Turnaround Project Planning Primer

Measuring and Reporting Progress

At the end of a shift, some activities that were worked will be complete. These will be posted as "100 %". For activities that were not completed, the field supervisor will usually use his best judgement to estimate progress and how much time it will take to complete it. For example:

MISCELLANEOUS REPAIRS, progress = 30%, remaining duration to complete = 20 hours

Usually, most of the reported activities will be complete (100 %). Less than half of the reported activities should be still in progress (not completed). If the opposite is true, then the work scope has not been sufficiently detailed, and the degree of error in reporting progress will be high.

It is near impossible to measure progress exactly, since it takes an educated guess - which is influenced by many variables beyond the control of the supervisor (inspections, rework, etc.). Re-estimating the time required to complete a task is very important, as this can have an impact on the schedule (particularly activities on the critical path, major repairs, refractory work, etc.). For a well-defined scope, the overall degree of error in reporting progress seems to be approximately two percent (2 %) less than the actual achieved.

After the progress information from all Lap Books has been recorded and updated, print a new Shift Schedule for distribution to the field before the next shift begins.

Note – The following text describes reports that are generated by ATC Professional™ (that was specifically designed for shutdowns / turnarounds / outages). Other software may not offer comparable reports.

You should also analyze the Critical Path and Critical Mass to determine if there are any slippages (delays), and the area or group of activities involved in the slippages. Check all critical and near critical activities for any errors in logic or durations. It's best to do this with the supervisors in charge, to get their input. Sometimes it may be necessary to consult with the inspectors as well.

If a slippage is detected, and turns out to be real and would require management intervention, then you should alert the Turnaround Manager immediately. He will need to study the critical (and possibly the near critical) activities to determine what corrective steps should be taken, if at all possible. Any changes to the schedule in logic, durations and/or manpower should be made immediately, and a new set of reports printed and distributed.

Periodically print and review the Manpower Usage report to determine if the manpower requirements have increased, decreased or remained unchanged. This must be done every time there are significant changes to the scope, such as adding extra work orders.

Whenever there are major revisions to the scope, after making all revisions/updates, you should always print a complete set of reports for your files. As a matter of standard practice, you should keep a binder or file folder to save a copy of all reports issued, for reference. You may have to prepare a report at the conclusion of the turnaround, and such a history file will make it easier to reconstruct the scenarios as they have occurred.

The Turnaround Progress report is an important one. It is calculated in the following manner: first, all progress expressed in "percent complete" is posted against every work order. That percent is applied towards a "relative weight" which is a percentage calculated on the basis of the manhour estimates for each activity against the total manhours for that work order.

So, the "percent complete" for a work order is a calculated figure, which is called a "weighted percentage". This individual "percent complete" for every work order is then applied to a "relative weight" now calculated on the basis of the total manhours for every work order included in the report. The overall "percent complete" is likewise a "weighted" percentage.

It is easy to see that any errors in reporting progress would be normally small enough as to not influence the overall progress in any significant manner. At any given time during the turnaround, anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of the work orders may be active (being worked). Of these, less than half have activities in progress (in other words, not completed), which may be incorrectly evaluated and reported. The impact of such inaccuracies in progress evaluation are generally negligible: a twenty percent error against an activity which weighs in at 1 percent or less of the overall scope is insignificant.

But when an error against a major activity for a large work order occurs, the impact can be noticeable. This can happen in situations where the work scope changes (for example, refractory repairs in heaters or large vessels such as an FCC reactor/regenerator).

After every update, be sure to check the progress made against every major work order. If the rate of progress appears to be unsatisfactory, check the Lap Books for any (lack of) reported progress, and the manhour estimate as well. You can also check the Schedule Compliance report to verify that all critical path and near critical work that was on the schedule was worked. The Critical Mass reports can help you detect any potential problems creeping up as a result of insufficient overall progress. For a detailed analysis of the rate of progress, print the Progress Trend report.

The Progress Summary is a chart showing, in both graphic and tabular format, the planned and actual progress, by shift. The planned progress curve indicates the minimum amount of progress by shift required to meet the schedule deadline. Actual progress should be within two (2 %) percent of the planned progress to be considered "on schedule". The two percent difference accounts for inaccuracies in scope definition, estimating and progress reporting.

The amount of inherent error in the estimates and progress reporting decreases as the turnaround advances. The error in both schedule and physical progress reported are greatest at the beginning of the turnaround, before inspection of the equipment and the full extent of the repair work has been assessed. After all inspections are completed and major repair work is underway, the degree of error decreases substantially.

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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.