Planning & Maintanance

Planning and scheduling is one of the fastest and most effective investments an organization can make to improve productivity and availability.

Maintenance Planning and Scheduling are key elements that influence the true success of any organization. Many times we have a planner or planner/scheduler, but do not know how to use him or her effectively or efficiently. When we talk about maintenance planning, we are talking about higher wrench time. At this time of economic uncertainty, a higher wrench time equals lower cost, which results in job security for all. Past studies have shown that most companies do not perform maintenance planning effectively thus impacting negatively work effectiveness, wrench time, equipment uptime, equipment reliability, and cost. If we were “Effective in Maintenance Planning”, it would result in Higher Wrench Time and Higher Equipment Reliability.

Maintenance planning and scheduling are two activities that ensure the allocation of needed resources and the sequence in which they are needed so any activity can be performed in the shortest time with the least cost.Although planning and scheduling are often spoken in the same breath, they are two separate functions.Planning defines the WHAT, WHERE, and HOW, while scheduling defines the WHO and WHEN..


Although planning can occur at any stage during the life of a work order, it must be done prior to scheduling.Defining the what, where and how often requires research and analysis of the job requirements. First step in planning a maintenance work order is to set priority. The Planner Scheduler will review the work order content for accuracy such as:Correct asset number, description of work and proper priority code.The priority of the work order may have to be modified depending upon the current backlog.It’s not uncommon for priorities to change over the life of a work order. As production needs change or equipment needs escalate, priorities will have to be adjusted. Accurate prioritization involves two distinct decision making processes.The first, equipment criticality, establishes the equipment’s importance in regards to safety, environment and the operation of the plant or product line.The second decision that has to be made when setting priorities is task criticality.This deals primarily with the consequences involved that initiated the required work.


Maintaining the backlog is an important part of the planning and scheduling process.How well an organization manages its backlog demonstrates the effectiveness with which it applies its resources to the highest priority work.Many organizations have neglected backlog and failed to realize its importance in managing the maintenance work load.As a result they are generally drowning in their own data.There are several common symptoms of poorly managed backlog.


The purpose of scheduling is to ensure that proper resources are available at a specific time when equipment on which the work to be done can also be available. Simply stated, the WHO and the WHEN.Scheduling is a joint maintenance / operations activity.Maintenance agrees to make the resources available, while operations agree to make the equipment available.The outcome of this joint venture is that the scheduled work has the least adverse impact on normal operating schedule while optimizing maintenance resources. One of the more difficult tasks of the Planner / Scheduler involves estimating labor hours for jobs.To support scheduling and promote productivity, accurate estimates of labor hours is needed. There are several methods that can be used for this: applying industrial standards for each task included in the job, using averages based on history and past experience, or breaking down the job into steps and estimating the time required for these steps. Measuring the effectiveness of planning and scheduling is an important step that cannot be ignored. There is no single measurement that provides an overall picture of the effectiveness of the planning and scheduling. Monitoring several different key performance indicators can however provide insight on the performance of the maintenance organization..


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