Focus on Reliability

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

Focus on Reliability | Maintenance Job Plan | Don’t Fly Blind

Maintenance Planning and SchedulingWhy 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.

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.

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.
Topics: Planning and Scheduling Maintenance Management

Focus on Reliability | Maintenance Planner | Get Out from Behind the Desk

The Maintenance Planner is charged with the creation and maintenance of the job plan to help drive the efficiency of the craftspeople. Since the ideal Maintenance Planner is one of your best craftspeople, they should be quite knowledgeable with regards to the steps required to complete a maintenance job.  However, there is an old saying that “the shortest pencil is better than the longest memory” for good reason, especially if you listen to how my wife reflects on how short my memory really is.  I think it’s more of a case of selective hearing but I’m not going to tell her that.

Anyway… I was recently working with a group of Maintenance Planners and they shared some maintenance tasks lists with me.  When I reviewed the procedures, I thought there might be some gaps in the tasks and their sequence. I like to adhere to the “show me” approach so I suggested that we actually walk down one of the jobs.  When we started the walk down, the Planner showed vast knowledge on the job.  The only problem was about 75% of the activities weren’t on the job plan.  He would mention a task and I would comment back “Oops, that’s not on the plan”. He would go to another task and ask "Is that on the plan?". My reply often was "Nope".

When we got back to their desks, the Planners told me how eye-opening that exercise was.  It turns out that a number of the Job Plans had been done from the desk using their memory.  It’s much better to walk the job and jot down the steps so that you don’t miss things from memory.

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.

When you walk the job, you should consider the following items in addition to the normal job plan items:
Topics: Planning and Scheduling Advanced

Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Survey

Maintenance PlannerHow is your Maintenance Planning and Scheduling organization aligned? What about the Planner/ Scheduler(s) compensation? Are the Planner(s) focused on the future?

I was recently teaching a Maintenance Planning and Scheduling course when I addressed some of these questions for the class. As an outcome, I wanted to put some of the questions to the audience and get your input. To that end, I have created a survey. Once the results are in, I will provide a more comprehensive article on the outcome. It’s a short 13 questions and should take less than 3 to 4 minutes of your time to complete. Please take a few minutes and complete the survey which can be found here at http://bit.ly/dXPxl7 Thank you in advance for helping to foster the discussions in the Maintenance community.

Cheers, Jeff

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 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. 

Topics: Planning and Scheduling Maintenance Management

Focus on Reliability | The Need for Maintenance Planning

Maintenance Planning and SchedulingNow that the holidays are over and we are settling back into our normal routines, it’s time for reflection.  I was flipping through articles from last year when I landed on Raymond L. Atkins clever article that was published in Maintenance Technology magazine  entitled How To Begin Maintenance Planning. The article relates Raymond’s experiences when his children were small and as Santa, he was charged with the assembly of the toys on Christmas Eve.

I can appreciate Raymond’s perspective even more now with grandchildren (geez, I’m getting older). How many of you got caught up on the night before Christmas putting together all of the children’s presents? Did it go as smoothly as it could have? Did you feel any time pressures and upper management (Mrs. Claus) pressure to get the job done before the children popped out of their rooms to see what Santa had brought? I don’t know about where you live but I can tell you that around my home, most every store that I could get parts or tools from shuts down early in the evening on Christmas Eve. This is long before I open the boxes at night to begin the assembly, only to find that parts are missing.  So, if I don’t have the spare parts and tools in the garage, I’m done for when the morning comes which is always too quick anyway.

Sadly, many Maintenance organizations face a similar struggle and it doesn’t have to be that way.  Start the New Year off with a effective planning and scheduling approach. If you don’t have a Maintenance Planner Scheduler, make an effort to staff one.  Ideally, you should have one for every 20 – 30 technicians. Believe it or not, you can actually get a payback with one Maintenance Planner for every two technicians if your wrench time is low now.  Management isn’t interested in headcount increases so you may have to take a technician and make them a Maintenance Planner out of your existing headcount. Ideally, the Maintenance Planner should be a craftsperson anyway.

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.

If you have the Planner position filled, that individual needs to be creating job plans that detail the crafts, estimated hours, and parts at a minimum to enable the technicians to work smarter. Don’t get wrapped around the axle trying to create the perfect job plan, just get it started and ask the technicians to provide input on the plan contents.  How could it be better? What parts and materials are missing? You could even think of the task list as a punch list, so what do you need to check before you leave the job?
Topics: Planning and Scheduling

Focus on Reliability | Maintenance Planning and Scheduling | Stop Struggling

Is your organization struggling with implementing or sustaining Maintenance Planning and Scheduling?  While the benefits of Maintenance Planning and Scheduling are widely recognized, many organizations find difficulty in attempting to implement or sustain the effort. In this article, we’ll examine some of the reasons why and hopefully, provide some solutions to that you can put in place to move your organization further down the path of success.

Topics: Planning and Scheduling