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In the use of past failure rate information, additional uncertainty results from small sample sizes and comparability, as discussed previously. Further adding to the uncertainty is the fact that the thing being measured is constantly changing. It is perhaps useful to view a pipeline system, including its operating environment, as a complex entity with behavior similar to that seen in dynamic or chaotic systems. Here the term chaotic is being used in its scientific meaning chaos theory rather than implying a disorganized or random nature in the conventional sense of the word.
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In science, dynamic or chaotic systems refer to the many systems in our world that do not behave in strictly predictable or linear fashions. They are not completely deterministic nor completely random, and things never happen in exactly the same way.
A pipeline, with its infinite combinations of historical, environmental, structural, operational, and maintenance parameters, can be expected to behave as a so-called dynamic system-perhaps establishing patterns over time, but never repetition.
As such, we recognize that, as one possible outcome of the process of pipelining, the risk of pipeline failure is sensitive to immeasurable or unknowable initial conditions. In essence, we are trying to find differences in risk out of all the many sources of variation inherent in a system that places a man-made structure in a complex and ever-changing environment.
Recall the earlier discussion on signal-to-noise considerationsin risk assessment.
In more practical terms, we can identify all of the threats to the pipeline. We understand the mechanisms underlying the Risk process-the general steps Table 1.
Steven G.. We know the options in mitigating the threats. But in knowing these things, we also must know the uncertainty involved-we cannot know and control enough of the details to entirely eliminate risk. There will always be an element of the unknown. Managers must weigh their decisions carefully in light of what is known and unknown. First, when information is unknown, it is conservatively assumed that unfavorable conditions exist.
It also makes sense from an error analysis standpoint. The operator will most likely be directing resources toward suspected deficiencies, not recognizing that an actual deficiency has been hidden by an optimistic evaluation.
At the point of discovery by incident, the ability of the risk assessment to point out any other deficiency is highly suspect. Consequences are far less with this latter type of error.
The only cost is the effort to get the correct information. Uncertainty also plays a role in inspection information. Many conditions continuously change over time. As inspection information gets older, its relevance to current conditions becomes more uncertain.
All inspection data should therefore be assumed to deteriorate in usefulness and, hence, in its risk-reducing ability. This is further discussed in Chapter 2. The great promise of risk analysis is its use in decision support. However, this promise is not without its own element of risk-the misuse of risk analysis, perhaps through failure to consider uncertainty. This is discussed as a part of risk management in Chapter As noted in Ref. Because the decisions cannot wait, the gaps in information must be bridged by inferenceand belief, and these cannot be evaluated in the same way as facts.
Improving the quality and comprehensiveness of knowledge is by far the most effective way to improve risk assessment, but some limitationsare inherent and unresolvable, and inferenceswill always be required. Risk process-the general steps Having defined some basic terms and discussed general risk issues, we can now focus on the actual steps involved in risk management. The following are the recommended basic steps. These steps are all fully detailed in this text. Step 1: Risk modeling The acquisition of a risk assessment process, usually in the form of a model, is a logical first step.
A pipeline risk assessment model is a set of algorithms or rules that use available information and data relationships to measure levels of risk along a pipeline. Multiple models can be run against the same set of data for comparisons and model evaluations. Step 2: Data collection and preparation Data collection entails the gathering of everything that can be known about the pipeline, including all inspection data, original construction information, environmental conditions, operating and maintenance history, past failures, and so on.
Data preparation is an exercise that results in data sets that are ready to be read into and used directly by the risk assessment model. A collection of tools enables users to smooth or enhance data points into zones of influence, categories, or bands to convert certain data sets into risk information.
Data collection is discussed later in this chapter and data preparation issues are detailed in Chapter 8. Step 3: Segmentation Because risks are rarely constant along a pipeline, it is advantageous to segment the line into sections with constant risk characteristics dynamic segmentation or otherwise divide the pipeline into manageable pieces.
Segmentation strategies and techniques are discussed in Chapters 2 and 8, respectively.
