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 or after starting back up.
Here are examples of tasks often found happening during an outage that, some of or all, could have been done while the process was running:
- Repairs to work done during the outage
- Reinspecting someone’s work
- Waiting for parts, tools, work instructions
- Waiting for a ride to the work face
- Waiting for inspector, permit writer
- Building scaffolds
- Moving materials or tools to the point of use
- Treasure hunts, scavenger hunts
- Preparing reports, making presentations
- Rerunning ‘the schedule’
Being able to see tasks as internal or external is the first step toward reducing the planned shutdown duration.