How to see if your Planning & Scheduling program is failing to return value to the organization

Maintenance Planning & Scheduling is one of the most important processes in the maintenance function.  Without it, work will not be completed on time, nor will it be efficient.   So why, is the maintenance planning & scheduling process often ignored, or not implemented successfully?

I feel that it is not implemented successfully for a few reasons.  The first is the assumption that everyone can plan and you can rely exclusively on the skill of the trade performing the work.  All mechanics know how to inspect a v-belt right?

The second and probably the largest reason planning & scheduling is not successful is that many people believe they know what best practice is and that it is simple.   While the concepts may be simple, implementing them is another story.  As a result of this improper implementation, I have listed out the top reasons your maintenance planning & scheduling process is failing.   Failure is part of the learning process, so if you are experiencing any of the issues below, do not worry.  Use them as a learning opportunity;

    1. Your planner is assisting with emergency work.  Planners need to be focused on future work, and if they are chasing parts or supporting breakdowns, how are they suppose to plan work for the rest of the technicians?
    2. Your planner(s) have never been formally trained in planning & scheduling techniques.  Imagine never being trained in your job?  How do they know what is expected of them?
    3. When you ask a planner to see their job plan library, you get a blank stare.  The key to sustainable maintenance planning is to utilize feedback and build a robust job plan library.  This reduces the amount of time required to plan work, as well as move to Procedure Based Maintenance.
    4. Your planner(s) can routinely be found “wrenching.”  If your planners are wrenching… enough said.
    5. The work order backlog has work orders dating back ten years.  How do you manage work and priorities with ten years of backlog?  Take some time and clean up the black hole of maintenance, the backlog.
    6. Your job plans consist of “replace a pump” or “inspect for damage.”  Every technician will perform a job differently and to a different standard.  Have a repeatable procedure to ensure accuracy and consistency in the work.
    7. Closed work orders have no time or feedback on them.  So were the work orders completed or just closed?  Feedback is critical to building a job plan library and to cost the work properly.
    8. The kitting area looks like a war zone.  Kitting is all about improving the efficiency of the technicians.  If it is unorganized, chances are so is the communication between the storeroom and your planning team.
    9. The maintenance schedule does not “see” past two days.  I do not mean specific work orders assigned to specific individuals, but you should have a coordinated plan with operations with a list of work orders that will be completed this week and next.
    10. There are no performance measures readily available for planning & scheduling.  You cannot manage what you cannot control.  You can’t control what you can’t measure.  If you do not have performance measures in place, how do you know how well your planning & scheduling process is performing.

If you have any other top reasons that you have experienced or seen in a failing maintenance planning & scheduling process,  please send to [email protected] or leave a comment below.

If you see any of these issues in your planning & scheduling process, stop, and think about what must done to make an improvement.  Failing is ok if you learn from it and improve.  I know I have failed a few times…

Remember, to find success; you must first solve the problem, then achieve the implementation of the solution, and finally sustain winning results.

I’m James Kovacevic
Eruditio, LLC
Where Education Meets Application