Articles in Category: Turnarounds

Client Experiences #1 - Massive Upgrade

When I first started working with our new client, I started out as a general trainer for the company’s employees. Our work began with typical P6 stuff, nothing new or especially exciting, but it was the start of a longer, more involved relationship with our client. I started helping them with turnarounds back in 2013 and I've been doing turnarounds with them every year since. I recently finished my 6th turnaround with the company - an 11-12 week long process that honestly felt a lot longer than it was. Due to a problem organizing the order of units, we ran overtime, and that was unfortunately just one of the many issues we had to deal with during that turnaround.

As is often the case, a good amount of the complications we faced were unintentionally self-inflicted. Our client runs under an alliance contract umbrella with another organization that controls their project management and general processes. This organization had decided to do a major upgrade to P6 just a few weeks ahead of the turnaround execution. This naturally caused a lot of complications, as the workers involved in the turnaround had to do a lot of scrambling to figure out the bugs in the untested upgrades while simultaneously dealing with the turnaround itself, which was no easy task. On top of this, the upgrade to P6 wasn't just a standard upgrade - it was a move from version 6.2 to version 17, which is a big jump on any given day, but right before a turnaround... It was disastrous. There were all sorts of issues, including considerable trouble upon first-log in, and it created a lot of stress - way more than even on the typical turnaround! Units were in shutdown, people were pulling 12 and a half hour long shifts, the site was an hour away from where most of the personnel were stationed, IT issues were causing immense frustration - it seemed like everything that could go wrong did.

Now, I've been in quite a few panicked, rushed environments over my 8 years of turnaround assistance, and this could easily have been one of them, but luckily the majority of the schedulers dealt with it very well, keeping their heads despite the setbacks we faced. And as for me - I went in with my usual mentality: get it done. So despite the constant uphill battle, we managed to pull everything together and get through the turnaround with our sanity intact. Overall, it wasn't the easiest turnaround I've ever been a part of, but complications are part of the job, and I'm happy to say that another yearly turnaround with our client went by successfully - if maybe a little bumpier than usual!

EP-Dashboard - Tracking Found Work on Turnarounds Made Easy

While working on a turnaround project where our client was using our EP-datawarehouse and EP-dashboard tools for the first time, we were already showing them green up reports, inspection summary reports, performance curves and productivity curves, but had been tweaking them to fit their needs during the turnaround, which was quite beneficial to their team.

I was providing assistance to the turnaround team and started entering Additional Work Requests (AWR’s) as they came in from the AWR manager. The process required several steps during its life and we found a dashboard would be helpful in keeping track of the process, since we were getting questions about where AWR's were in the process. An AWR entered the process when it was received from the field personnel, assigned a number and entered into a master spreadsheet by the AWR manager. The spreadsheet listed several pieces of information, but the information we needed for the dashboard was the AWR#, Date Submitted, Approval Status, and the Description.

When the AWR was approved, it was sent to the schedulers to enter a placeholder into the schedule. After the placeholder was entered, a planner would enter the necessary activities and resources for the AWR. The activities would then be started and completed just like an original activity.

My IT colleague was able to use data from the master Excel spreadsheets and data that was snapshotted daily using the EP-datawarehouse from P6 to create the EP-dashboard below. The dashboard shows the AWR’s by project and using the snapshot data, indicates whether the AWR had been approved, if the placeholder activity was entered in P6, if the AWR had been planned and if so, if the activities had been started and/or completed. The creation of the dashboard took less than a day.

By using this newly created dashboard, we quickly discovered there were errors in several projects, where the AWR numbering schema did not match the project it was entered into.

We were able to correct all the errors concerning AWR’s that had previously existed, sometimes for over a year, within a day. We were not only able to create an extremely helpful dashboard, but we also improved the data integrity of the projects.

Are Resource Codes Helpful In a Turnaround Schedule? Yes!

Using Resource Codes has been very helpful on many Turnarounds. Often on a Turnaround (or any large project) you need to report resource availability and requirements in your schedule by Craft (trade) and Company.

But that is often not the way the resource dictionary hierarchy is set up? And you likely are not able to do anything about that since the Administrator probably controls that.

Resource Codes

An easy solution to the reporting requirement is using resource codes. This gets you the best of both worlds. The corporate structure remains intact, but the plant or the turnaround team can still introduce coding they need.

In your resource dictionary, your current project resources may look something like this;

The resource hierarchy does not reflect craft/company (other than as a subset of elements) specifically, but that is fine; it does not have to.

You can easily create layouts or reports capable of rolling up the resources by craft/company by simply assigning (and using) a couple of resource codes; one code for craft, one for company.

With the applicable codes assigned to the resources used in our projects, we can view the resource profile rolled up by craft, then company. In our case we will just look at a small file sample, but multiple project resource profiles can be rolled up in a similar manner. Assigning resource codes allows use of these codes not only in the resource profile, but the resource assignments screen, tabular reports, and tracking layouts. We will have a look at the resource profile below.

From the left display bar in the resource profile window click Group and Sort By, then Customize (above).

In the Group and Sort dialogue box, the CRAFT then Company codes have been entered in the Group By section (above).

The High Level Roll Up for Pipefitters in our small example combines the Pipefitter availability and requirement in the schedule.

To view the details one level down click the ‘+’ beside Pipefitter (above).

The resource roll up expands one level, you can now view the company level for Pipefitter also.

We only have one resource for pipefitters under Triple “S” so of course the requirement/availability profile will be the same at the Company or individual resource level in this example (below).

The EDM Site Services Pipefitter resource profile is below. (Keep in mind that the Pipefitter craft profile viewed earlier is the Triple “S” and EDM Site Services pipefitter profiles combined.)

A second example is the Pneumatic Technician craft resource profile (below).

As with the Pipefitter example, clicking to expand the Pneumatic Technician Craft (above) allows the ‘drill down’ to the two specific companies and resources that make up the Pneumatic Technician Craft roll up (below).

Stacked Histograms -

Don’t forget, resource codes can also be used in Stacked Histograms – a couple of simple examples

Use resource codes to help you quickly and create layouts and reports to expedite monitoring and reporting.

Using the Craft and Company resource codes allows roll up not only within one schedule but across multiple schedules retaining the drill down functionality to focus on increased detail when required.