Practical Maintenance Planning Tips

Leslie Skelly, Senior Consultant, IDCON INC

Roles and Responsibilities of a Maintenance Planner

The role of the planner is essential in reducing downtime and maximizing the value a preventive, maintenance, essential care and condition monitoring.

A maintenance planner must have the necessary technical skills and equipment knowledge to plan work. But do they know all of their roles and responsibilities?

For planners to be successful and to communicate the important role of the planner within your organization, develop a work management business process that includes planning and the roles and responsibilities of the planner.

The planning process should contain all the necessary tasks or actions that are required to implement and train on the planning process.

The roles and responsibilities should then be added to the job description for the planner.

Review and communicate the planning process with engineers and other plant or mill roles that perform planning to ensure consistency in the planning process.

Planning processes can be audited by the planner’s supervision to identify areas of opportunities or gaps in the overall process.

Download a small sample from our planning and scheduling workflow here.

Originating Detailed and Quality Work Orders

Another question that I’m asked my role as a consultant is “How can we make our planners more efficient?” 

My first answer is “Originating quality and detailed work orders for the planners.”

Oftentimes, planners are spending much of their time walking down work orders in the plants to verify, correct, or validate the work order information. This is the role of the OMC (or Operation Representative).

They ensure work notifications are reviewed and completevany missing information. Also, they confirm that the correct equipment is specified, good problem and symptom descriptions are provided, and the correct part is assigned, and the work notification originator is designated.

Providing planners with detailed quality work orders will free up planners’ time so they can spend it on creating detailed planned jobs.

Field Job Scoping Basics

How much time should your planners spend in the field walking down jobs and talking with operators and/or trades?

I often receive some pushback on this one. Why?

There are some variables and no industry standards. It really doesn’t matter how many years of experience or the amount of technical or equipment knowledge a planner has. Conditions in a plant or mill change every single day. The most successful planners spend a large majority – at least 50, 60% of their time – in the field scoping out work orders.

Players cannot be desk jockeys. We forget that planners need to have the capacity to move around, climb ladders and work in cold and warm environments.

Field job scoping forms can be used to collect, document, and organize information such as potential safety and environmental risks; all the equipment needs; permits required; sources or location of electricity, water, and/or plant air; tool requirements; lockout requirements; and identification for areas to stage parts. This form can be used to capture sketch and drawings as well.

Go out and field job scope a work order with your planner today.

Catch up with IDCON’s Practical Planning Tip YouTube Series.