Improve Turnaround, Shutdown, and Outage Duration: After Action Review

The practice of After Action Review, AAR, comes from the military, as in the US Army’s TC25-20 “A Leader’s Guide to After-Action Reviews” 9/93.  The approach is a classic example of Plan/Do/Check/Act and after an activity, while events are still fresh we ask five questions as follows: What was the plan? What actually happened? What… [Read More]

Improve Turnaround Outage Duration: Command Center

“Command Center” brings up images of NASA or maybe a natural disaster response team.  For a large planned maintenance turnaround the furniture and technology may be different but the concepts are much the same. The command center is the place where the outage leader directs the resources of the turnaround.  To do this successfully: The… [Read More]

Improve Turnaround Outage Duration: Scope Change Management

Uncontrolled scope change is unplanned work and this is a failure of either planning, reliability engineering, or management. Scope Change Management countermeasures include: Scope freeze, scope change cutoff Single point of authority to add/drop/change scope Risk-based decision making on ‘found’ or ‘discovered’ work Cost and duration offsets Post shutdown root cause analysis and corrective action… [Read More]

Improve Turnaround Outage Duration: Milestone Reporting

That’s a “GT” on the milestone, as in 10 miles north of Grahamstown South Africa.  Milestones were originally stone markers used by Roman road builders as a series of numbered markers provide reference points along the road.  Milestones can be used to reassure travelers that the proper path is being followed, and to indicate either… [Read More]

Improve Turnaround Outage Duration: Non Stop Critical Path

Maintenance outages, turnarounds, or plant shutdowns are complex, and can involve hundreds or even thousands of temporary workers, and are very costly.  In our work we have been successful applying non stop critical path analysis in helping reduce large facility outage duration.  The immediate benefits are increased process availability and corresponding revenue and profit.  Typical… [Read More]

Improve Turnaround Outage Duration: Parallel Planning

  Outage readiness is better when all the right people give and receive input at the earliest effective date; bust the silos, jump the walls, and use parallel planning … Everyone shares the goal of being ready to go fast (and safely) when the outage begins, so we’ll benefit from bringing the right people together… [Read More]

Improve Turnaround Outage Duration: Shutdown & Startup

All too often the battle for managing the duration and cost of a planned plant maintenance shutdown is lost in the stages of shutting down or the starting up of the operation.  While a lot of planning effort usually goes into understanding and coordinating the maintenance work it is the unknowns that that pop up… [Read More]

Improve Turnaround Outage Duration: Constraint Busting

Scope and Gantt scrubs, reliability engineering equipment improvement  projects, and new technologies are steps we can take to extend the life of equipment or to mitigate obstacles to minimizing outage duration.  Some examples of constraint busting include: Deferring work based on observation, inspection, and risk assessment Installing new man doors can save time by opening… [Read More]

Improve Turnaround Outage Duration: Externalize

Externalize: when looking at all of the tasks that occur leading up to, during, and after a planned maintenance shutdown it can be helpful to categorize each task as internal or external.  Internal tasks are those that can only be performed when the process is stopped, while External tasks can be done either before shutdown… [Read More]

Plant Shutdown Readiness

Shutdown readiness … You’ve heard the sayings “What gets measured gets better” and “Inspect what you expect”, well here’s a management control tool you can use to help drive the right behaviors leading up to and during your plant shutdown.  As a lean thinking leader take one of the cards, grab one of your people,… [Read More]