Frustration with Planning

Disenchantment in implementing a planning organization is frequently due to an attempt to provide detailed work plans on reactive jobs. Since reactive jobs by their nature are urgent, it is frustrating to everyone to wait on a planning group to turn over the work. Once equipment has actually broken down and is interfering with operating the plant, a planning group adds an extra step in the repair process supposedly “to speed the job up.” Planners try to write detailed job plans and come up with parts lists from scratch.

This effort delays the execution of urgent work and results in frustration. Successful planning organizations concentrate on planning proactive work. By concentrating on work to circumvent later breakdowns, the planning organization can produce good work plans without schedule pressure. Reactive work receives minimal planning attention before crew assignment. At the same time, the entire maintenance organization should be committed to schedule proactive work as well as to give feedback after every job to aid future job plans. In this manner, the overall percentage of reactive-type work should decrease.

Many companies have planning organizations that are sources of considerable frustration to the maintenance effort. Most supervisors do not realize the great value of a planner simply writing down a proper job scope along with craft skill and time requirements.

The supervisors feel that “if a detailed job procedure and parts list are not provided, then planning has not done anything.” Nevertheless, with the “minimal”planning even on reactive, urgent jobs the supervisor has schedule con-trol and avoids problems such as assigning a mechanic to a job needing a welder. The correct assignment avoids subsequent job reassignment and delay. Planning still has a job function for these reactive jobs and the concept of how planning handles reactive versus proactive work is extremely important for making planning leverage the maintenance productivity.

This is a fragment taken from “Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Handbook. Richard D. Palmer Chapter 1. The Benefits of Planning”