Book Review

Managing Maintenance Shutdowns and Outages
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Managing Maintenance Shutdowns and Outages

By: Joel Levitt

Hardcover: 208 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 0.87 x 9.24 x 6.38
Published by: Industrial Press
Publication Date: April 2004
ISBN: 083113173X


    • Chapter 1 - Basics of Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages
    • Chapter 2 - Shutdown Communications
    • Chapter 3 - Shutdown Phases
    • Chapter 4 - How to Justify the Shutdown
    • Chapter 5 - Timelines and Audits
    • Chapter 6 - The Shutdown Organization
    • Chapter 7 - Master Schedule for Phase 1 Initiation
    • Chapter 8 - Scope of Work: How to Find and Pick the Jobs
    • Chapter 9 - Work Validation and Preparation for Planning
    • Chapter 10 - Individual Job Planning
    • Chapter 11 - Risk Management
    • Chapter 12 - Environment, Health and Safety
    • Chapter 13 - History of Project Management
    • Chapter 14 - Key Concepts for all PM Techniques
    • Chapter 15 - Critical Path Method (CPM)
    • Chapter 16 - Resources
    • Chapter 17 - PERT and Newer Methods
    • Chapter 18 - PM (Project Management) Software
    • Chapter 19 - Master Schedule for Phase 2 Planning/LI>
    • Chapter 20 - Contractors: How to Integrate External Organizations
    • Chapter 21 - Accounting, Costs and Budgets
    • Chapter 22 - Logistics: Organization for the Parts, Materials and Supplies
    • Chapter 23 - Execution: How to Manage in the Face of Reality
    • Chapter 24 - Master Schedule for Phase 3 Execution
    • Chapter 25 - Completion
    • Chapter 26 - Reporting
    • Chapter 27 - Master Schedule for Phase 4 and Phase 5

Our Review

Joel Levitt is a well respected trainer and author on Maintenance Management topics, and this book is a valuable contribution to the field. It contains plenty of practical, commonsense advice for managing maintenance shutdowns, turnarounds and overhauls, and this is neatly summarised in the form of checklists contained in the "Master Schedule" chapters - Chapters 7, 19, 24 and 27. For those who have learned how to effectively plan and manage from the "school of hard knocks" this book will more than likely induce a wry grin of recognition, and a wisely nodding head. For those less experienced in maintenance shutdowns, this book will assist in avoiding painful experiences.

Part 1 of the book deals with some basic concepts and issues. Fundamental in this chapter is the concept of the 5 phases of a Shutdown - Initiation, Preparation, Execution, Termination, and Evaluation. The book spends 80% of its time dealing with the first two of these phases, 15% deals with Execution, and 5% with Termination and Evaluation. Chapter 4 deals with how to justify a shutdown - one small area that would perhaps have been worth covering in this chapter is a discussion of some of the quantitative tools that are starting to become available to assist with the development of a long-term shutdown schedule, and associated justification. But overall, this section is sound, and offers good practical advice, particularly with regard to the need for clearly assigned shutdown team roles and responsibilities.

Part 2 deals with the details of planning for the Shutdown. The Chapter on Shutdown Work Scope makes the very important point that effective scope management is absolutely essential if the shutdown is to be well planned, and well executed. The Chapter on Individual Job Planning picks up on some of the key concepts in Levitt's excellent book, Maintenance Planning, Scheduling and Coordination. The chapters on Risk Management, and Environment, Health and Safety add some valuable cautionary notes for the planning process.

Part 3 deals largely with the tools and software for planning and scheduling large shutdowns. All the commonly used techniques are discussed, in enough detail to give an overview, and discusses their relative strengths and weaknesses. The section on software tools does not discuss specific tools in any detail, but does give an overview of the types of features that should be looked for when selecting a Shutdown Planning software package.

Part 4 starts with a discussion of contractors and contractor management. In my view, this would have been better located in Part 1 of the book, as the decision about how much work to contract out, and the nature of the contractual relationship is largely a strategic one, and should be determined early in the planning of the shutdown. But the information in this chapter is practical, informative, and sound. The Chapter on logistics offers more practical advice on how to ensure that parts and materials are obtained in time for the shutdown, and are readily and easily available to workers when they are required. The Chapter on Execution contains many useful tips that have obviously been learned through bitter experience.

Finally Part 5 deals with Closeout and Reporting. The suggestion that all shutdowns should have a post mortem is wise, however in my experience, particularly if large portions of the work are performed by contractors, it is best to try and obtain their feedback and suggestions immediately after the shutdown, before they leave site, rather than 3 to 6 months later, as suggested in the book - as by then, the contractors will be spread to the four winds, and their memories, even if available, are likely to be somewhat coloured by the passage of time.

In conclusion, this is a very sound, practical book, that anyone involved in shutdowns and turnarounds should take time to read, particularly if they are relatively new to this aspect of maintenance.

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