“We are eroding the confidence of the board and our shareholders because we consistently fail to deliver on our turnaround promises.”

– Refinery Manager

Integrated solution to drive turnaround success

RLG’s Turnaround Excellence™ integrated solution applied to your unique needs, helps turnaround teams, sites, and organizations move from unpredictable to good, then from good to great. RLG specialists and performance coaches support the major maintenance turnarounds of more than ten large industrial facilities per year and is a trusted partner to many of the world’s largest facility operators. Across industries, from mid-sized to mega-complex, we add value that results in multiple return on investment and repeat engagements.

Turnaround Excellence | Turnaround Services

TARxTurnaround Excellence™ is RLG’s ‘boots on the ground’ approach to working alongside turnaround teams and leaders to help them achieve safe, competitive and predictable events. We focus on implementing sustainable work practices to address common issues like:

  • Poor planning readiness and milestone attainment
  • Scope gaps and creep
  • Sub-optimized schedules
  • "One-team" alignment on turnaround
  • Contractor accountability and productivity
  • Overrun TAR durations and budgets

Operators need more competitive and predictable results, with improvements year-over-year through stronger embedded processes and higher internal capability. We work with your team to introduce and strengthen important elements, sharing our expertise developed in working with leading organizations around the world across many industries.

We focus on enhanced readiness, alignment, capability, plan and schedule optimization, and then flawless execution. Embedded in the turnaround teams, our Performance Improvement Experts help to increase confidence and predictability of execution by implementing systems and coaching behaviours to drive sustainable results. We connect the front line to the bottom line.

Turnaround Excellence: The Path to Step Change Results

  1. We begin by assessing readiness - both in the team and process, then in their progress and preparation. A Turnaround Process assessment looks high level across the turnaround organization to pinpoint strengths and opportunities in processes, capability, communication, and overall practice discipline. We score this against best practice in ten categories, with observations and recommendations to boost performance and reduce risk in future events. This assessment is scalable, recognizing that large, mature facilities have different requirements than smaller, less complex sites.

    Our Turnaround Readiness assessment looks at the progress and pace of planning along regular time intervals between T-15- and T-3- months before execution. This is often a mandatory step in turnaround stage-gate planning. Our clients find these external "cold eye" assessments especially valuable to enable corrective action early enough to deliver strong performance in turnaround execution. These can be performed both remotely and in-person, or as a hybrid that fits your particular needs. Read more about readiness assessment in this article.

    Schedule Quality Assessment involves our scheduling experts looking at the systems, capability and progress in building a high-quality turnaround schedule using the latest and best industry practices and powerful, graphical schedule quality analysis tools. Our experts in Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project often mentor onsite schedulers to build internal capability, while also offering stronger systems of work breakdown structure, critical path ID and integrated master schedule. 
  2. We improve alignment, communication, and accountability focused on an effective planning Operating Rhythm™. With the turnaround team, contractors, and site staff, we involve all groups in the process, removing silos and creating “One Team” and “One Truth”.
  3. We build confidence and capability through instruction, feedback and coaching to enable more effective leadership and team behaviors.
  4. We help ensure plan and schedule optimization are achieved through our Scope Challenge, Schedule Quality Review, TMP™ and Front Line Planning (FLP™) tools. We know you want competitiveness, predictability and productivity during the turnaround and our optimization methodology focuses on achieving this.

TARx™ Readiness Assessment Program

Readiness assessments are an important assurance function for sites to identify strengths and gaps in the turnaround planning process and provide the turnaround teams with practical recommendations to address and resolve gaps.  Our external "cold eye" assessments can be performed both remotely and in-person, or as a hybrid to fit your particular needs.

We offer TARx™ assessments as a service to match key planning phases at T-15, T-12, T-9, T-6 and T-3.  For new clients to RLG we may recommend a TARx™ process assessment be conducted simultaneously with the T-15 readiness assessment.

Our TARx™ readiness assessment template covers ten evaluation areas based on industry and turnaround best practices, plus RLG’s direct experience of working globally with turnaround teams. The readiness assessment scorecard covers specific criteria sets (between 50-100 depending on engagement) that translate into percentage scores per evaluation area. This score is then compared against industry and peer comparative scoring, as well used to provide probability analysis on potential for cost and schedule overrun.

We additionally assess the turnaround culture, leadership, meeting cadence (Operating Rhythm™), steering committee effectiveness, strategic risk and ownership for results.

RLG provides readiness assessments in a repeatable, consistent approach with standardized tools so that we can provide value-add comparisons to industry peers. Our formal reports provide a wider perspective and deeper understanding gained from working both within and across industries.

RLG’s TARx™ readiness assessments offer several advantages:

  • We provide benchmarking against performance databases collected over periods of time and from a variety of companies and facilities.
  • We provide front-line feedback and recommendations against best practices in the industry and tell our clients how it really is while not being subjected to internal influences, agendas and bias. In other words, we present the “hard truths.”
  • As an external consultant we provide a much broader spectrum of findings and advice — a mix of technical, system, process, and soft skills.

