Pipeline operators of both hazardous liquid and gas pipelines occasionally need to update and improve the process documents within their integrity management programs (e.g. written integrity management plan, risk methodology, etc.). Typically these needs arise in the spirit of continuous improvement (e.g. internal audit findings), or following a large merger or acquisition that requires version consolidation for one or more integrity management process documents.
The authors have identified essential elements that provide a proven approach for successfully updating and improving integrity management process documents, including:
1. Gap Analysis
2. Gap Filling with Stakeholder Involvement
3. Implementation Plan
DNV GL has found these elements can be applied effectively to small scale (e.g. an update of an operator’s in-line inspection process) and large scale updates (e.g. concurrently updating the entire set of integrity management program process documents).
After identifying the process documents for updating, the first element is a gap analysis to identify gaps related to compliance and industry standard practices. The gap analysis may also identify inconsistencies between multiple legacy documents (which is often the case after a merger).
The next element is to fill each of the gaps and resolve each of the inconsistencies identified during the gap analysis. The primary stakeholders for the target process(es) should provide input to this step. Significant changes require increased stakeholder involvement and buy-in. Gap filling concludes with creating revised (or new) integrity management process document(s).
The last element is implementation of the revised (or new) integrity management process document(s). The revised (or new) integrity management process(es) may require the operator to add resources or new expertise to their organization. The implementation plan will identify potential additional resources and/or training requirements. The implementation plan will also identify benchmarks and goals to allow the operator to effectively monitor the implementation of the revised (or new) process and ensure it achieves the intended results.
The following paper explains in detail how to execute each element and provides examples of supporting work materials to efficiently create effective and compliant integrity management process documents.