What NOT to Do as a Maintenance Planner

by Torbjörn Idhammar

Every organization needs to provide planners with a clear job description. That description may differ among companies due to the size of the organization. Some companies combine the roles of planner and supervisor. Others have dedicated planners for shutdowns/turnarounds. Many have staff members with the title of “planner” who do not do any actual planning.

So, how can we define the role of a planner?

This can’t be done until the team creates a workflow describing the order in which information will be passed along. This will clarify who receives the information and who is responsible. Workflows for daily work, shutdown work, etc. must also be created. After this is done, the team can begin the job description for a planner.

You and your team may find it helpful to start with a list of responsibilities that should NEVER go to the planner. This allows the planner to decline tasks that will get in the way of actual planning, which is their priority. You may see that the “no-no” list is used more often than the actual description of daily work. The following is a typical “no-no” list for a planner.

A planner should NOT:

  • Plan emergency work
  • Act as a relief supervisor
  • Act as a material expeditor
  • Work on tools
  • Spend time on lengthy clerical work
  • Plan while sitting at a desk all day
  • Act as a gofer for maintenance/operations supervisors

The purpose of the “no-no” list is to show tasks that will reduce the amount of planned work you have in your organization.