Communication Challenges Related to Shift Logs and Shift Handovers Vary Among Operators, Supervisors02/24/2021
The ability to communicate at a high level is one of the key traits that distinguishes humankind from the rest of the animal kingdom, but it is also one of our biggest challenges.
Famed Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Assuming something has been communicated and understood is dangerous in interpersonal relationships, but equally if not more dangerous in a business environment. This is where high-pressure production processes and chemical reactions are taking place, and the cost of communication failures could be the loss of human life. In this setting, it is imperative communication between each personnel shift is consistent, timely, and accurate.
Communication and Reporting Challenges Vary by Persona
Different communication challenges exist for each person in the reporting chain. In this blog – the first of a two-part series – we’ll examine the communication hurdles faced by operators and supervisors.
Communication Starts with Operators, but they are Overwhelmed
The information gathering and reporting process typically starts with the operator, so their ability to input accurate, timely, and relevant data is vital to every other step and person in the process. Operators, however, routinely face numerous challenges to these objectives. Operators often say they are in “fire-fighting mode” as they must respond to numerous issues that arise throughout their shift, which requires constant reprioritization of their time. As a result, they tell us they welcome assistance tackling obstacles that add to their workload such as the risk of lost physical logbooks, illegible handwriting, and excessive manual or repetitive tasks regarding data. Those include time-intensive tasks of manual data entry and handling, consolidation of data, and duplication of effort.
Operators recognize these steps regarding data are essential to the accuracy of reporting, but they are time-wasting, repetitive tasks that needlessly complicate what should be a simple capture and report of information from one shift to another.
Experience has shown, the more time-consuming and burdensome this reporting process is, the more likely the continuity of operation is threatened and the higher the risk of safety issues between shifts. A safe and effective handover is essential, so P2 Energy Solutions delivers an easy-to-use solution that reduces the time spent on data collection and reporting and increases the accuracy of that information.
For operators in the field, the challenge exists to communicate between different people who do not work at the same time. To do this, they need to have a simple solution that is useful in the field, but also feeds up the chain to senior management.
They need the confidence and reliability of accessing a history of issues and changes so they have an audit trail that can easily be explained should they receive questions from their supervisor or others within leadership. P2 Energy Solutions’ Shift Log offers operators an innovative, easy-to-use reporting tool that gives then the confidence and reliability they need, while saving precious time.
The Supervisor – Pressure to Support, Analyze, and Perform
Supervisors managing sites face similar challenges to operators in terms of time constraints and task management as they are typically addressing a different level of responsibility in terms of data management. Supervisors may struggle to get operators to record data and to do so consistently and legibly.
This, in turn, impacts a boss’ ability to review, approve, and share a consolidated report on shift events. It also limits their ability to select certain data to analyze or display regarding a shift handover, or to use that data in a review of key issues across the organization, which may be required by their manager.
Supervisors face pressure from two sides. They are tasked with ensuring a safe and incident-free handover, but this requires collaboration and a consistent, consolidated view of operations, which is dependent upon the data their operators provide.
Without accurate, complete, timely new and historical data, they may not necessarily see a pattern developing. As a result, they may not be able to manage and quickly escalate an issue that warrants greater visibility and immediate action.
From an accountability standpoint, supervisors tell us they must have reliable data that is traceable and auditable, so they can speak to any questions that may arise from their executive management during a review. They must be able to respond to leadership inquiries regarding why they did or did not make their production targets or shift objectives.
P2 Shift Log Delivers the Right Information to the Right People at the Right Time for Operational Safety and Success
Through P2 Shift Log, operators, supervisors, back office/IT personnel, and management get the benefit of industry-leading technology that transforms shift handover processes. The digital process replaces paper-based logs, spreadsheets and manual, error-prone processes, ensuring greater data accuracy and timeliness. P2 Shift Log connects and empowers field and office users—enabling more informed decision making.
If you’d like to speak with us about how P2 Shift Log, our industry-leading shift log and handover solution, can help you achieve greater operational certainty and peace of mind, please email us or call us, and a P2 team member will be in touch. EMAIL: P2ShiftLog@p2energysolutions.com CALL: +61 8 9241 0300.
About The Author
Grant Eggleton is P2's Vice President of Global Production Solutions. In his role, Grant is responsible for overseeing the delivery of integrated solutions that streamline business processes and eliminate silos among teams. Grant has worked in the real-time production space ever since he graduated from Edith Cowan University, where he earned a degree in Computer Science. His work on well surveillance and data virtualization has been published by IChemE and in MMS Magazine. In his spare time, Grant enjoys playing golf, traveling, and deep-sea fishing. He’s also a certified open-water diver.