Readiness Assessment Value Impact

RLG’s turnaround readiness assessment program maximizes value by:

  • Clearly linking gap closure to ownership for results
  • Helping the team improve their cost and schedule attainment probability
  • Helping to hold the team accountable to higher standards
  • Providing proven follow-on front-line implementation support, at client request to enhance planning preparedness and execution efficiency

Risk & Mitigation Workshops

RLG is highly experienced in using technology to successfully deliver workshops and facilitate improvement activities remotely.  Throughout Covid pandemic we have helped turnaround teams and sites develop their covid response plans.

RLG prepares and facilitates risk workshops utilising the BowTie methodology for hazard management to review the measures in place at client sites; i.e., for the prevention and control of a potential COVID-19 outbreak.  By assembling a multi-discipline team representing site staff, key contractors and subject matter experts, we are able to facilitate a discussion that focuses on the practical steps that can be taken to both reduce risk, and to limit impact.

Our approach is to conduct a comprehensive HSE documentation review in order to prepopulate the BowTie prior to session, allowing the attendees to focus on barrier validation and identifying any gaps or improvements that can be made. RLG facilitators come prepared to share experience and lessons learned from multiple sites and events across the globe in dealing with this new threat to successful execution; these can be discussed and used to identify new ways to prevent and control an outbreak. During the session actions will be taken to close any gaps and assigned to appropriate personnel.

Expected output:

  • Alignment across all parties of the key steps to be taken to reduce risk (i.e. to prevent and control a COVID-19 outbreak);
  • Clarity in the barriers currently in place and those that require action and follow-up;
  • Experience and best practice shared from all present;
  • Confidence in the site’s ability to respond to an issue without significant productivity loss.

Enterprise-level Assessment

Corporate improvement efforts to standardize and deliver competitive and predictable turnarounds can benefit from an independent enterprise-level assessment.  RLG’s proven capability to assess multiple sites and events helps the senior leadership team to see overall coporate trends in turnaround performance, ownership and culture.

RLG’s enterprise-level assessment is designed to identify gaps and opportunities across the sites in standardization, process and practices adoption, resourcing and continuous improvement.  Identifying opportunities to help standardize the approach to turnaround planning and execution is a key deliverable to show the corporate value of developing leading practices and capability to deliver successful and predictable turnaround outcomes.

Our learning has been that multi-site turnaround assessments helps clients establish a corporate-wide turnaround program and strategy driven by industry leading practices.   Our assessments typically help show how standardized work processes and corporate collaboration can improve lessons learned in all sites and ensure turnarounds are effectively managed in support of business objectives.

Opportunity and Risk Workshop

Our learning is that opportunities and risks go hand-in-hand to improve turnaround outcomes.

RLG’s opportunity and risk workshop provides turnaround teams with a practical approach to not only identify, assess and prioritize risks, but evaluate opportunities to improve performance.  The value-add is our focus on helping the team(s) agree practical mitigations to the risks and creating actionable ownership for implementing the opportunities.

Our structured approach to gathering opportunities, concerns, risks and threats from all the functional disciplines leads to a better quality and breadth of discussion about how to deal with them.  An opportunity and risk register is created and populated with the output of the workshop. 

Prioritized opportunities and risks are assigned owners with responsibility to develop mitigation or capture plans. These actions can be added into the turnaround milestone planning process.

Our opportunity and risk workshop seeks to leverage both RLG’s and your team’s turnaround experiences and learnings to make it a more powerful fit-for-purpose event that goes beyond leaving behind a register.  Our typical deliverables are:

  • Facilitate an inclusive discussion about the opportunities and risks for the turnaround, then rank opportunities and risks with potential impact and likelihood of occurrence
  • Agree practical opportunity capture and risk mitigation actions and assign owners and timelines to complete
  • Determine the path forward for regular reviews, updates and support required to complete

Risk-based Scope Review

RLG facilitates risk-based scope review workshops (RBSR) as standalone engagements or as additional to a T-15 readiness assessment, to support scope challenge and freeze completion by T-12.

RLG offers a proven approach and template to risk-based scope review and challenge. The process is designed to be owned and led by the asset team who ‘challenge in’ work to the turnaround. The calculation and risk matrix factors are all determined by each client so that they are fit-for-purpose.  This means that the probability, frequency and cost factors can be pre-agreed making the RBSR facilitation simple in application and easily understood by the Asset teams.

Our workshops can be delivered at-site or remotely to:

  • Introduce the RBSR approach and methodology
  • Agree calculation and factors
  • Assess scope gathered to review and challenge-in to the turnaround
  • Prioritize and approve challenged scope
  • Support sustainability of RBSRs

Project Services

Our Project Services team helps clients improve their planning and scheduling for major events like turnarounds, outages and capital projects.  We provide specialists and advice to deliver the following services:

  • Build and implement a customized, world-class planning and scheduling process
  • Implement and reinforce Primavera P6
  • Implement right KPIs to track project progress and drive action
  • Coach and strengthen the planning team for sustained skill and confidence
  • Assess schedule quality and specify an optimization road map
  • Engage contractors to build teamwork and accountability
  • Conduct schedule quality assessments

A Schedule Quality Assessment involves our scheduling experts looking at the systems, capability and progress in building a high-quality turnaround schedule using the latest and best industry practices and powerful, graphical schedule quality analysis tools. Our experts in Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project often mentor onsite schedulers to build internal capability, while also offering stronger systems of work breakdown structure, critical path ID and integrated master schedule.

