Shift Turnover is an essential part of any plant’s daily routine. The key to this meeting is the accurate delivery of correct and precise operating information, along with the updated plan to the next shift. This communication and collaboration ensure a seamless transition, and when done right, it can prevent a “collision” (e.g., “bad day”; Safety incident, Production Loss, Poor Performance, Asset Damage, etc.).
As an Officer of the Deck (OOD) trained Naval Officer, collisions, groundings, and other “bad day” scenarios were always top of mind when on the watch. Critical information and a proper turnover were vital to the crew’s safety and for proper navigation of the vessel; this is a solemn duty. The OOD takes notes, assesses information, logs changes, and maintains situational awareness to avoid hazards throughout the watch. The Captain sets his expectations for the OOD through his night orders and provides guidance for when and how he wants to be informed. The watch turnover is a very deliberate process, and its preparation is a watch-long event. Failure to provide a complete picture to the next watch could lead to a potentially dire situation.
Manufacturing plants aren’t naval vessels, but many industries would benefit from a few turnover fundamentals taken from the Navy. Using a ship’s hierarchy, for example: