Turnaround Project Planning Primer


After all manhour estimates have been reviewed, revised and approved, total manhours by labor resources (crafts / skills) should be calculated. These total manhours become the base estimate. You can calculate an adjustment for the base estimate for an expected productivity loss according to your expected parameters.

ATC Professional generates an Executive Summary report that automatically calculates an adjustment for productivity loss depending upon the working calendar (shift basis, days per week and expected duration) of the planned turnaround. If you change the above parameters, ATC Professional will instantly compute the productivity degradation based on the new conditions and adjust the manhour estimate accordingly.

Shift Length

Shift length has a great impact on productivity:

  • Eight-hour shifts fail to motivate workers as there is no overtime incentive. Plus, a standard shift fails to convey a sense of urgency to keep a high pace of activity. Whenever eight hour shifts are kept, it becomes imperative to watch the schedule very closely to keep the work on track.
  • Ten-hour shifts seem to be the most productive as there is overtime pay incentive and a sense of urgency. A convenient two-hour gap between the day and the night shift allows difficult or hazardous work to be performed (X-ray, sandblasting, etc.), as well as time for all supervisors to attend a turn-over meeting.
  • Twelve-hour shifts appear to be the most inefficient. An extra lunch period at a time when the workers are most fatigued, coupled with end-of-shift preparations, result in very little, if any, extra gain at a much higher price. Two twelve hour shifts per day do not allow the time for meetings or special work such as X-ray or sandblasting (which usually causes all work to stop in its vicinity - increasing productivity loss), plus other logistical problems such as clocking in/out and parking lot congestion. When supervisors attend meetings while working in this fashion, work slows down for lack of supervision in the field - more productivity loss. Also, twelve-hour shifts causes workers to grow more tired and increases the likelihood of accidents.

Work Week

The work week also has an impact on productivity:

  • Five days per week fail to offer overtime pay incentive, and workers may be tempted to "drag their feet" hoping to cause delays which will, in turn, motivate management to authorize overtime work in order to recoup lost time.
  • Six days per week provide both overtime pay incentive plus one day of rest per week. This is significant for turnarounds lasting several weeks, and provides make-up days (Sundays) to avoid delays.
  • Seven days per week provide sufficient overtime pay incentive, but after some time you may suffer a decline in productivity caused by the lack of rest days. This works well for shorter duration turnarounds, but offers no "safety cushion" in case of schedule slippages.

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

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