Data collection Data and information are essential to good risk assessment. Appendix G shows some typical information-gathering efforts that are routinely performed by pipeline operators. After several years of operation, some large databases will have developed. Will these pieces of data predict pipeline failures? Only in extreme cases. Will they, in aggregate, tell us where risk hot spots are? We ohviously feel that all of this information is important-we collect it, base standards on it, base regulations on it, etc.
It just needs to be placed into a risk context so that a picture of the risk emerges and better resource allocation decisions can be made based on that picture. The risk model transforms the data into risk knowledge. Given the importance of data to risk assessment, it is important to have a clear understanding of the data collection process.
There exists a discipline to measuring. Before the data gathering effort is started, four questions should be addressed 1. What will the data represent? How will the values be obtained? What sources ofvariation exist? Why are the data being collected? These relative risk numbers can later be converted into absolute risk numbers. Working with results of risk assessments is discussed in Chapters 8,14, and The data are the sum of our knowledge about the pipeline section: everything we know, think, and feel about it-when it was built, how it was built, how it is operated, how often it has failed or come close, what condition it is in now, what threats exist, what its surroundings are, and so on-all in great detail.
Using the risk model, this compilation of information will be transformed into a representation of risk associated with that section. Step 5: Managing risks How will the values be obtained? Having performed a risk assessment for the segmented pipeline, we now face the critical step of managing the risks.
In this area, the emphasis is on decision support-providing the tools needed to best optimize resource allocation. This process generally involves steps such as the following: Some rules for data acquisition will often be necessary.
The first two steps in the overall process, 1 risk model and 2 data collection, are sometimes done in reverse order. An experienced risk modeler might begin with an examination of the types and quantity of data available and from that select a modeling approach. In light of this, the discussion of data collection issues precedes the model-selection discussion.
Who will be performing the evaluations? The data can be obtained by a single evaluator or team of evaluators who will visit the pipeline operations offices personally to gather the information required to make the assessment. Alternatively, each portion of a pipeline system can be evaluated by those directly involved in its operations and maintenance. This becomes a self-evaluation in some respects. Each approach has advantages.
In the former, it is easier to ensure consistency; in the latter, acceptance by the workforce might be greater. What manuals or procedures will be used?
Steps should be taken to ensure consistency in the evaluations. How often will evaluations be repeated? Reevaluations should be scheduled periodically or the operators should be required to update the records periodically. An evaluator will usually interview pipeline operators to help assign risk scores. Answers will determine the uncertainty around the item, and item scoring should reflect this uncertainty.
This issue is discussed in many of the suggested scoring protocols in subsequent chapters. What defaults are to be used when no information is available? See the discussion on uncertainty in this chapter and Chapter 2. The underlying reason may vary depending on the user, but it is hoped that the common link will be the desire to create a better understanding of the pipeline and its risks in order to make improvements in the risk picture.
Secondary reasons or reasons embedded in the general purpose may include 0 What sources of variation exist? Typical sources of variation in a pipeline risk assessment include 0 Differences in the pipeline section environments Differences in the pipeline section operation Differences in the amount of information available on the pipeline section Evaluator-to-evaluator variation in information gathering and interpretation Day-to-day variation in the way a single evaluator assigns scores Every measurement has a level of uncertainty associated with it.
To be precise, a measurement should express this uncertainty: 10 f t i 1 in. Thisuncertaintyvaluerepresents some of the sources of variations previously listed: operator effects, instrument effects, day-to-day effects, etc. The variations that we are trying to measure. If the noise level is too high relative to the variation of interest, or if the measurement is too insensitive to the variation of interest, the data become less meaningful.
If more than one evaluator is to be used, it is wise to quantify the variation that may exist between the evaluators. This is easily done by comparing scoring by different evaluators of the same pipeline section. If these sources of variation are high, steps should be taken to reduce the variation.
These steps may include 0 0 Improved documentation and procedures Evaluator training Refinement of the assessment technique to remove more subjectivity Changes in the information-gathering activity Use of only one evaluator Why are the data being collected?
