Benefits Achieved

• Reduction of delays in achieving steady-state operations, leading to significant dollars saved
• Deployment of project management process to support commissioning and startup
• Real-time, management-level project reporting to help drive decision-making
• Visibility of actions across multiple business and project groups to support coverage and alignment
• Repository for key project deliverables, with the ability to assess deliverable quality


A leading refining and petrochemical company was implementing a portfolio of projects focused on increasing capacity. The projects involved both new and revamped facilities. The site was in need of a commissioning and startup process—i.e. a “Day One Plan”—to ensure smooth transmission from the capital projects team to operations. AP-Networks’ previous work with the company provided the advantage of familiarity with the company’s culture and capital project area. The company faced multiple challenges, including:

  • Project portfolio was an order of magnitude larger in size and complexity than previous undertakings
  • Site had recently rolled out a project management process to address the criticality of commissioning and startup; the new process was being implemented on a multi-year project portfolio
  • Projects needed to be coordinated across distinct internal project delivery organizations
  • Site had limited experience with commissioning and starting up large capital projects

The portfolio of projects was set to have a deep impact on overall operation. A delay in startup could impact other parts of the large, integrated refinery. As such, an effective plan for commissioning and startup was critical.


AP-Networks’ experienced Industry subject matter experts reviewed the client’s recently developed capital project management process, comparing it to the data and best practices contained in the extensive AP-Networks Capital Project Database. With that knowledge, a series of workshops were held with various project management functions, including reliability and operations, to improve the existing commissioning and startup process.

The group identified additional activities to include, appropriate activity owners, activity timing and duration, key deliverables required, and job aids to support the process. These job aids included templates and examples from the client organization and from AP-Networks. The process was then captured in NaviTrack, AP-Networks’ Industry-leading work process deployment system.


Today, the client is using the Day One Plan in NaviTrack for all projects in the portfolio. The process is used by all functional groups involved in the projects. Its use has allowed projects to more easily and smoothly transition into operations on day one, and has reduced delays in achieving steady state operations. These improvements have led to significant cost savings.

Case Studies