Focus on Reliability

Focus on Reliability | Maintenance Planning and Scheduling | One, Both, Either

I was involved in a discussion on Linkedin recently when the question was asked It is believed that you can plan without scheduling but cannot schedule without planning – the discussion took some twists and turns until I thought I’d post my experiences with this question – this is what I wrote!

Topics: Planning and Scheduling

Keep your Maintenance Outages Running Smoothly


Welcome to another guest post by our friend, Trent Phillips.

Topics: Planning and Scheduling Shutdowns and Turnarounds Maintenance Planning Scheduling

Focus on Reliability | Maintenance Backlog | The Goldilocks Principle

understanding maintenance backlog conceptsWelcome to another guest post from our friend, Trent Phillips.

Topics: Planning and Scheduling Maintenance Management CMMS/ EAM Maintenance Planning Scheduling

Focus on Reliability |Safety Work Orders | Should all have Top Priority?

establishing maintenance work order priority with safety items

We pleased this week to have a guest blogger to provide insights to the People and Processes Focus on Reliability blog.  Please welcome my good friend, Trent Phillips from Novelis.  With this post, Trent addresses a common topic that I frequently hear almost everywhere.

Topics: Planning and Scheduling Maintenance Management CMMS/ EAM Maintenance Planning Scheduling

Focus on Reliability | Maintenance Planning Scheduling | The Scheduling Meeting

maintenance weekly scheduling meetingWhen it comes to the weekly Maintenance Scheduling meeting, I generally see two separate spectrums.  The first is no meeting or no attendees, and ultimately, no real schedule.  On the opposite end, I see the long drawn out review of the entire backlog, most of which we don’t have materials for or resources to do in the current week. That might be OK if you have very little backlog.  Most don’t.  I believe you would agree that we spend way too much time in meetings reviewing the same items week after week.

For effective scheduling meetings there are three primary components which are process, partnerships, and discipline.  From a process perspective, the Planner Schedulers working together in advance to draft the schedule, email it early in the week to the other partners, and coordinate priorities prior to the weekly scheduling meeting. To be effective, there must be a partnership among the stakeholders to provide timely responses to changes to the draft before the meeting. The Planner Schedulers should run the scheduling meeting and use an agenda to keep everyone focused.  The discipline comes in sticking to the process and everyone enforcing the mutual partnership.

Get more information on how to improve your maintenance planning and scheduling processes or learn how we guide you to success in the process here. There you will find our training courses, planner coaching, assessment, and more resources.

From a timing perspective, I believe you can strive for the first 15 minutes of the meeting being utilized to confirm the prioritized work schedule for next week. There should only be one schedule, not one for each craft. Follow that with 15 minutes to share last week’s metrics and to discuss any schedule breaks. Work to limit the weekly scheduling meeting to 30 minutes in total.
Topics: Planning and Scheduling

Focus on Reliability | CMMS | Busting out of our silo

Maintenance scheduling for Operations or Production personnelFrom a maintenance perspective, are you scheduling Operations and other support functions?
In many organizations, I find that people are not utilizing the CMMS/EAM to the fullest extent with respect to “crafts” when it comes to coordinating work. You will probably tell me, “Jeff, no surprise there”. It doesn't have to be this way.

Let me explain what I mean. When I look at schedules for maintenance work, rarely do I see crafts listed other than those from the maintenance organization. Let’s take a job like welding on a product tank in a food plant as an example. We need Operations personnel to empty and clean the tank in advance of the welding work. Once the welding work is complete, we may need Operations to clean and sanitize the vessel. Following on, Quality Services or lab personnel may be required to swap the tank for microbial contamination and release it for refill with product. These are all coordination activities that we want to cover with child work orders as an example. In addition, should we not coordinate these activities from a scheduling perspective?

The bottom line is that just like we have crafts such as pipefitter, mechanic, or electrician, we should also have operator, lab tech, or other support functions identified in the CMMS. The work of those individuals and the required coordination of those activities should appear on the weekly schedule with the work order numbers/ work descriptions. When we are in next week’s scheduling meeting, we can set the expectation with Operations and our other partners that we will be needing assistance with equipment availability, possibly help with the maintenance tasks themselves, and the restart of that equipment. Approaching our maintenance tasks and their coordination from a more holistic inclusive viewpoint helps us build better partnerships with the other stakeholders.

