Operational Readiness Checklists

Make “day one” of operations a success
Mobile checklists for efficient operational readiness reviews

liste de vérifications de la disponibilité opérationnelle à la une||bannière de liste de vérifications de la disponibilité opérationnelle|Operational Readiness Checklist Template (Construction)

What is Operational Readiness?

Operational readiness is a disciplined, methodical, and progressive review that ensures all project deliverables are complete and tested to help achieve a smooth start-up followed by safe steady-state operations. Operational readiness aims to reduce operational risks so it carefully reviews common culprits such as inadequate or failed internal processes, people, systems in place, and any other factors that can critically affect start-up and the overall schedule of operations.

Why Use an Operational Readiness Checklist?

An operational readiness checklist is a structured project assessment tool that outlines the pre-startup processes and specifications that will bring a project to a state of readiness to commence or restart. It is performed prior to start-up of new processes or existing processes that were previously shut down.

Operations project managers from the oil and gas, construction, and mining industries benefit from using an operational readiness checklist as it helps confirm that the people, procedures, and systems are in place to ensure timely delivery, commissioning, and handover of infrastructure projects.


This operational readiness checklist for construction is divided into the following crucial sections:

  • Project details
  • Documentation
  • Training
  • Environmental and safety
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Systems testing
  • Startup program
  • Observations
  • Conclusion of operational readiness review
  • Recommendation for certification

4 Steps to Ensure a Smooth Project Start-Up

A project’s first day could lead to chaos if process transitions, such as new infrastructure start-up, are not planned well. As reported by Deloitte, projects risk losing 30% of their value due to ineffective operational readiness. Operational errors, disorganization, and an underprepared workforce result in value loss and project underperformance.

To ensure operational readiness and a hassle-free project start-up, follow these key steps:

  1. Define jobs and recruit the right people.
    Human factor is essential to operational readiness. It is critical to properly define the job roles necessary for ensuring a smooth “day one” of operations. With key operations success factors in mind, it is then essential to recruit the people who have relevant expertise and identify training needs for them to manage the start-up well.
  2. Involve all concerned departments.
    When conducting an operational readiness assessment, always consult the departments affected by the project. Operational readiness reviews should include representatives from engineering, maintenance, accounting, and human resources, as they can help verify conformance for concerns in construction quality, facilities preparedness, financials, and training competency. Risk throughout the project lifecycle decreases if all concerns are identified and resolved prior to start-up.
  3. Ensure effective information dissemination.
    Capture relevant information throughout the planning phase and ensure that they are disseminated to those who will manage the start-up. Their ability to adapt to unforeseen events will depend on how much information they have about the project. Equip them with an accessible and organized database that contains information on real-time system performance, design plans, permits, and contact numbers.
  4. Conduct testing and commissioning.
    Testing and commissioning are vital steps in operational readiness as they verify if the assets or processes have achieved performance goals before full-fledged operations. With the help of operational readiness checklists,inspectors can help improve the integrity of the system by identifying areas that need fine-tuning.
Jona Tarlengco
Article by
Jona Tarlengco
Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.

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