News & Insights

TMP™ Cuts Days from Critical Path

Jul 17, 2017

RLG Px inner circleBy Konstantin Khavin and Andre Ragouline

8 Days (24%) Cut from Critical Path
21 participants
24 actions identified

Refinery turnarounds are major events with high stakes for finishing safely, on-time and on-budget. Many times, planning teams struggle to pull together various small work scopes into an efficient, coordinated master schedule. Schedule deadlines are consequently missed and the plan optimization that should occur, doesn’t, due to time constraints. Budgets suffer and the overall event lacks coordination. 

 At one medium size Kazakhstan refinery owned by KazMunayGas, a team of RLG performance coaches was brought in six months before the turnaround was to begin. Their early focus was schedule optimization – with special attention to those scope items on the execution critical path. This turnaround was an ambitious project for this client’s planning team in that it was exceptional in both scope and complexity. RLG’s Px™ model for planning, schedule optimization and execution efficiency was selected as the right approach to ensure turnaround schedule and budget success. Plus, this approach served the client’s larger goal to embed into their organization an efficient system for turnaround planning and execution. 
 Refinery in Kazakhstan
 150,000 bbl/d refinery in Kazakhstan

At one point, RLG led a TMP™(Theoretical Maximum Performance) session with the turnaround planning and execution team. As the 5th of 14 similar events, it occurred three months before turnaround execution. In this TMP™ event, the participants reviewed TA activities for a silo inspection and repair.

During the progressive elaboration of the turnaround schedule, the planning and scheduling team found that work on this silo was on the critical path of the project. Moreover, these works extended well beyond the schedule approved internally and signed off by the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan. Therefore, the main goal of the session was to identify opportunities to compress the turnaround schedule while still fully achieving this silo scope of work.

TMP™ is an advanced planning tool that helps stimulate thinking in teams about to undertake major work programs such as turnarounds. It is extremely effective in identifying opportunities to reduce project duration through critical path optimization while identifying project risks and mitigating actions.

Active participation of personnel at all levels – department heads, line managers, maintenance staff, engineers and mechanics from both the client and contractor sides were crucial for making this TMP™ session a success. 
 TMP Approach
Planners and managers helped RLG performance coaches prepare for the session. 21 session participants represented the refinery and its contractors.  
 TMP Cuts
  Introduction to RLG methodology and tools

The session was kicked off by the TMP™ Sponsor, the Chief Mechanic over this work scope. 
TMP cards
 Working with TMP™ cards  

The Deputy Manager prepared a presentation on various technical aspects of the job while sharing his opinion on major risks. In his presentation, he used 3-D models of the silo made by planning staff. The manager of the Planning Group spoke about the TAR schedule and its main challenges.

Participants were broken out into groups to ensure efficient work within the allotted session time. The Shop Manager and Deputy Manager led breakout groups.
 Discussing the critical path
Discussing the critical path

At the end of the session, groups reported out their results, highlighting schedule improvements, risks identified and actions assigned.

The main outcome was critical path duration which was 8 days shorter than the original plan. Through the facilitated large session, and in the breakout groups, ideas flourished:

  • execution of activities in parallel,
  • reduction of time by doing things differently, and
  • identification of tasks that could be started or completed prior to the shutdown were all identified.

Perhaps more important was the feeling of teamwork, awareness and accomplishment shared among the team.

“The TMP™ session showed how the client and contractors working together in a well-structured environment brings impressive results”

“TMP™ leverages the experience of those in the room”

            Session participants

This TMP™, # of         5 of 14
 # of participants  21
 Line items in the plan  7059
Line items on CP   240
 CP line items covered  64
 CP days before TMP™  33
 CP days after TMP™  25
 Days cut from CP  8
 # of actions identified  24