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A Systems Roadmap for API RP 1173

API RP 1173 provides a framework for companies to evaluate their safety systems and processes to more effectively buy down risk and continuously improve safety. This recommended practice incorporates and anticipates changes in the way safety, quality, environmental, and regulatory legislation and standards have shifted over the last decade from a reactive approach, based on prescription and audits, to a proactive approach, based on continuous improvement and the management of risk.

To benefit from this new approach a more holistic and systems view of safety must be adopted focusing on both the means to buy down risk as well as the outcomes achieved by doing so. This is accomplished through continuous improvement of capabilities over time.

To stay on course it is essential to have a compass and this is what the Hoshin Kanri LEAN X-Matrix Compass offers. Many companies that adopt LEAN practices have benefited from this approach which can also be used for those in highly-regulated, high-risk industries who are adopting a holistic approach to supporting quality, occupational safety, process safety, and environmental objectives as is the case for those migrating to API RP 1173.

Using the X-Matrix Compass for API RP 1173

We have used the X-Matrix Compass to provide improvement roadmaps for quality, safety, environmental, and regulatory systems to help companies adapt to performance and outcome-based requirements. As means of an example, the following describes how this might look like for those adopting API RP 1173

The X-Matrix Compass helps to align the long-term needs with strategic initiatives, identify the most important activities along the way and determine the metrics that you need to improve.

The name comes from the X that divides the matrix into 4 key quadrants:

  • Long-term goals (south)

  • Annual objectives or initiatives (west)

  • Top-level priorities and principles (north)

  • Processes and Metrics to improve (east)

The following figure shows how this works in the context of API RP 1173:


API RP 1173 Lean Compliance Compass

The center represents the current condition of the safety program along with the next challenge which in this example is to achieve level 4 safety systems maturity necessary to advance to the next level of outcomes represented as goals:

Outcomes (Goals):

The outcomes of an API RP 1173 will be different for every organization according to the level of risk, and the type of operations. Here is an example set of outcomes:

  1. Increased stakeholder trust, legitimacy and credibility

  2. Decreased corporate, operational, environmental, and reputational risk

  3. Increased safety and compliance excellence

  4. Continuous improvement and continuous compliance

  5. Zero incidents

These represent what are called, terminal goals, that will need to be achieved through continual advancement and achievement of instrumental goals.

RP 1173 Initiatives:

The initiatives (objectives) on the left have been identified as the steps in the roadmap needed to make progress towards the overall goals.

  1. Identify all safety and compliance obligations

  2. Define Measures of Effectiveness, Performance, Compliance

  3. Identify standards to be used as normative processes

  4. Identify what is needed to meet obligations

  5. Establish systems/processes to always stay in compliance

  6. Identify and evaluate risk

  7. Embed safety into processes

  8. Identify and implement proactive and defensive strategies

RP 1173 Principles (True North):

The top of the compass is your True North, which are the principles that are always true to guide initiatives to advance overall goals. The following RP 1173 principles are taken directly from the recommended practice:

  1. Commitment, leadership, and oversight from top management are vital to the overall success of a PSMS.

  2. A safety-oriented culture is essential to enable the effective implementation and continuous improvement of safety management system processes and procedures.

  3. Risk management is an integral part of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a pipeline.

  4. Pipelines are designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in a manner that complies with Federal, state, and local regulations.

  5. Pipeline operators conform to applicable industry codes and consensus standards with the goal of reducing risk, preventing releases, and minimizing the occurrence of abnormal operations.

  6. Defined operational controls are essential to the safe design, construction, operation, and maintenance of pipelines.

  7. Prompt and effective incident response minimizes the adverse impacts to life, property, and the environment.

  8. The creation of a learning environment for continuous improvement is achieved by investigating incidents thoroughly, fostering non-punitive reporting systems, and communicating lessons learned.

  9. Periodic evaluation of risk management effectiveness and pipeline safety performance improvement, including audits, are essential to assure effective PSMS performance.

  10. Pipeline operating personnel throughout the organization must effectively communicate and collaborate with one another. Further, communicating with contractors to share information that supports decision making and completing planned tasks (processes and procedures) is essential.

  11. Managing changes that can affect pipeline safety is essential.

RP 1173 Processes and Metrics to Improve:

Finally, the processes (on the right) are reinforced by the True North principles and are the mechanisms (the means) by which goals are achieved. Proactive thinking turns the 10 RP 1173 elements into processes that anticipate, plan, and act to create a future impact (i.e. the advancement of better safety outcomes).

  1. Leadership and management commitment

  2. Stakeholder engagement

  3. Risk management

  4. Operational controls

  5. Incident investigation, evaluation and lessons learned

  6. Safety assurance

  7. Management review and continuous improvement

  8. Emergency response and continuous improvement

  9. Competence, awareness, and training

  10. Documentation and record keeping

The corners of the compass represent the alignment of all four quadrants. The greater the alignment, the better your performance will be. Gaps in alignment represent areas of potential risk and opportunities for improvement.

RP 1173 Continuous Improvement:

Continuous improvement is managed by going clock-wise around the compass using a Plan-Do-Check- Act cycle governed by the management program. An example process that we use is:

The Proactive Certainty Process™

Companies looking to move beyond current silos and reactive approaches with their safety will benefit from adopting a more holistic, systems approach such as API RP 1173 for Pipeline Safety Management System, and others.

The X-Matrix Compass can be an effective management and governance tool to guide improvement roadmaps so that the benefits of these new performance / outcome based standards and guidelines can be realized. The X-Matrix Compass also provides management with the means to visualize the roadmap, align strategic and tactical efforts, and always stay on course with their true north.

As we understand from LEAN, if you can't see it you can't improve it. Similarly, if you don't have a map and compass you will not likely reach your destination.

If you are looking to develop your improvement roadmap for API RP1173, or other compliance objective contact us about how you can develop yours in just 12 weeks.



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