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Peer Companies Share Knowledge on Project/Asset Management Interfaced and Shutdown Management in Recent Asset Management Benchmarking Session

Meredith Kasian
Peer Companies Share Knowledge on Project/Asset Management Interfaced and Shutdown Management in Recent Asset Management Benchmarking Session

In 2020, CSL initiated a benchmarking activity with a small group of peer companies identified through ISPE to explore creation and maturation of asset management programs at each company. The initial sessions were a success, covering topics such as asset condition evaluations and asset management governance. CSL was keen to continue the conversations and gather more insights on certain sub-programs within the asset management realm. Benchmarking participants have expressed a similar desire for further sessions, so the sessions have continued, adding more peer company representatives and discussing different topics each time.

CSL facilitated the most recent benchmarking session of asset management programs (AMP) with 9 peer pharmaceutical companies in April 2024. Prior to the session, CSL sent a survey to potential participants, requesting feedback on the topics to discuss. The participants agreed on two topics: project interfaces with asset management and shutdown management.

The conversations were held over two sessions, totaling almost four hours of collaboration. There was an open and transparent exchange of information by all participants. Some participants chose to present on their company’s successes or challenges with a particular topic and all were highly engaged for the open discussion and Q&A portions.

While each participating company was reflecting on their own unique journey, the following topics stood out as highlights from the benchmarking sessions:

  • Incorporating asset management early
    • To ensure that asset management topics like reliability, maintenance, and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) data are not left out of a project or considered when it is too costly to add them in, it was agreed that incorporating asset management topics as early as possible in the project is beneficial. Early involvement can include the following:
      • Involve asset owner in early project phases
      • Include master data entry in turnover
      • Mandate maintenance and reliability deliverables at each stage gate
      • Develop asset management strategy as part of project
  • Challenges with project/asset management interfaces
    • There were many shared challenges that the participants identified when considering the interfaces between project and asset management, including:
      • Process adherence is difficult to track and enforce
      • Value engineering often eliminates asset management strategies
      • Developing accurate budget estimates
  • Global harmonization of shutdown management
    • Two companies presented on their efforts to build a global model for shutdown management, which included but was not limited to:
      • Roles and responsibilities
      • Dates for scope and schedule locks
      • GMP milestones
  • Shutdown management as project management
    • Because elements of managing shutdowns are so closely related to managing projects, treating the shutdown like a large project was seen as a helpful way to ensure that the shutdown is run as efficiently as possible. Overlapping activities include but are not limited to:
      • Communication and alignment with key stakeholders
      • Change management for scope/schedule changes
      • Schedule management, especially for interdependencies between project and maintenance work
      • Full-time shutdown manager appointment, who has project management background, skills and/or training
  • Key shutdown phases
    • Another way to treat shutdown like a project is to consider the various phases of shutdown as if they are stage gates for a large project. These should be:
      • Marked by scope lock, schedule lock, turnover, etc.
      • Identified and committed to early intervention and risk management
      • Ensure activities included are truly shutdown dependent
  • Shutdown challenges
    • There were many shared challenges that the participants identified when managing shutdowns, including:
      • Ensuring data available for durations and resource needs are accurate
      • Scope additions late in planning/scheduling process
      • Shifting production schedules
      • Limited capabilities of planning tools like Microsoft Project to integrate with other business systems (e.g., CMMS)

All participating companies were keen to continue the discussions on a semiannual or annual basis. CSL has agreed to continue to facilitate these discussions, with the next session targeted for September 2024. Any individuals or companies who are interested in participating or have a topic idea to suggest for a future session are welcome to send an email to The ISPE team will review emails and be in touch with more information.