Turnaround Project Planning Primer

Cooperation vs. Competition, Incentives

Competition is the old school of management. It sets up an adversary situation, where individuals spend time worrying about their "do or die" political situation and may withhold their help to others who may need it, in order to protect themselves. The key denominator is the fear of failure, punishment and avoidance of responsibility. This sets up a negative scenario, with its attendant loss of productivity and increased costs. It also results in duplication of effort, when communication breaks down.

Cooperation, on the other hand, rewards people for helping each other in achieving a common goal. This results in a climate of trust and willingness to help and assist others, which in turn results in increased productivity and lowered costs.

Rewarding people includes acknowledging their accomplishments as well as public praise.

Every person in the organization has a basic desire to be successful in their tasks. A well organized turnaround plan will provide the necessary confidence in management’s ability to make it possible to complete all the work in a reasonable time frame. This provides the encouragement necessary to carry out the work in the best manner possible.

If we implement good, daily, detailed reporting on all work accomplished, then this will provide additional incentive to perform. The reason is that reporting progress and having it appear on a progress report represents acknowledgement by the plant management of the individual’s accomplishments. All work is credited, it is made visible, and all can relate their contribution to the total turnaround effort. Pride and self-esteem are powerful motivators.

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The Turnaround Project Management Primer is an abridged version of the STO Management Handbook.

For further reading, we also recommend Joel Levitt’s Managing Maintenance Shutdowns and Outages.