7 Best Practices in Planning and Scheduling from the Leading Refineries

7 Best Practices in Planning and Scheduling From Leading Refineries

Polaris Sensor Technologies

There are many different aspects of planning and scheduling when it comes to refineries. Many experts and organizations have come up with their own forms of well-built schedules. Keeping all of these in mind, the best practices from leading-edge refineries have illustrated that basic construction should revolve around proper approaches towards development.

Basic schedules should be tailored in a way such that they can be simply understood and contain enough detail for experienced people to comprehend the requirements that have been stated. This article will analyze the best practices from leading-edge refineries through the years.

We are going to delve into these approaches by taking the following steps:

  1. Developing Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
  2. Defining Work Packages
  3. Defining the Activities
  4. Defining Logic
  5. Defining Resources and Work
  6. Defining Timeframes
  7. Analyzing Schedules

1.     Developing Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)

Among the most crucial parts of scheduling is implementing a proper work breakdown structure (WBS). Without this, the work that needs to be accomplished will likely flounder and schedules will be quite unorganized and will not be properly executed. That being said, developing proper forms of WBS can easily be said to be the backbone of proper schedules.

There are 2 basic types of WBS – the functional WBS and the deliverable WPS. Functional WPS systems are used by organizations that tend to be heavily involved in the functional aspects of a business. This includes hardware and software engineering as they cannot be performed without design works.

Deliverable WBS, on the other hand, provides control over projects that need scheduled development bases. Delivery-orientated WBS tends to provide seamless traceability throughout projects – from contract vehicles all the way over to lowest levels of items in the process.

2.     Defining Work Packages

Work packages constitute the lowest levels of detail in the WBS, and several work packages are placed together in order to fulfill a single WBS. These work packages should be structured in a way that all their work is couched in a verb-noun manner. This means that work packages should define what actions are being accomplished by which items.

3.     Defining Activities

Work packages are further broken down into activities that can be defined as ‘tasks’ or even ‘steps’. What we mean here is what actions will be implemented by individuals or groups in order to measure their current states subjectively (not in an objective manner).

4.     Defining Logic

In properly constructed schedules, logic tends to be the biggest driver. Care and planning should be employed here in order to ensure that logic is accurate while making sure soft or false forms of logic aren’t used. The right type of logic is hard logic, which signifies the valid links between different activities. An example can be that the foundation must be cured in order to erect walls.

Soft logic, on the other hand, illustrates the logic that it is based on the start and stop times that form the perceived requirements of activities. An example of this may be the rough plumbing that needs to finish before the rough electrical activities can start.

5.     Defining Resources

Defining the resources can be broken down as a multistep process. By following these steps, refineries can make sure that their schedules are executable. The first step is defining the type of resource and whether the right forms of expertise are being assigned to these. Next, the refineries need to determine the amount of work required for each resource. For instance, if some activity needs 40 hours of work, then it could either be done by one person for a week or by 5 people in a day.

6.     Defining Timeframes

The last step which is vital for building schedules according to the best practices from leading-edge refineries is defining the duration every activity takes. By doing so, refineries will have the ability to determine how much of each resource is required as well as how much time it will take to complete specific projects.

There are many SMEs out there that have realized that it is impossible to determine how much time it will take in a given activity until they haven’t discerned how many people are required for the job. In the same manner, some SMEs have also suggested that it is impossible to discern how many people are required for a task until they have deduced how much time it takes to complete the task.

7.     Analyzing the Schedule

Now that the planning and scheduling phase is complete, it is time to see if what you have planned will actually make sense. In order to implement this form of analysis, there are certain steps you need to go through. This will include ensuring you are meeting all obligations of contracts and whether the techniques being used in processes are meeting the schedules.

In order to analyze your schedules, there are many different methods according to the best practices from leading-edge refineries. The most dominant method according to our research was found to be the critical path method.

 The Critical Path Method

This method is used to find the longest paths that lead to specific projects. This means that it has the ability to define which part of the project is causing slacks in the schedule and acts as the ‘longest pole of the tent.’ This could mean that some resource, logic, or duration in a refineries process needs tuning. Once these have been realized, the critical path can be revised.

By following these seven steps from the best practices of planning and scheduling from leading refineries none of your production activities will lead to bottlenecks or unexpected disruptions. Even if they do, a proper scheduling practice can make sure any potential issue can be identified quite early on and repaired promptly.

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