Effective Work Planning, Organization, and Scheduling

This area is characterized by:

  • • Clearly-stated objectives for the shutdown, focusing efforts appropriately
  • • Site departments' alignment on these objectives
  • • Agreed framework for action, see Table 19.4
  • • Effective and visible business-driven leadership
  • • Integrated planning (Production, Maintenance, Inspection, etc.) for shutting down, work processes, starting up, etc.
  • • Detailed plans for critical issues (heavy lifts, permits, productivity, competent, waste, etc.)
  • • Challenging, but realistic targets
  • • Effective learning-capture processes
  • • All aspects are critically reviewed shortly after the end of the shutdown
  • • Improvements are put in place


For our first shutdown, we followed the recipe given above in detail and it paid dividends:

  • • No significant accidents
  • • Minimal rework
  • • Shutdown duration was a day less than planned, bringing increased sales of about US $400,000
  • • Cost was less than budget
  • • Start-up and next two year's run were trouble free


  • • Have a shutdown only if it will improve the ability of the plant to make on-specification product or retain integrity now and into the future.
  • • Delay is usually a good thing, but do not run the plant into the ground. What matters is attained overall availability, not macho run lengths.
  • • Have a clear purpose and derived objectives along with visible man agement commitment to these.
  • • Have a small scope of work driven by business, use RBI, and modern practices.
  • • Use a small, competent workforce.
  • • Emphasize a cohesive team working an integrated plan.
  • • Do it better every time.


Production plants are machines for making money, so don't shut them down unless there is a good business reason. Recipes for success are available, but the will to succeed must be there in the first place.

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