Mastering Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages




Course Overview

Our promise for this program is that you will have a new and deeper understanding of how to effectively manage large maintenance jobs such as power plant outages, refinery refits, etc. With this understanding will be the increased ability to plan for and manage such projects.

This course includes specific checklists, procedures and strategies that will improve your current shutdown planning and execution. The course also includes examples to demonstrate the major points.

This program is for:

This course is designed for heavy maintenance environments including Refineries, Power Plants, Chemical Plants, Mines, Large Factories, and other large facilities. It was designed specifically for the project teams that might consist of Project Managers, Outage Planners, Maintenance Planners, Maintenance Managers, Project Engineers, Maintenance Supervisors, Maintenance Engineers, and people who are in training for these positions.

This course is also designed for contractors who manage entire or parts of client shutdowns. Prior background in Project Management would be useful but not essential. The best use of this course would be for an organization planning a shutdown or outage in the near future.

This course is 85% concerned with the time before the first spade of dirt is moved. The remaining 15% is execution tactics to keep the project on course.

Learning Outcomes

Some of what you will learn:

  • Giant- checklists of everything to consider before the shutdown and when to consider it
  • How to prepare your own customized checklist so everything is remembered
  • When to say no to added work
  • Know when and how to use Gantt, CPM and PERT charts
  • What documents to save and how to organize them
  • Know how to break a job into activities
  • How to set up the shutdown team
  • How to account for everything that goes into an outage or shutdown
  • Where to look for help on estimates
  • Find out what shifts structures to use and how much they really cost
  • Checklist of specific safety risks to protect your workers
  • How to control a shutdown
  • How to pick project management software
  • How to ensure lessons learned are really learned
  • What to do if a shutdown has gotten into trouble
  • How to calculate the critical path even if you don’t have software
  • How to know which work orders you should work on first
  • How to evaluate the effectiveness of your current shutdown effort
  • Where to find some great Internet based resources
  • Be able to effectively budget your next shutdown, turnaround or outage
  • Know how to manage risk on any project
  • How to learn from your mistakes and institutionalize lessons learned
  • How to get the most from your existing Project Management software
  • Where to find free and low cost software for shutdowns
  • How to set-up safety program for your shutdowns
  • How to do a JSA for individual jobs


Different people are different types of learners. The course features many different training modalities. This course has several exercises to help enhance the training experience and to teach specific skills to help manage shutdowns.

The Master Check List series of exercises (one list for each phase) is unique for this course. Each student will receive and review a master check list developed over the last 20 years of items that have caused problems on past shutdowns. The check lists are updated as new people take the course and contribute their experiences.

Selection of Learning Objectives

The Report card is used to introduce the student to the class. They get to evaluate their own shutdown program and see where there is room for improvement.

In the exercise on meetings the student can look at the meeting rules they follow and pick some areas where extra attention would enhance the shutdown effort

Preparing a Typical Time line exercise is designed to show the student the benefit to managing the shutdown intensively from conception to close out

Estimating Exercise takes a typical shutdown job and shows the students how to micro-plan a job.

Do you have enough time to properly plan and schedule the shutdown? The Planning lead times Exercise will show that and show how many people will be needed if you don’t

The Critical Path Method (CPM) Exercise really tests the student’s new knowledge of shutdown activity scheduling. It starts with a work list and has the students develop a CPM network diagram highlighting the critical path and the duration of the shutdown.


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