If you’re using Primavera P6 software for scheduling STO (Shutdown, Turnaround and Outage) activities you are not alone. Thousands of Planner/Schedulers rely on P6 to enhance execution performance. And I suspect that you’re not alone in how you use it, which is most likely how you were taught to use it; to schedule EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) projects, i.e., SSM (Static Scheduling Methodology) to Level III or Level IV Project Plans, with or without costs.
The Project Plan is the Steering Wheel, not the Rear-view Mirror – only DSM (Dynamic Scheduling Methodology) can make this happen
The problem is, Primavera P6 was not designed for planning, scheduling or controlling STO events. It was designed for EPC projects, which it does quite well, at least when its Operator (Planner/Scheduler, Project/Construction Manager, etc.) is knowledgeable and experienced with its function and with EPC scheduling methodologies. But when it comes to driving a STO event, it does not perform well at all? Why? Because STO events are complex, risky, dynamic, short-duration projects with hundreds of activities and thousands of indirect and direct labor hours requiring DSM (Dynamic Scheduling Methodology) to ensure you DRIVE your STO event.
P6 Workarounds for STO – phasing your STO event
Primavera P6 does not offer you the ability to phase your STO Event. And since the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) is used strictly as a reflection of the physical asset location of the facility’s FLOC (Functional Location) within its EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) System, you can’t (ever, never, never) use the WBS to phase your STO Event, e.g., Pre/Shutdown/Mechanical/Startup/Post.
Using WBS/Phase Calendars in Primavera P6 allows you to take advantage of its ability to auto-schedule (a.k.a. Resource Leveling—although we do not actually level resources for STO Events, but that’s another post). For example, when you assign the Calendar Close Phase for the installation of a PSV (Pressure Safety Valve) it will automatically be scheduled during the close window; and based on its priority and resource availability, it will be scheduled by Primavera P6 and not by the human you, as in SSM and Relationships, Constraints, etc.
Email me for a password to download the P6 WBW/Phase Calendar Lesson in pdf: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phasing your STO Event