Shutdown excellence

Common issues and opportunities

Maintenance shutdowns typically represent a substantial portion of a site’s operating budget and productivity potential, and can impact the implementation of capital projects. With significant cost, safety and production risks, clients commonly face issues and opportunities such as:

  • Optimising shutdown strategies to reduce event frequency and/or duration and increase plant uptime
  • Taking a one-team approach that increases leader accountability and encourages broader team ownership
  • Addressing operations, support and maintenance teams that are misaligned and don’t work together
  • Implementing contractor engagement strategies that support the effective and sustained supply of competent, motivated shutdown personnel
  • Leveraging standardisation benefits by converting site and industry best practices into a framework that drives repeatable excellence
  • Enabling a team culture that prioritises safety and work quality ahead of schedule and task cost considerations during execution
  • Finding independent and experienced people to perform safety investigations or incident root cause analysis, particularly when urgency is paramount
  • Addressing unclear roles and blurred responsibilities between strategy, planning and execution, including safety personnel getting drawn into operational work
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of poorly scoped and prepared tasks that increase the likelihood of schedule overruns or future breakdowns
  • Stemming the cycles of excessive emergent or interrupting work
  • Embedding lean processes such as quick change over, work menus and visual management systems
  • Enabling digital transformation including an effective transition from paper-based to digital work management and support functions
  • Capturing otherwise missed opportunities by teams overwhelmed with their execution workload.

Our approach

Minset provides everything from a complete shutdown process restructure to support in getting clients through short-term campaigns. Our work enables improved visibility of shutdown processes and progress; strengthened execution including via flexible, productivity-based schedules; and ultimately reduced shutdown over-runs and budget blow-outs, with strict safety and quality performance.

The Minset team has been involved in major maintenance shutdown planning and execution programs for more than 20 years. We use our decades of experience and insights to help clients plan and execute safe and efficient shutdowns – where possible less frequently – to increase plant uptime and reduce costs. This includes our industry-first capability in large-scale, complex shutdowns that we call ‘smart shutdowns’. This new philosophy leverages the expertise of our people, the rigour of our shutdown methodology, and the efficiency of leading-edge technology solutions.

Across our shutdown services, we phase work to maximise improvement value and sustainability. We start by engaging with all relevant business leaders to understand their cost and productivity realities and desired outcomes. An assessment then reveals the current situation and required response. Whether revising, developing or simply refining execution of a shutdown management framework, we then use a client’s processes as the springboard for our transition plan. From there, our team integrates with client teams to provide expert support, backed by the tools to ensure long-term sustainment. Finally, close-out reporting includes a pragmatic review of successes and further improvement opportunities.

operations process improvement


Management system and process strategies
Shutdown strategy evaluations
Shutdown assessments
Pre-shutdown planning
Readiness audits
Risk assessments
Scheduling and critical path tracking
Workgroup productivity
Shutdown leader knowledge transfer
Shutdown team mentoring
Specialist shutdown personnel
Contractor engagement strategies
Communication processes
Organisational charts
Knowledge transfer
Support services procurement
Technology selection and implementation
Specialised tooling and logistics
Task optimising and quick change over
Lean maintenance application
Plant design reviews
Capital expansions


Maximise plant uptime

Maximise profitability

Improve productivity

Reduce waste

Reduce project risk

Improve safety and work quality

Upskill team members

Engage and align workgroups

Reduce time and cost over-runs

Delivering practical, accountable, shared value

Minset’s work delivers practical value to clients in areas such as:

  • Leveraging specialist asset management skills and experience to help clients manage the demands of the most complex shutdowns in line with required business outcomes
  • Taking a holistic perspective that eliminates siloes, providing certainty, clarity and confidence for our clients
  • Developing shutdown management frameworks and transition plans able to deliver a step-change for planned and scheduled improvement opportunities
  • Challenging and aligning shutdown and asset management strategies to achieve goals efficiently and sustainably
  • Guiding a collective, one-team approach to shutdowns using business goals and priorities as our foundation
  • Working closely with each site’s engineering, operations and shutdown teams, engaging with all key business leaders to understand their cost and productivity realities
  • Tailoring industry standards to each site while deeply engaging in-field teams
  • Drawing on our wider network of industry professionals to create fit-for-purpose teams and guide the implementation of integrated technology solutions
  • Creating long-term and sustainable outcomes while taking a pragmatic approach to continual improvement.

The combination of precise phasing and sequencing, simultaneous delivery of activities, and large, highly skilled workforce engagement and mobilisation, means that manual systems are project liabilities. Minset’s smart shutdowns, in particular, build on our experience by using the right technology solutions to provide true, end-to-end information management for an entire shutdown. These integrate key shutdown data from different software platforms, including common CMMS (computerised maintenance management systems) and take the hassle out of everything from contractor resource management and workforce logistics, to work management and event close-outs. Project management teams gain the real-time guidance and information they need to make the right technical decisions in the field with unprecedented visibility and transparency. It also fast-tracks insight around what is working well, and what may require intervention, to deliver an on-time, on-budget shutdown.

Related services

Browse some of our recent projects

If you're seeking to improve your shutdown performance, or learn more about what other leading companies are doing in this arena, we'd value the opportunity to meet with you