Back to my employee meeting. His answer got me to think about pipelines differently. For some time I had been thinking of the pipeline in a very narrow sense, as a type of CG work-flow or description of the CG process. Suddenly I saw that a pipeline could be the flow of any kind of data, not just the flow of our work product, and that the CG pipeline we used consisted of a multitude of different classes of pipelines that touched one another in places. In an instant, concepts I was thoroughly familiar with became redefined and reorganized. Like parallel universes, pipelines coexisted within my production environment in different dimensions of perspective.
Now go make some pretty pictures!