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Program Suite: A Holistic Approach to PDCA

Organizations in our industry face a whole host of challenges around program management – implementing and tracking your operation’s safety program, introducing new personnel (from turnover, M&A’s, etc.), or maintaining regulatory compliance – to name a few. Additionally, you’re tasked with finding the best way to address those challenges with confidence. 

Considering these challenges, a holistic approach to program management is the best way to approach the ‘Plan. Do. Check. Act.’ cycle within your operation. In this article, we’ll cover some of the best practices and insights that have informed our process and guided the creation of Program Suite from P.I. Confluence. 

Common questions we aim to address:

Implementing a Safety Program

  • Where do the plans and procedures documents get stored?
  • How will we track the completion of tasks and activities? 
  • When we DON’T follow our plans/procedures, can we justify why?
  • How can we document decisions that were made within the organization?
  • How do we ensure consistent implementation of our plans and procedures?

New Personnel

  • How can we minimize training time? 
  • What steps can we take to guarantee new personnel are sufficiently trained?
  • Are new team members following a process consistent with their predecessors?


  • How do I identify gaps in my safety program? How do I address those gaps?
  • Can I locate our policies that specifically address the audit question for the auditor?
  • Do we have historical data for the auditor?
    • When plans were implemented?
    • Previous versions of plans?
    • Evidence of feedback implementation and subsequent improvements?


Scattered systems and haphazard approaches to tracking, monitoring, implementing, and refining your safety program won’t help you achieve your operational goals. In order to maintain a safe operation, maintain efficiency and productivity, and (ultimately) maintain regulatory compliance, we recommend incorporating a methodology that tackles the challenges you face head-on. 

Your plan is important, but being able to provide context and supporting documentation is just as important. Once a plan is built – what are the next steps? How do you implement the plan? Verify it’s being executed? Follow up, review, and revise? Your ability to provide the who, what, when, where, why, and why not associated with program execution is just as important as the actual plan itself. 

When you implement tools that enable you to handle all aspects of your program – processes, workflow, communications, information exchange, etc. – you’re able to minimize the challenges that most operations face on a daily basis.

A Holistic Approach to a Complex Problem

Program Suite offers a unique benefit to our clients. It’s a comprehensive toolset that enables organizations to take complete ownership of their processes – all from one source.

Our software tools allow operators to comply with regulations, implement, manage, and track processes, and facilitate stakeholder communication.

The tools also provide a home for you to document your program and ensure compliance with regulations, implement their Plan-Do-Check-Act processes for implementing their program, and optimize stakeholder communication to determine if they are seeing the desired safety and operational results.

We’ve done the hard work of building our program set to factor in all of the unique regulatory requirements while maintaining the flexibility to be tailored to your operation. You’ll be able to operate with efficiency and effectiveness and adjust accordingly when the data suggest changes should be made. 

In addition to our software tools in Program Suite, P.I. Confluence offers services that help close the loop on the PDCA cycle including consulting services, software implementation services, and our industry knowledge to help meet your organization’s difficult challenges.

We believe that this approach to implementing the PDCA cycle is the most effective and comprehensive method to achieve both regulatory compliance and program execution for your operation.

Program Suite and the PDCA Cycle

Plan: We utilize ComplyMgr to determine whether your plan is aligned with appropriate pipeline regulations or whether you have any gaps. Then, through audit compliance support, we’ll help close the gaps in your program.

Do: We utilize ICAM (Integrated Compliance Activity Manager) to support process management by making sure you have the appropriate processes to support the Plan. We take a synergetic approach to ensure that you are doing what you said were you going to do in your Plan.

Check: We utilize pSEc (Program Stakeholder Engagement Communication) to check that the right people are doing the right thing in the right way at the right time. This supports the function of gathering stakeholder feedback from boots-on-the-ground workers and other stakeholders to execute the Act.

Act: We support the full cycle with Management of Change to gauge performance and ensure that each Check is consistently being acted upon. The process evaluations include implementing a corrective action program, optimizing stakeholder engagement, and sharing lessons learned to support continuous improvement.

Additional Benefits of Program Suite:

  • Support recordkeeping and quality assurance
  • Meet PHMSA requirements in all areas of pipeline operations
  • Support performance effectiveness requirements of API 1162
  • Build more consistent safety observations and reporting of events
  • More efficiently and easily capture suggestions and build feedback loops


Document Your Pipeline Program Compliance with ComplyMgr

POEMS ComplyMgr provides pipeline operators and regulatory managers with the software tools they need to document their pipeline programs and their compliance with regulations.

Achieve audit readiness through comprehensive management of the audit process. The software streamlines pipeline compliance management and includes a centralized document repository for managing your organization’s governing documentation – policies and related procedures and forms.

When preparing for an audit or performing annual program reviews, you’ll be able to confidently answer the question, “Did you do what you said you would do?”

ComplyMgr Feature Overview

  • Automates pipeline compliance management.
  • Provides a single source for documents.
  • Organizes program records in one place.
  • Identifies program weaknesses to take corrective action.
  • Allows your operation to perform a mock audit to prepare for the real audit.
  • Delivers compliance review results to improve policies.
  • Track, review, approve, and publish changes.
  • Save results and corrective actions for later viewing.
  • Gain confidence in your programs and your ability to pass the PHMSA audit.

ICAM and pSEc enable operators to achieve two key objectives in their pipeline programs:

  • Implement their Plan-Do-Check-Act processes as part of API Pipeline Safety Management Systems (PSMS)
  • Optimize stakeholder communication to determine if they are seeing the desired safety and operational impacts

Integrated Compliance Activity Management (ICAM) is a configurable, cloud-based application designed to help organizations with their process management, implementation, and workflows. ICAM provides a consistent, standardized approach to ensure the proper execution of your organization’s Plan.

pSEc (pipeline Stakeholder Engagement communication) is a configurable mobile application for collaborative communication and information exchange engaging internal and external stakeholders in process improvement.

Utilize pSEc to check that your team is operating in accordance with your policies and regulatory requirements with tools to help you gather feedback from all of the necessary users in your operation in an efficient and effective manner, creating any necessary records along the way. 

Take the First Step

Implementing these best practices is no small task – we work with organizations throughout the industry to help them tackle the questions we posed at the top of the article. Meet regulatory requirements, stay audit-ready, and minimize safety risks t

You can meet regulatory requirements, minimize safety risks, and be ready for an audit through our combination of software tools and consulting expertise. 

Contact us today to start a conversation about how we can support your pipeline operation by implementing a complete pipeline program management system. Let’s drive toward continuous improvement in your operation.

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