Teamwork, Ownership, and the Modern Project

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Andrew W. Sloley
The Distillation Group, Inc.*
P.O. Box 10105
College Station, Texas 77842-0105

Presented at the
NPRA Annual Meeting
San Antonio, March 18, 1996

Abstract copyright Andrew W. Sloley

Both the Teamwork concept and the Ownership concept are two highly visible management theory concepts filtering their way through the refining industry. Both aim at improving bottom-line profit by empowering employees. In concept, application of both ideas can significantly improve performance. Project specific groups, especially, are often expected to be fruitful applications of teamwork and ownership ideas. In application, both ideas often fail to live up to their promise. Why is this and what is required for successful application of Teamwork and Ownership ideas? We explore the reasons and some remedies for this and briefly cover a case history on an FCC recovery section revamp.

In brief, we will cover:

Our attempt here is to cover what works and what does not at a practical level rather than on a theoretical basis. All the evidence is that such concentration on practice rather than theory is lacking. The little data that are available show that project execution performance (for major projects) has only 18% of projects meeting all the following criteria:

Of these, management control issues (schedule and budget) are the only area that showed improvement since the middle 1970s. Startup and operations performance has remained constant over that period. This is in spite of the fact that application of new processing technologies has slowed over the same time period. (How many ‘new’ refining processes have been commercialized since 1970?)

The author’s experience is that revamp projects have much lower success rates than new construction. Revamp projects bring along additional problems. Common revamp problems include:

The discussion concentrates on practical discussion related to revamp projects instead of new construction. The target audience for this discussion is a project manager or project engineer that puts most of their effort into revamp projects rather than day-to-day plant operations.

Paper not available in electronic form.

Paper 49 contains similar material.

*current affiliation

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