Turnaround Project Planning Primer

Optimum Manpower Utilization

Optimum manpower utilization can be achieved when it is possible to schedule more work than men available. This excess should be kept at a reasonable level, say fifteen percent or slightly higher. Also, there should be less over-scheduling towards the end of the turnaround, otherwise some work might not be completed on time, or it may become necessary to hire workers at an inconvenient time, when morale is low due to the proximity of the completion date, and the unwillingness of workers to hire on for a short period of time.

To provide the adequate level of scheduled work, it is necessary to have a good, realistic schedule, updated on a daily basis.

Staffing the turnaround with too many workers results in lowered productivity, lowered morale and higher costs. Staffing with not enough workers results in lowered morale also, and in an extended schedule, and higher costs.

What determines the optimum manpower levels? The turnaround manager should use the schedule and the manpower utilization graphs, in conjunction with the daily force reports showing the actual staffing levels, to determine if the manpower level is within the fifteen percent range during the initial 60 to 70 percent of the turnaround duration, and decreasing this gap towards the end of the turnaround. This means that the actual manpower staffing should graph a consistent relation in regards to the schedule, then be extended for a brief period until it "catches up" with the schedule towards the end of the turnaround. There should be no danger of having a lot of work accumulate towards the end of the turnaround if both the schedule and manpower are monitored on a daily basis.

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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.