Many great minds of our time have homed in on the concept and value of simplicity. Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”. He was referring to explanations of scientific phenomena.
Richard P Feynman stated, “If you can’t explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it.” This is hard to hear if you’re a teacher, but intrinsically indisputable.
Jonathon Ive, of Apple Inc., said, “I think there is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, in clarity, in efficiency. True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation.”
So why do things so often seem to be too complex, too cumbersome and too difficult?
I believe it comes down to the fact that the idea of “simple” is often wrongly conflated with the concept of “easy”.
The ideal solution is often achieved by finding a balance between, “How simple can you make it?” and “How complex does it need to be?”.
PIM Optimum, our integrity management software, does just that.
It has been designed from the ground up by experienced inspection and integrity engineers to do everything it needs to do, and no more, as simply and intuitively as possible.
That was hard and it has taken time. It would have been much easier to develop a detailed specification and send it away to an independent software house to be coded externally, but we would have lost control, lost ownership and quality would have suffered.
PIM Optimum has a truly centralised database holding all the inspection information, histories, and analyses, offering all users access to the same information, no matter where they are accessing it from.
That was hard. It would have been much easier to cut corners and use spreadsheets in places to make the interface easier, but we know from experience that data integrity would have suffered if we had taken this route.
The complementary tablet-based application works seamlessly and instantly with the main database, granting on-site data input. This speeds up the communication process and allows for instant management of change.
This was hard. It would have been easier and quicker not to link the tablets directly and use them simply as electronic form based data input devices.
PIM Optimum completely controls all workflows. Each individual involved in the integrity management process has their own inbox of tasks and as a result knows exactly what they are responsible for and required to do.
This was hard. It would have been easier to rely on procedural control but, again, our experience tells us that the human factor will fail us if we solely depend on procedures
Because the software provides live visibility of inspections, plant condition, and anomalies, PIM Optimum reduces uncertainty, allowing quick access to key information and avoiding potential confusion and enabling rapid intervention where necessary.
This was hard. It would have been easier to just provide daily, weekly or monthly reports, but that’s not what was needed.
All through the development of PIM Optimum we have endeavoured to follow our company’s key value statement.
“To deliver a product that we ourselves would be delighted to receive”
PIM Optimum meets this specification. It is as simple as it can be, but not simpler.
We understand exactly what it does, how it does it and why it does it. It has been designed by time served inspection and integrity engineers.
It is simple insofar as it is easy to use, to understand, and to interpret, but this simplicity hides the complexity, capability and competence that is embedded within.
The best software does exactly what you need it to do. It really is that simple.