Turnaround Project Planning Primer

Turnaround Organization

The turnaround organization encompasses all personnel responsible for the planning, scheduling, management and execution of the turnaround. It includes, among others, the plant manager, maintenance manager, turnaround manager, turnaround planner/scheduler and field supervisors.

Often the maintenance manager will also act as the turnaround manager. Also, field supervisors could consist of contractor personnel.

The Operations, Safety, Inspection, Warehouse and Tool Room departments are also key to the execution of a successful turnaround.

Making your turnaround scope and schedule visible to the entire turnaround organization is a determining factor for success. Visibility is achieved by distributing updated reports before and during the turnaround to all key personnel. The particular information needs of each member of the turnaround organization will be covered in more detail later.

The Turnaround Planner / Scheduler

The turnaround planner / scheduler is the organizer; the driving force behind the effort involved in developing, communicating, reviewing, organizing and refining a workable turnaround schedule. No turnaround planner / scheduler can have the combined knowledge of all the trades and specialized functions that are required to execute a turnaround successfully. Therefore he will depend, to a large degree, upon all the other members of the turnaround team.

The turnaround planner / scheduler’s contribution is one of the most important, because he brings about good communication between the different departments, shops, trades, contractors, etc. Through him they will become familiar with the turnaround scope, enabling them to establish realistic work scopes, manpower and duration estimates. This involvement ensures their participation with ("buy into") the schedule, so that the overall time and manpower objectives are met.

The turnaround planner/scheduler often leads the effort of developing the work scope. He has the ability to prepare a detailed work order (InterPlan Systems offers project planning software that assists the planner/scheduler in creating detailed, high quality work orders) that can be reviewed and revised by the party responsible for its execution, speeding up the identification of all required inspection and repair work.

Planners/schedulers are the right hand of the turnaround manager. They are the source of the information upon which all decisions are made.

Turnarounds - A Team Effort

Turnarounds will be executed by people. These people have to accept or "buy into" your work order scopes, estimates, schedules and progress reports. Otherwise your effort will be totally wasted.

The confidence of the turnaround team members in your effort is in direct relation to two factors: the quality (level of detail) of the plan and their degree of participation (contributing, reviewing, advising).

Participation is essential, for without their reviews and comments, they will neither accept nor work with your estimates and schedules. In fact, when people do not participate, they usually will work to defeat the schedule!

The quality of the estimates and schedule is equally essential. A sloppily prepared execution plan will be ignored, rejected and abandoned early. The higher the quality (degree of detail) of the planning and scheduling effort, the higher the acceptance and confidence - therefore enhancing a greater adherence to the schedule.

A good way to ensure that all involved will participate with the planning effort is to have the turnaround manager (or plant manager) invited to a meeting, where the planning effort and everybody's contribution or role will be discussed. All should leave the meeting with the understanding that the planner will help them develop their work orders, their schedules, etc. This will go a long way to allay their fears that the estimates, schedules, etc., may be created without their input, and be forced upon them resulting in potentially unrealistic, unreachable goals.

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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.