To achieve operational excellence, especially in PSM, organizations are expected to have three elements in perfect balance; their people, their processes and their technology, with a focus on not only the skills of the auditors, but the processes, procedures and systems used by the team as part of a continuous process of assessment, validation, mitigation and alignment of safety risk to defined corporate goals. The challenge many continue to face isn’t their people or processes they have in place, but the lack of technology for the next generation of auditors and assessors (aka “the youtube generation”), this lack of technology directly impacts an organization’s ability to manage risk proactively, while capturing vital knowledge from across the business, whether its from the employees, managers or supervisors and turning that knowledge into standardized repeatable results, towards reaching and maintaining operational excellence.
Recently I spoke with a client about their approach to Process Safety, like many, they have well trained and experienced auditors, team leads and managers, they have a defined process for managing process safety, an established corporate protocol within the business, metrics for benchmarking and some KPI’s. BUT, the third element (technology) they use is a spreadsheet, not a problem if you have one site to audit and a small team of auditors. However, it becomes a nightmare, when you have 20, 30 or 50 sites across the globe to audit, with each audit supporting 14+ elements with hundreds of questions, each with the potential for a finding and recommendation, you will likely have auditors emailing you their results, manually cutting and pasting recommendations into another system to manage actions, questioning whether the action was closed out or not, questioning if the same finding on the “Mechanical Integrity” question is coming up across all your sites, or why one site has no findings, when another has twenty, you’re likely having to manipulate data to get dashboards for a management meeting, and the list goes on.
Today’s organizations are required to access the audit data (including risk based information and scoring/heat maps) inform, inspire, and evaluate performance on a continual basis to achieve the culture of a high-performance organization. As I’ve mentioned, having a PSM or OE culture depends on three core elements, the people, the processes and the technology used. The majority of companies out there have the first two nailed down, that’s standard practice, but not the technology element, the reason I believe is this. When the company was established they had to perform their PSM audits as per regulatory requirements, technology didn’t really exist outside of pen, paper and a clipboard, then spreadsheets came along, which you could argue is a technology, although it dates back to 1982 and has marginally improved since then, so is it really “technology”? it was easy to use, it was free and served a purpose, and when you had a small facility to audit, no issue.
But with the growth of businesses, expansion and acquisition, one site, became five, twenty, fifty or more, while we advanced our audit skills and culture towards process safety, redefined our processes and further evolved our PSM methodology, we forgot our third element, the technology, we’ve become stuck using spreadsheets, a technology that is now 35 years old! we’ve evolved our approach, but technology hasn’t, why? Until now, no technology had been developed to bring together all three elements in perfect balance, while addressing the challenges many companies continue to face managing enormous amounts of audit data…….that’s about to change!
Don’t settle for two out of three……there is a better way and its available now.
Visit: www.acutech-software.com and learn how we’ve developed an innovative Process Safety Technology, supporting OSHA, CFATS, MTSA and many other regulatory requirements. Or reach out to me for more information, happy to chat.
Now isn’t that a lot easier than working with a spreadsheet or some clunky piece of software? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section.
P.S: If you want to see Acuity and how it can help your business, feel free to reach out to me.