Focus on Future Work

The Planning Department concentrates on future work—work that has not been started—in order to provide the Maintenance Department at least one week of work backlog that is planned, approved, and ready to execute. This backlog allows crews to work primarily on planned work.
Crew supervisors handle the current day’s work and problems. Any problems that arise after the commencement of any job are resolved by the craft technicians or supervisors.
After every job completion, feedback is given by the lead technician or supervisor to the Planning Department. The feedback consists of any problems, plan changes, or other helpful information so that future work plans and schedules might be improved. The planners ensure that feedback information gets properly filed to aid future work.
The reason the planners need to be separate is they need to focus on future work. Planners do not become involved in work that is already ongoing. A simple definition of future work is when the crew has not yet been assigned to start on the work order. Once a crew has started working on a job and they find out they need more information, they do not come to the planner for assistance, but work it out themselves. Then after the crew successfully completes the current job, feedback to planning helps avoid similar problems in the future.

Richard D. Palmer
“Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Handbook”,