Why Choose TiPS?

LogMate is the most reliable, proven software solution since 1990

    • Leadership Participation in Alarm Standards Committees
    • Dedicated Alarm Management Focus
    • Comprehensive Alarm Management Software Solutions
    • Adaptable Services Model
    • Flexible and Extensive Software Connectivity Portfolio
    • Broad Industry Experience

Introduction to Alarm Management

“The task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have not been.”  - Kissinger  

Influence is a primary characteristic of leadership and what it means to get people to where they have not been. Leadership and a position (or job title), are two different things. But leadership is more than influence. It certainly includes inflLeadership Article 1uence, but it is much more than that.


You can have a title, and a position of power, but this does not mean that you will automatically influence an automation team to develop an alarm system that meets best practice. An engineer who has been given the task but not the authority will find it difficult to exert influence. 


Alarms and event notifications are part of a critical layer of protection that is commonly mismanaged due to a lack of influence. It takes credible leadership to guide the automation team to allocate the appropriate attention to control system alarms, ultimately resulting in a safer work environment.  Does your leadership possess the five traits below?


1. Credible leaders will hLeadership Article 2ave insight into the critical importance of alarms.  An alarm management champion must not only have future vision, but also possess an unbiased and clear understanding of the current state of alarms. This way they are able to bridge the gap between how the system is performing, and how it should be performing.   For wisdom and discernment a leader should employ statistical and operational excellence methodology. They need to be able to look at the complex situations, gain clarity, and determine a course of action.


 2. Credible leaders demonstrate initiative. They go first. They learn the basics of Alarm Management Principles.  They learn the terminology that is common to best practice guidelines. They don’t rest on existing practice or go with their assumptions. They demand proof.  For Alarm Management this is leading by example.


3. Credible leaders exert influence. The actions, beliefs, and motivations of real leaders are contagious. Automation personnel “catch” what they have. Leaders use effective meetings, recognition, and timely reporting of performance to draw teams to their vision and their values. Similar to the enforcement of a safety culture, (safety statements at the beginning of each meeting), leadLeadership Article 3ers are able to gather a following and move people to act by creating an alarm management culture.


4. Credible leaders have impact. At the end of the day, Alarm Management leaders make a difference that is measureable.  Their impact continues as the alarm management becomes part of the operational excellence program. The small part of the world (control room, safety team, automation team, entire plant) that they inhabit is changed because of their leadership. Without a significant, measureable change in the performance of the alarm system and the behavior of operators and engineers, the person in the position of responsibility for the alarm system is not a leader. They are only taking up space.  The measure of leadership in Alarm Management is found in the impact that the changed system has on the people involved.  


5. Credible alarm management champions exercise integrity. “An icy stare” can work (rarely) but if the champion does not apply the highest values, the alarm management program will flounder. Integrity—or the lack thereof—ultimately determines the quality of a person’s impact.  We are not just talking about honesty.  Integrity in the form a thorough understanding of the alarm management discipline, a drive to learn human interaction with control systems, and an effort help an organization learn is the foundation of credible leadership.


So hoLeadership Article 4w does your leadership stack up?   Can you improve?

Remember, leaders must be deliberate and intentional if they are to be successful. Developing these attributes is essential to effective leadership in developing an optimized alarm system.

David P. Garcia, TiPS Inc.
Kelsey R. Wright, TiPS Inc.