Key milestones of a Turnaround Project

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Posted on 20 May 2020

Every turnaround be it minor or major can be challenging and some require years of thought before a formal planning can start. Planning for a turnaround begins with an evaluation of the previous events, the lessons learned and most importantly applying the learning to foster a smoother turnaround. This is still an easier process considering the hectic nature of events once the timelines are finalized.

As every turnaround has a life cycle and it is imperative to define and track it while your organization matures the turnaround plan. Defining the right milestones helps in identifying and monitoring important phases of your turnaround plan.

The table below illustrates the key phases and the key turnaround project milestones tracked in each phase as followed by several organizations.

Shutdown MS Milestones
Shutdown Strategy 1 Kick Off Meeting: Appoint a Shutdown Coordinator
   2 Present & finalize the Shutdown Strategy Data Sheet
Front End Loading 3 First shutdown meeting. Contractors and activity owners (maintenance and project engineers) present their scope and review the lessons learnt from the last shutdown.
  4 Internal scope review meeting held.
  5 Procure Long lead materials
Detailed Planning 6 Capture and incorporate any unavoidable late work
6 Work Pack preparation
  7 Freeze Scope of Work
  8 Conduct Scope Optimisation Exercise – Lean thinking workshops
Pre Shutdown Work 9 Reconcile Materials
  10 Issue signed approved shutdown handbook.
Shutdown 11 Plant Decommissioning / maintenance  / Recommissioning  / Clearance for operations
Post Shutdown work 12 Review actions taken. Transfer finding to shutdown lessons learnt spreadsheet.

There are several other important topics such as logistics, HSE and contracting/ procurement, which are just as vital to the successful execution of a turnaround as the others.

It is also a good practice to conduct a standard turnaround review typically by a third party . Such reviews can provide valuable insights on the progress of the above-mentioned key milestones. It helps assess the site’s preparedness and understand the potential risks that could negatively impact the planned cost and duration of the turnaround. A consistent and transparent approach coupled with a motivated team is what makes preparation successful on the front end.

This will ultimately lay the foundation for a successful yet safe execution as well.

, Key milestones of a Turnaround Project
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