STO FAQs: What you need to know before your shutdown

In this compilation of frequently asked questions, STO experts address some of the most common questions about planning and executing shutdowns.

Q: What are the initial steps I need to take to prepare for a shutdown?

A: The first step to prepare for a scheduled shutdown starts with determining the size of the outage. Based on statistics across a number of industries, there are four categories based on duration: Short (hours), Small (day), Moderate (days), and Large (weeks). The labor and materials cost for these categories varies by industry. Size, complexity, and familiarity of a shutdown matters greatly, and makes a major difference in the size of management staff, planning effort, level of detail, and oversight.

The second step is a review of your last scheduled outage. Is there a closeout report with an objective review including lessons learned? Review past results; learn from both the positive and negative success factors identified in the report. If a formal report is not available, schedule a brief meeting with stakeholders from the prior outage. Facilitate a discussion; capture both successes and ‘opportunities’ using a non-blaming approach. Most people appreciate having their feedback and input valued. It is also a great
opportunity to achieve buy-in and agreement on what to do differently to get a different result.

To learn more about shutdowns, turnarounds and outages and to download the entire article, watch the on-demand webcast, "How Effective Is Your STO Strategy?"