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Train your team with an operational readiness checklist

Use an Operational Readiness Checklist in your company to improve the readiness process.

What is operational readiness?

Operational readiness is used to methodically check the completeness of project deliverables to ensure a smooth launch and safe operation. Establishing operational readiness processes helps with project planning and preparation for the first day of operations. It pays off when everything goes according to plan and there are no problems.

Once a project is completed, the start of operations involves a variety of pre-operational activities that must be completed in a timely manner by a number of different parties. These parties include the project team, the operator, and other parties interested in ensuring safe and reliable operations. Some of these activities have long lead times and are critical to successful startup and ongoing operations.

This article deals with:

1. The purpose of a operational readiness checklist

2. What is to consider before starting a project

3. How an operational readiness check is done

4. The advantages of Lumiform for the operational readiness


A checklist for operational readiness is a structured project evaluation instrument. The main purpose of it is to minimize operational risks, which is defined as “the risk of loss resulting from failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events.”

All processes and specifications that bring a project into a state of readiness to start or resume operations are outlined prior to commissioning. The evaluation is carried out before new processes are put into operation or existing processes that have been previously shut down.

Operation project managers from the oil and gas, construction and mining industries benefit from checklists for operational readiness. Their use ensures that the people, processes and systems necessary for the timely delivery, commissioning and handover of infrastructure projects are in place.

What should be considered before starting a project

Before starting a project it is essential to know process transitions ready for operation to avoid chaos. Operational errors, disorganization and insufficiently prepared teams lead to loss of value and poor performance in companies.

When and where should it be done?

Readiness revisions are done either before to start on new processes or on existing processes that were previously closed. A review involves the following concerns and activities:

  • ensuring that the construction and equipment of a process are in accordance with design specifications,
  • confirming the adequate safety and maintenance procedures,
  • making all the workers undergo special training. Also, for new processes, it confirms that appropriate risk analysis has been performed and that any recommendations have been resolved and implemented.

Who is responsible for it?

Operational readiness audits may involve:

  • one operator,
  • maintenance person,
  • engineer,
  • many people of different disciplines for bigger projects

What Is the Anticipated Work Product?

The output of the readiness activity can be:

  • an affirmation that the process is ready to safely start up.
  • an action plan that must be taken to prepare the process. Very often the startup authorization is documented on a form, which creates an audit
  • trail to ensure that all required actions have indeed been completed.
  • used to facilitate the performance of other elements. For example, a walk down of a process before the startup can identify lacking features

How Is Operational Readiness Check Done?

According to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2020), the procedure requires the following:

  • one person is walking through the process to ensure that nothing has changed and the equipment is ready to resume operation.

  • engineering, operations, and maintenance personnel check equipment conformance to design intent, construction quality, procedure completion, training competency etc. Typically, extensive checklists, multi-stage verification, and multiple functional sign-offs are required for startup authorization. Higher risk situations usually dictate a greater need for formality and for thoroughness in scope and level of detail; for example, greater detail in the checklists used to guide the evaluation. Less rigorous approaches, such as those using a simple checklist or no checklist at all, maybe adequate for lower risk processes. Facilities with dynamic operations may require readiness practices that are very flexible.

  • Facilities with solid process safety cultures can often rely on pre-based performance tools like ready-made checklists.

  • Facilities with a more complicated safety culture may also require more sophisticated extra procedures.

Lumiform’s operational readiness benefits

Reviewing operational readiness is key to ensuring that operational starts or restarts are in the best possible alignment with established plans. Lumiform’s mobile app allows project managers to use digital checklists for operational readiness reviews. They can easily complete them on-site via tablet or smartphone – online or offline. They use the desktop software to create the checklists and then evaluate the collected data.

With the Lumiform app and desktop software, responsible employees can:

  • Convert any custom paper list into digital checklists within minutes using the flexible form builder.

  • Attach photos during inspections as supporting documents and annotate them.

  • Use the intuitive mobile app with teammates to perform any on-site inspection with ease, saving time.

  • Easily track the status of schedules and operational readiness review actions.

  • Bundle all audit results automatically into one report and send to stakeholders.

  • Sign off on operational readiness checklist with electronic signatures.

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