The strategic plan is comprised of processes, systems and procedures that guide us through the process for the planning and the execution of turnarounds/projects. The plan defines specific deliverables and the timing required to ensure that all of the deliverables can be completed in a logical order and time frame.

The Basics
Some elements of a strategic plan are as follows:

  • Scope development
  • Engineering packages information for construction
  • Detailed job plan packages/integrated schedules
  • Cost estimates

Here are five basic steps of strategy formulation that can be applied to each milestone:

  • Identify all threats and opportunities.
  • Identify resources capabilities and practices.
  • Consider strategies for addressing threats and opportunities.
  • Build a good “fit” among strategy supporting activities.
  • Create alignment.

Being Specific
A threat to the scope development process is that there are no specific criteria in place to define what type of work is considered appropriate to be executed during the turnaround cycle or that there are no processes in place to approve the potential items. Or there may be no systematic way to change, add or delete scope items once the scope is approved. One opportunity is that the duration and cost for the turnaround could be more predictable if we focus on only the work that should be executed during the cycle. Another opportunity is to leverage the available resources by keeping the scope specific to items that can only be executed during the turnaround.

A strategy for developing turnaround scope could be to define the criteria for an item to become part of the turnaround work list and to implement a scope change process. You also would want to develop an approval process and identify a core team that will approve all work based on the approved criteria. Identifying activities that will allow you to review the scope items in a methodical manner in order to meet the scope development milestone is a must. This same process can be applied to all elements of the strategic plan. The training and orientation of new team members needs to be part of the strategy. It is important that all involved in the process understand the strategy and how their participation can affect the outcome of the turnaround.

Don’t overlook issues identified during the last turnaround’s critique. They can be important in improving turnaround predictability and these should be reviewed early on in the strategic planning phase and be a part of the new turnaround strategy.