Want to get confused? Ask a tradesperson if they
have finished a job. Then ask operations if the job is complete. Then ask the
planning department if it is closed. The problem is that the meaning of
complete is different to different people. When the job is substantially done, the
tradesperson considers it complete (there could still be some work left but the
machine starts and seems to run). For operations, the job is complete when they
lift the clearances and accept the item for production. For the planner, the
job is complete when the paperwork is fed back into the system and the work
order is closed. In other areas, completion is declared by degree of safety or
quality. A completion and approval form may be attached to the job package:
Imagine the complexity of trying to find out what
exactly is going on if there are hundreds of jobs running, with hundreds of people
involved. Consider some accepted definitions for the stages
of completeness (feel free to use your own but just
be sure they are well known to all stakeholders in the shutdown including the contractors).
The job is completed but there is still some
buttoning up and cleaning to do.
The job is mechanically complete, buttoned up and
the area is clean.
The job is finished and the clearances have been lifted,
the item is ready to go.
The completion of a major shutdown is really a
The first step of job completion is at the end of
phase three. There is a time when the area bosses declare the jobs in their area
substantially complete (or are not going to get completed in this shutdown).
They start to create lists to be completed. In construction these lists are
called punch lists. They are made up of all the little things that need to be
done or have been left undone.
This preparation for completion also ends phase
three and begins phase four. There are hundreds or thousands of details that have
to be managed, and completed. Safety issues dominate at this time.
This time is also dangerous because pressure,
steam, heat, and chemicals are reintroduced to the systems. Is the plant safe
to operate with reduced safety vigilance (when compared to the vigilance needed
during the shutdown)? Safety vigilance will still need to be heightened while
the shutdown is being cleaned up and barricades are removed in the next step.
is completed when the punch list work is finished
and the customer is satisfied. This is the core of phase four and could also be
called the clean-up phase. This phase might last only a few days or a few weeks
at the most (Phase 4 lasts a year on an Aircraft Carrier). One of the most important
things is complete cleanup of all shutdown debris, wastes, and the disassembly
of scaffolding, barricades, and fencing, and return of all rentals. All unused
materials are returned to the stock room, then returned to the vendor if
possible (or if desirable). Full, standard, safety practices are resumed on the
In a successful plant start-up- although the
paperwork and contracts are very important the shutdown is not complete until good
product is flowing again. Full, high quality production is one of the three
ways a shutdown is closed out. In short, the plant is back to profitable and
Step 3: Internal closeout or Administrative
closeout includes collection of all bills, time information, final drawings,
etc. All raw data from the shutdown is collected. Once all the time sheets,
contractor bills, and vendor bills are in, a final shutdown budget is prepared.
The packaging, indexing, and filing of information is the concern of phase
five, which encompasses the completion of paperwork and the preparation of a
External closeout or Contract closeout-
only when all work is either
done or declared that it will not be done can the contractor submit all the
final bills. The initial contract should have required that all bills be
submitted within 4 weeks of the completion of the work, ensuring timely
submission of all external paperwork. As part of the external closeout process,
a team member has to read the contract and verify that all the work contracted for
is completed, or in some way accounted for. When all aspects are complete the
contract can be settled.
In any construction project there might be a
retainage held for some agreed amount of time. In other instances, an amount
might be held in lieu of a warrantee. The third step is also resolution of all outstanding
issues with the contractors, including claims, change orders, mistakes, and
payment of bills within the terms of the contract.
The third step of completion is also the
compilation of all information, bills, closed out contracts, reports, and
finalization of spreadsheets, into the shutdown narrative book.
shutdown narrative book is intended to tell what happened, and can be many
post mortem is conducted 3 to 6 months later. It also includes the results of a
follow-up meeting, when the team has had a chance to move some distance from
the event and gain some perspective.
Copyright 2005, Industrial
Press, Inc., New York, NY