November 19, 2014 by AP-Networks Leave a Comment Turnarounds are complex, time-critical events that test—often to the point of breaking—organizational capability, turnaround-specific expertise, and the ability to mobilize and manage resources. In recent years, the trend has been to add to these already challenging events, making them larger, more expensive, and more complicated than they ever have been. This trend has taken turnarounds beyond the routine capability of many sites. When addressing turnaround performance, business organizations, site leadership, and turnaround teams typically rely on a set of measures that includes planned vs. actual cost and duration, successful completion of the identified workscope, work quality, resulting operability/reliability of the equipment, achievement of the targeted interval to the next turnaround, and completion of the turnaround with no safety or environmental incidents. I refer to this as the “traditional” set of goals. But even with this traditional set of goals, management is often challenged by defining the actual targets for the specific turnaround. The most common question asked is, “How challenging should our targets be?” Aggressive targets are great, but they will be ineffective if the team perceives them as unachievable. Striking the right balance between aggressive and achievable is the key to setting effective performance targets. And to strike this balance, it’s necessary to look at information from two sources. The first source is previous turnarounds. Past turnarounds completed by the site should be reviewed, with a focus on turnaround activities and productivity. If a turnaround is already underway when this process begins, it can also be helpful to combine these insights with real-time observations of current maintenance events. This analysis of past and present turnarounds is a very powerful tool for identifying improvement opportunities, and if done properly, will provide insights for understanding and controlling turnaround direct labor productivity. The second source of information is Industry benchmarking. In order for benchmarking to be effective for setting and managing performance targets, Industry comparisons should be both timely and event specific. In other words, they should focus on a particular event rather than an annualized average, and use an up-to-date Industry database with relevant turnarounds for comparison. Both approaches are steadily gaining popularity, with detailed productivity analysis and observation lagging to a certain degree, and benchmarking leading the way. This preference for benchmarking is likely due to the more direct and easily attainable findings available from turnaround benchmark providers like AP-Networks and AP-Canada. Industry leading turnaround performance is a multi-headed beast, requiring effective planning, preparation, execution, and post-event evaluation. But just like the old adage about breakfast being the most important meal of the day, the importance of balanced target setting can’t be underestimated. Starting off with the right targets puts your team on the path to success. Authored by Andrey Chestnykh – Senior Consultant | Asset Performance Canada (AP-Canada) To find out when new posts go live, follow AP-Networks on LinkedIn. And follow AP-Canada on LinkedIn here.