Turnaround Process Assessment

The turnaround process assessment looks high level across the turnaround and site organization to pinpoint strengths and opportunities in processes, systems, capability, communication, and overall practice discipline. We score this against the ideal and best practices across ten categories, with observations and recommendations to boost performance and reduce risk in future events. This assessment is scalable, recognizing that large, mature facilities have different requirements than smaller, simpler sites.

The process assessment is designed to identify strengths and gaps in systems and processes needed to plan and execute successful turnarounds.  It is held as early as possible as our learning has been that structural process changes/improvements take longer to embed.

Turnaround Execution & Productivity Evaluation

Our clients consistently ask us to help them improve productivity during their turnarounds. We start with a TAR execution and productivity evaluation because it gives us the ability to see the big picture of how the flow of information, decisions, follow-up and accountability works during the event. It focuses on the following:

  • Execution Operating Rhythm™ and TAR clock management
  • KPI usage, visibility and accountability at all levels
  • Contractor and staff productivity
  • Contractor morning start and hand-over processes
  • Critical path management
  • Continuous improvement and learning activities
  • Reactively or proactively managing ‘Points of Pain’ during the working day

The execution and productivity evaluation is recommended to be scheduled after the shutdown and cleaning phase is completed and the team has had a few days to get stuck into the turnaround. The goal is to look at the big picture of how the overall event is going, if the execution Operating Rhythm™ is working well, identify areas of poor productivity, etc. The evaluation template is designed to help identify areas of concern early in the turnaround so that RLG can discuss with the TAR Manager / Event Manager what support, coaching, mitigation or intervention is required, both from them and from RLG.  Our learning has been that an execution and productivity evaluation  should be identified as a turnaround assurance milestone. 

Post Turnaround Close-Out

The post turnaround assessment forms a critical learning function for TAR teams’ continuous improvement efforts and can either be performed as part of the TARx™ project deliverables or separately as requested by site or corporate TAR leaders. It comprises of the following:

  • Lessons learned gathering sessions with key disciplines involved in the turnaround, including main contractors before they leave site
  • Capital project and minor project planning and execution evaluation
  • Performance evaluation against TAR premise, cost and performance KPIs
  • Readiness and risk mitigation evaluation
  • TAR systems and process usage score
  • TAR close out report and TAR actual KPIs one-pager

It is RLG’s view that the post TAR assessment is an important evaluation because it links back to the key best-in-class TAR systems and processes that are needed to plan and safely execute turnarounds. For best leverage we recommend using a Real-time Lessons Learned (RTLL™) program during the event that captures learnings but also immediate applies these within the event.  If continuous learning systems and processes are not in place, not used or have poor ownership then the report out recommendations will highlight these gaps. The Post-TA Close Out report and one-pager provide a source of agreed ‘one truth’ corporate memory that is helpful to mitigate staff turnover, long turnaround cycles and selective memory issues.

We believe that leaving behind a close-out report will not create sustainable change in turnaround performance.  Our goal is that the learning process is embedded within the turnaround culture and that the review learnings are converted into improvement activities owned by the site and turnaround team.

Location Industry Engagement Improvement
Australia LNG 9 months on three shutdown events 42% TA duration reduction
Canada, Ontario Petrochemicals Early planning to final schedule 27 day improvement in optimized TA schedule
Canada, Saskatchewan Mining T-9 months through execution 94% improvement vs last event, $15.9 million
Kazakhstan Refining Two units of a mega-TA, T-9 months 4 day TA duration reduction, $7.4 million
United Kingdom Refining T-7 months through execution 23 days ahead of baseline, new site record
USA East Coast Refining T-9 months through execution 9 day TA duration reduction, $6.7 million
USA Gulf Coast Refining T-12 months through execution 27% ahead of schedule, 14% below planned cost

What Our Clients are Saying:

“RLG have provided us a game changer in the way we plan.”


“Sure, we might have hit the schedule but you [RLG] being here brought the discipline we needed to definitely hit it."


“World class athletes leverage coaches to achieve world class performance, and that is why we brought in RLG.”


“These TMPs™ are getting us to think about how our unit comes down now, 10+ months before the turnaround, so this is a good thing that sets us up for success.”


“This team has set a new standard for delivery of major projects and TARs, achieving a record-breaking duration.”


Case Studies

  • agrium-vault

Mine Expansion Tie-Ins During Turnaround

North America
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  • bp-carson

US West Coast Refinery Turnaround

Oil & Gas
North America
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