Focus on Reliability

Maintenance Planning |Maintenance Technicians or Maintenance Planners?

Do you believe that a Maintenance Technician should perform job planning for some of their work or is that solely the role of the Maintenance Planner?  If you find for the Technician, should a Work Order be written by the Maintenance Planner to account for the Technician’s time?

This is a question that came up in a recent 4 part Maintenance and Reliability for Managers course I was facilitating just last week.  A primary goal of Maintenance Planning and Scheduling is to drive the efficiency of the crafts by preparing job plans that contain the crafts required, estimated hours, materials, tasks and sequence, and so on.  If the crafts are preparing their own plans, then why do we need the Planner you might ask?

I think that there is middle ground in this discussion. Yes, we want the Planner developing job plans and other Maintenance Planning functions.  I’ll add that we want the Maintenance Planner focused on the future (next week and beyond).  However, the Maintenance Planner can’t be everything to everyone and aren’t experts in all the jobs they may be asked to plan. 

Ideally, the Maintenance Planner should develop the majority of the job plans.  If they don’t know, I believe it’s good to get input from the Technicians and Supervisors on the job plans.  I hesitate to use the term “last resort” but for more complex jobs where the Maintenance Planner has no idea; I like to see a work order written to the Maintenance Technician to develop the job plan content, especially from a materials required perspective.  This allows the Technician to be scheduled for the plan development activity and gives them a work order to account for their time. 

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The job plan doesn’t have to be perfect as it should contain the information needed to improve the craft efficiency (materials, crafts, and hours as a minimum).  Remember the job plan process has a continuous improvement loop where the Technician can document more detail as the job execution occurs which allows the Planner to update the content on the Work Order closure process.  What are your thoughts?

Speak soon, Jeff

Topics: Planning and Scheduling Maintenance Management