Organizing Your Turnaround Team

As part of our customers’ successful turnaround team, we understand that one of the most important factors that can make or break the turnaround is assembling and organizing the right team. The best teams are diverse and can include current staff, skilled, temperary workers, contractors, inspectors, safety, and many other personnel. With so much at stake, it is critical to get this key component right from the beginning. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Choose a Point Person or People

Owners and key executives may choose the time and purpose of the turnaround, but are probably not in charge of it. A point person is necessary to plan, implement, and supervise the turnaround as a representative of the owners, should they choose not to take this role. The point person should have demonstrated proven leadership skills for turnarounds or similar projects. One of the most important considerations in choosing a point person is their ability to handle a crisis, as they are sure to arise. He or she must work well under pressure and require accountability from all, and especially:

Your Key Members

One of the foremost concerns when organizing a turnaround team is choosing the company’s key management team members.  They are the ones who will make critical decisions in any or all stages of the turnaround. Focus on how your organization is managed and who leads in each area, such as accounting, engineering, manufacturing, H/R, etc. Choose key members whose skills compliment each other, rather than those that overlap.

Create an organizational chart or spread sheet when choosing key members that contains items such as:

  1. Current duties and responsibilities
  2. Career highlights and weaknesses
  3. Past experience and critical skills
  4. Demonstrated ability in their chosen field
  5. Ability to meet timeline for objectives
  6. Sense of accountability

Once the key members are chosen, they can assists with tasks assigned within their respective departments.

Organize External Team Members

Your organization may run like a well-oiled machine. It may have even completed successful turnarounds in the past. However, the industry has changed and plants must do the same. Getting the right external key members is a crucial part of organizing a turnaround. They are skilled planners in their area of expertise. These include but are not limited to:

  • Financial experts to ensure a proper budget is planned and adhered to.
  • Attorney(s) with experience in turnarounds, workouts, and bankruptcies. A poor decision can lead to injuries, lawsuits, and even imprisonments. Good attorneys are expensive but pay for themselves if they help you avoid even one significant issue.
  • Inspectors may be needed to meet local and federal government standards.
  • Other contractors as needed during the breakdown for tasks such as the preservation, installation, and inspection of your equipment.

Perhaps most critical to the success of your turnaround are the outside contractors you choose for your team. You do not have the control over their personnel that you do over your own employees. Make sure the contractors you select have similar values, employee relation views, and a proven track record of turnaround success.

It is strongly recommended to keep track of each detail of the turnaround from the planning phase to the plant’s restart. This master document should be available to relevant personnel at all times. It should contain items such as timelines, plans, tasks, budgets, etc. Hard copies should also be available on a regular basis.

Your team is the most important factor in completing your turnaround on time and within budget. Take the time to organize it correctly. Don’t be afraid to make changes as needed, but be sure to make informed decisions.

Conclusion on Organizing Your Turnaround Team

AMACS has extensive knowledge in separation and phase contacting process internals used in oil and gas, refinery, chemical processing, and other turnarounds. With a proven track record in helping customers achieve successful turnarounds for over forty years, we are ready to partner with you and are available 24/7. To learn more, contact us to discuss how we can help with your next turnaround and meet all of your process internal needs.