Am I In Control of My Turnaround?
I often meet turnaround managers at the beginning of a turnaround. They are typically optimistic that all their months of planning and scheduling is going to be a great success; that they are going to maintain control and complete their turnaround on-time, and in-budget. But when I meet up with them again a few days into the event, it’s usually a different story. They are rapidly getting very close to the turnaround tipping point. That’s the point at which the ability to manage is overwhelmed by the rate of change or the degree of complexity or uncertainty, or both.
I believe that the role of technology is not to replace managers and expertise and enthusiasm, but to raise the level at which you reached that tipping point. And during turnaround execution, the role of technology is about manageability. It's about maintaining your options, knowing where you are exactly, getting stuff done with minimal effort, and leaving room to be an effective manager. I think that technology helps you know where you're at, know what your options are, and raises the bar on the tipping point.
Staying Ahead of Your Turnaround Requires Automation
Turnaround events generate too much data for humans to parse in real-time. For me, staying ahead of your turnaround means letting computers do the thing that they're really good at, and letting people do the things that they're really good at. Computers are good at crunching the ones and zeros. Humans can also do this, we're just not as fast. So as my colleague, Dr. Nigel Alley wrote in Is the Automation of Routine Activities in Turnarounds a Key to Success?, automation plays an important role in staying ahead of your event, particularly because it frees personnel from mundane activities and allows them to address the most important things.
“If the system has automatically collected and organized and analyzed the data, you walk in, in the morning or in the evening, since these are typically 24-hour events, and you start in a different place. You can get quicker to the thing that actually can influence the outcome, which is taking action upon the data.”
Dave Maher, SVP, Capital & Turnarounds, Delek US
Staying Ahead of Your Turnaround Requires Best Practices
Staying ahead of your turnaround also requires that your team follow best practices. And best practices are generated by aggregating know-how and experiences from as many similar events as possible and embedding that knowledge in operating systems as a ready-to-use set of guidelines. They are about understanding the importance of context and meaningfully bringing together data from relevant systems of record, as described in Can the Value of Existing Siloed Systems be Unlocked in Turnarounds?
Staying Ahead of Your Turnaround Requires Tools
Staying ahead of your event requires tools that allow you to manage your event, instead of your event managing you. Tools that provide an understanding of how current variables factor into your ability to complete work on time, and identify potential problems that might not appear as problems in your scheduling tool. Examples of such tools, which enable data-driven decisions based on real, timely, data analysis rather than gut feelings, include:
- Dashboards that enable the earlier identification of emerging trends and a better understanding of the route cause.
- Digital wall charts that provide an immediate understanding of the execution progress against key milestones.
- Filtering and drill-down capabilities to detect units, equipment or work packages of concern.
- Integration of AI to obtain predictive completion forecasts for your event and individual units.
“The first thing I do when I get up in the morning – I grab my cell phone and look at Mobideo. And look and see how the turnaround is going. Even before I get in my car at 3 o’clock in the morning, and get on the freeway to head to work. I’m looking at Mobideo, understanding where we are in the turnaround before I hit the plant that morning for my shift. That is innovation! That is something in our tool belt that we didn’t have.”
Ord Limbrick, Turnaround Director at Covestro
MobideoSTO Ensures You Stay Ahead of Your Turnaround
Staying ahead of your turnaround is about staying in control. MobideoSTO, the first Digital STO Operating System, offers all these necessary tools and more, intelligently integrating with your existing systems to deliver smart management of STO preparation, execution and analysis.
Want some examples? Watch the Unit Handover Forecast Report video and understand how it is possible to see the status of all units in your turnaround, including what is delayed and at risk. And watch this video to understand how the MobideoSTO S Curve graph predicts and manages inevitable change by providing constant, real-time awareness integrated with immediate and accurate AI-based predictions.
Want to learn more about how MobideoSTO can keep you in control of your turnaround? Schedule a demo now.