Check your schedule and your approach. Are you doing this?

Speak soon,
Topics: Planning and Scheduling

Maintenance Planning Goals - Video

From the People and Processes Youtube channel, I have embedded this video on Maintenance Planning

Topics: Planning and Scheduling

Twenty Thoughts on Maintenance Planner Scheduler Tasks

The Maintenance Planning and Scheduling function has four basic objectives:

  1. To provide the right information for the technician to more easily to perform the job
  2. Have identified the right parts and materials, having them staged and kitted
  3. Interface with the Operations partner to ensure the equipment is available for Maintenance at the specified time.
  4. To ensure the right priority Maintenance work is accomplished based on business needs
In the end, the function is all about doing the right work while addressing avoidable delays i.e. driving technician wrench time up.  To do this, there are a number of tasks that the Planner Scheduler performs.

  1. Avoids getting involved with this week’s emergency work as planning must be focused on the future
  2. Reviews work orders requiring planning to understand the requested work
  3. Evaluates and understands planned work priorities
  4. Job scoping/ research – spends 1/3 of the day in the field
  5. Prepares job plans based on level of detail required
  6. Maintains a job plan library for reuse
  7. Identifies and requisitions/ reserves parts and materials
  8. Prepares the job package
  9. Interfaces with the Operations group to validate work priority and equipment availability
  10. Collaborates with Maintenance Supervisors on next week’s available labor hours to build the weekly schedule from.
  11. Develops the next week’s maintenance schedule based on priority
  12. Provides a level of coordination in the planning and scheduling phases, not during the execution of the work which the responsibility of maintenance supervision
  13. Leads the weekly maintenance scheduling meeting
  14. Ensures the preventive maintenance program is scheduled and work-leveled
  15. Maintains the asset hierarchy if so required
  16. Develops and improving the asset bill of materials
  17. Reports on the Key performance indicators (KPI) if required
  18. Performs other administration tasks of the CMMS/ EAM if required
  19. Reviews completed job feedback to improve job plan content and estimates
  20.  Integrates key words on work order closure to assist the data mining for reliability engineering purposes

Get more information on how to improve your maintenance planning and scheduling processes or learn how we guide you to success in the process here. There you will find our training courses, planner coaching, assessment, and more resources.

Are these tasks what you expect for the Maintenance Planner Scheduler?  Would you take any away and why? What others would you add and why?
Topics: Planning and Scheduling

Focus on Reliability |Maintenance Planning Scheduling | A Plague Lurks

Maintenance Planning and SchedulingI was recently conducting a Maintenance Planning and Scheduling course onsite.  As with all of the classes that I facilitate, I make an effort to learn about those in attendance on a more personal level.  This class was no different and shortly, I learned about the work history of several people.  One had been there for 44 years, another for 37, and a third for 31 years. The guy who had been there for 44 years was 70 years old and because of his in-depth knowledge, they were asking him to stay around a few more years.  It’s not out of financial need that he stays but a sense of duty and loyalty.

In Maintenance Planning and Scheduling courses, we always talk about the Job Plan and its use in developing precision maintenance procedures.  In the case of these veterans, the Job Plan also serves as a tool to capture their knowledge for use as a training tool later.  All too often, I see this concept ignored.  With many of the organizations that I visit, I often find the average age of the workforce at 57 years and beyond.  Without tools like the Job Plan, how can we expect to capture that knowledge prior to those individuals leaving?  How will you train those who will be needed to fill the veterans shoes?  How many of you are using the Job Plan to capture that knowledge?

Cheers, Jeff Shiver

Get more information on how to improve your maintenance planning and scheduling processes or learn how we guide you to success in the process here. There you will find our training courses, planner coaching, assessment, and more resources.

Topics: Planning and Scheduling Maintenance Management

Focus on Reliability | Maintenance Job Plan |The Outline

If you are like many Maintenance Planners that I have the opportunity to interface with, most aren't doing much using the job plan concept.  The intent of the job plan is to better enable the craftspeople to execute their job with the materials, tools, and information in hand.  Ideally, you really want a template to facilitate the development of these job plans.  Recently, I did a webinar for Emaint which is a CMMS vendor on creating job plans.  You can view it here. What should some of the headers be for a job plan template?

Topics: Planning and Scheduling Maintenance Management