Understanding Key Performance Indicators (Lest We Forget...) - Part 2

By Greg Alvarado, Chief Editor at Inspectioneering. April 29, 2013
This article is part 2 of a 3-part series.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


This is my second of three posts on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on requests and discussions on the issue.  In part 1 of this series I provided a brief overview of KPIs and their ability to predict good, poor, and sometimes dangerous performance in our quests to achieve certain objectives and goals.

Part of a high-quality engineering practices program involves consistent and diligent documentation and management of deviations, which may indicate the need for a change in a specific practice. KPIs are indicators that assist us in both moving toward strategic goals and in avoiding those things that would hold us back.

Various organizations use KPIs to monitor various areas. Some are more leading than others, some track our successes, and some are meant to catch problems before they happen. Here are some examples that may or may not work for you. This is a partial list of potential KPIs, as the list is likely inexhaustible and up to the owner to specify and adopt:

  • Reliability KPIs, such as amperage draw on a machine;

  • Yield in a chemical process, which may or may not portend a loss of containment;

  • Fixed equipment reliability KPIs, such as leaks, overdue inspections (make sure you have a sound and consistent basis for defining this first), and exceeding Integrity Operating Window limits;

  • Onstream Condition Monitoring Location/Thickness Monitoring Location Programs, if you find areas on piping or vessels or tanks that were less than the design T-Min;

  • Once you define an inspection “near miss,” the number of times you averted a leak by finding an area that nearly went “through wall” prior to the potential leak or failure;

  • The frequency of a Fitness for Service (FFS) assessment (Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3);

  • Number of inspectors per vessel;

  • Number of unscheduled shutdowns related to the fixed equipment reliability program;

  • Inhibitor performance, perhaps by corrosion rate measurement; and,

  • RBI implementation, including:

    • How often did we accept (according to recognized and generally accepted good engineering principles) higher Probability of Failure (POF) or Consequence of Failure (COF) than defined in our company standard or recommended practice?

    • If your RBI software or metrics have the capabilities, within certain critical processes or for certain special emphasis programs (for example exchanger bundles or special high profit processes), how are our POFs trending?

This short list is not exhaustive, but gets the discussion started. If you want to share your KPIs or the questions that helped get your KPI program started, join the Inspectioneering LinkedIn Group to share yours.

Continue to the next article in this series.

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