process, not just a list of gaps and actions. So what does that look like?
Bill and his team started using the Pipeline SMS Toolkit to provide a complete management system approach which includes the ongoing tasks and activities of a fully functioning Pipeline SMS. This gave their Leadership something tangible to see, touch and understand. Through this increased understanding, Leadership commitment went up and implementation accelerated.
Leadership were shown an awareness presentation that explained the Pipeline SMS and were provided a template Pipeline SMS Policy and Manual, and a 2-year implementation Calendar; all components of the Pipeline SMS Toolkit. They were even more impressed when they saw how their Pipeline SMS Framework mapped to API RP1173, CFR 192 and CFR 195 and addressed many of these requirements. This information and their gap assessment data was all compiled in the Octane Continuous Improvement Tool that allowed leaders to track gap closure, and monitor performance and improvement.
Within weeks, Leadership could point to their Pipeline SMS, explain it to regulators and demonstrate implementation progress. Nothing gains commitment faster than having the right tools to get the job done!