Clearly defining the purpose for collecting the data is important. The purpose should tie back to 0 0 Identify relative risk hot spots Ensure regulatory compliance Set insurance rates Define acceptable risk levels Prioritize maintenance spending Build a resource allocation model Assign dollar values to pipeline systems Track pipelining activities Having built a database for risk assessment purposes, some companies find much use for the information other than risk management.
Since the information requirements for comprehensive risk assessment are so encompassing, these databases often become a central depository and the best reference source for all pipeline inquiries.
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Conceptualizing a risk assessment approach Checklist for design As the first and arguably the most important step in risk management, an assessment ofrisk must be performed. Many decisions will be required in determining arisk assessment approach.
While all decisions do not have to be made during initial model design. This might help to avoid backtracking in later stages, which can result in significant nonproductive time and cost.
For example, is the risk assessment model to be used only as a high-level screening tool or might it ultimately be used as a stepping stone to a risk expressed in absolute terms? The following is a partial list of considerations in the design of a risk assessment system.
Most of these are discussed in subsequent paragraphs of this chapter. Purpose-A short, overall mission statement including the objectives and intent of the risk assessment project. Audience-Who will see and use the results of the risk assessment? General public or special interest groups Local, state, or federal regulators Company-all employees Company-management only Company-specific departments only 3.
Uses-How will the results be used? Users-This might overlap the audience group: Internal only Technical staffonlwngineering, compliance, integrity, and information technology IT departments Managers-budget authorization, technical support, operations Planning department-facility expansion, acquisitions, and operations District-level supervisors-maintenance and operations Regulators-if regulators are shown the risk model or its results Other oversight-ity council, investment partners, insurance carrier, etc.
Public presentations-public bearings for proposed projects 5. Resources-Who and what is available to support the program? Industry-access to best industry practices, standards, and knowledge 6. Designxhoices in model features, format, and capabilities: Scope Failure causes considered-corrosion, sabotage, land movements, third party, human error, etc. Consequences considered-public safety only, environment, cost of service interruption, employee safety, etc.
Facilities covered-pipe only, valves, fittings, pumps, tanks, loading facilities, compressor stations, etc.
Scoring-define scoring protocols, establish point ranges resolution Direction of scale-higher points can indicate either more safety or more risk Point assignments-addition of points only, multiplications, conditionals if X then Y , category weightings, independent variables, flat or multilevel structures Resolution issues-range of diameters, pressures, and products Defaults-philosophy of assigning values when little or no information is available Zone-ofinfluence distances-for what distance does a piece of data provide evidence on adjacent lengths ofpipe Relative versus absolure4hoice of presentation format and possibly model approach Reporting-types and frequency of output and presentations needed General beliefs In addition to basic assumptions regarding the risk assessment model, some philosophical beliefs underpin this entire book.
It is u s e l l to state these clearly at this point, so the reader may be alerted to any possible differences from her own beliefs.
These are stated as beliefs rather than facts since they are arguable and others might disagree to some extent: 0 0 Risk management techniques are fundamentally decision support tools. Pipeline operators in particular will find most valuable a process that takes available information and assimilates it into some clear, simple results.
Actions can then be based directly on those simple results. These must be well documented and available, but need not interfere with the casual users of the methodology everyone does not need to understand the engine in order to benefit from use of the vehicle.
Engineers will normally seek a rational basis underpinning a system before they will accept it. Therefore, the basis must be well documented. Mike: And the other thing is paper spiders. Rob: Really.
Rob: Nice. Where did you hear about this? Mike: I saw it online but I practiced that yesterday and my son was not pleased.
What are we talking about today?
This actually comes to us as a sort of a listener question. I put out on Twitter a couple of weeks ago asking if there were any topics specifically that people wanted to hear about.
After my MVP is ready, because growth hacks are everywhere but nobody talks about starting marketing from a blank page.
No social media, no newsletter recipients, no SEO, nothing, zero traffic. Rob: Sounds good. I know this is a common question.
Mike: The first question to ask is where do you even start? I think that in a situation like this, you need to work a little bit backwards. What are the hard deadlines that you have set that you need to be conscious of? Then based on those things, what are their current pricing plans that you have, how many customers would you need in order to be able to meet whatever that MRR goal is?
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Establishing this timeline really does two things for you. The first one is that it provides you with a required trajectory. How many customers do you need to add on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis in order to get there? And the second thing this does is it helps you to eliminate certain types of marketing channels, because if you have a really short timeline, some longer term marketing channels are simply not going to work for you so you can completely throw the out the window and focus on other things that are shorter.
And they may not be repeatable or suitable but they will help get you to where you need to be. Rob: I like the idea of this one. I remember that doc I put together for HitTail, it was like the marketing game plan. That doc, I put together this whole analysis of how many uniques I thought I could drive to the site each month, how many would convert to trial, how many would convert to paid, what the growth would look like.
I mapped it out and it wound up being shockingly accurate. If churn had been closer to what I thought, the growth would have been very, very much in line with what I was guessing at.
If you want to go back and listen to it, I also put it in my MicroConf Talk last year or the year before. I just had one slide, the rules of thumb things I use to do it. I like the idea of asking where do you need to get to because this is something investors would ask you if you took them. Mike: That introduces the idea of having a fudge factor. Is it ? You have to overshoot by some margin but at the same time you need a starting point of some kind.
This simple calculation of your timeline runway and number of customers is going to at least help put you in the right ballpark. How do I get in the right ballpark? These are two that I thought would apply specifically to this type of situation. The first pair of marketing channel is sustainable versus unsustainable.
And then the second one is inbound versus outbound efforts. Sustainable versus unsustainable, the way I really put these into perspective or talk about these is that with sustainable, it requires some sort of systematic repetition over time.
Some examples of this will be things like SEO, content marketing, blogging, email newsletters, video channels on YouTube, paid acquisition, etc. And then with unsustainable marketing channels, these tend to be one time or burstable activities.
An example of something like that would be listing your website on product time. You could do that once but the chances of you being able to do that more than once for the same application are probably pretty slim. You could answer a bunch of questions on Quora, you could do joint seminars with other people, you could do integration marketing. Those are the types of sustainable versus unsustainable activities that I would look at and I will classify your marketing activities as one of the two.
That leads us down the road in the inbound versus outbound. But if you start seeing results, then you just build on those and build on those and then they last for a long time. As you said, the unsustainable are those one time activities that I do actually think so you have questions on Quora in the unsuitable. It depends on how you do it. Doing that joint webinar, if that gets you 10, 20 paying customers, you might not see 20 paying customers from SEO for six months or more.
Right now, what you need is revenue. You need customers, you need people paying you. Once you have the people paying you, then you can use that money then to par lay up and reinvest it back into more joint webinars or you can invest in SEO content marketing, etc. You basically have to wait a while. Does that makes sense? Rob: Oh yeah, totally. Mike: Again, I think as Rob pointed out, some of these things will cross over from one side to the other. Some things will cross over from one type to the next.
That leads us over into inbound versus outbound. The way I separate or classify things as inbound or outbound is inbound is functions on the basis of attracting people versus outbound activities and marketing channels, they function on the basis of actively and proactively going out and contacting people.
Paid ads is kind of a mixed bag as well because that flips a couple of different categories of these channels. The reason for that is because you need a lot more control over the activity.
You could wait for months or years, you may not still get the number of customers that you need versus doing those outbound activities where you can essentially drive the conversation and you can go actively get in front of those people as opposed to waiting for them to come to you. Rob: I agree. I think that outbound has become more and more prominent in SaaS. If you think back 10 years, they were very, very few enterprise SaaS or even mid-market SaaS companies that were targeting mid-market and enterprise companies.
I see a lot of value in both, to be honest.Segmentation strategies and techniques are discussed in Chapters 2 and 8, respectively. Gm motorola service manual. Initially, a half inch pipe did have an inner diameter of 0. Now in its eighth edition, this handbook continues to set the standard by which all other piping books are judged. The scope should address exactly what portions of the pipeline system are included and what risks are being evaluated.
It just helps you move things along. What manuals or procedures will be used?
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