Why should we bother with this job plan thing anyway, after all the Technicians know what to do, right? If you were undergoing surgery, in addition to the proper training; you would expect a surgical team to have a set of procedures and checklists to perform their work on you. What if they started operating out of sequence before you were fully sedated? What if they left some of their tools or sponges behind when they closed you up? I hear you saying “But Jeff, we aren’t dealing with life or death when we work on equipment!” When you consider the environmental and safety consequences of the equipment that we work on, that may not be the case. I would guess that many of the people involved with some of the life ending and environmental disasters in recent memory never expected things to end the way they did either.
The bottom line is that the job plan can help bring precision to our maintenance work with specifications like tolerances, gaps, fits, torque and so on.. They serve to provide checklists and sequential steps. The plans can be used as training tools when we capture the knowledge before people retire which is a ever more frequent occurrence. The effective job plan can save the technicians from spending hours searching for information or materials. It can also prevent accidents by providing concise lock out and tag out information along with the necessary PPE and required permits. One of the best parts to job plans is that they are reusable as much of our work is repeatable.