Operational Readiness Checklists

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

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Published December 9th, 2020

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.

This article discusses:

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.

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.

Efficient Operational Readiness Processes With iAuditor

Operational readiness reviews are key to ensuring that operation start-ups or restarts adhere to plans the best way possible. With iAuditor, a world-class template builder and mobile app, operations project managers can utilize operational readiness checklists that can help them achieve success during opening day. With the iAuditor mobile app, you can:

  • Build digital operational readiness checklists that allow other managers to conduct assessments anytime, anywhere with their mobile devices
  • Attach and annotate photos as supporting documents during inspections
  • Immediately identify red flags during inspections and assign corrective actions to process owners
  • Easily track the status of operational readiness review timelines and actions
  • Integrate with third-party collaboration apps to facilitate a convenient review process and ensure precise operational readiness checklists
  • Automate workflows to trigger push notifications for deadlines
  • Sign off operational readiness checklist with electronic signatures


John Derick Flores

SafetyCulture Staff Writer

Dirk is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture who has 3+ years of experience being a Safety Officer in an international airline. Over the course of his tenure, he worked on projects involving training management, ramp safety inspections, quality & safety certification audits, and safety promotion programs. Further, he is interested in maximizing the power of technology to help make the world a better place.