Practical Maintenance Planning Tips, Cont.

Leslie Skelly, Senior Consultant, IDCON INC

Protect Your Planners

Does your planner do everything but plan?

Within different industries, IDCON consultants, including myself, are hired to conduct planner training, coaching and mentoring. When we arrive on site and start working with the planners, we soon find out that the planners are doing everything but planning work.

They have assumed the role of purchasing, are used as parts expediters, involved in the day-to-day reactive maintenance, tasked with the roles of backing up maintenance supervisors and/or the OMC, involved in training site personnel within the CMMS, etc.

Does this sound familiar?

Leadership must protect the planners from non-core planning functions to achieve the benefits of the planning process. Yes, there have been instances where planners are choosing to complete other tasks, but this is where leadership has to set the expectation and hold them and the organization accountable.

Planners are easy to pull into many different directions because they typically have the savvy technical skills, equipment and CMMS knowledge, and other credentials that make them incredible assets within the organization.

Do your organization a favor and protect your planners.

Basic Elements of a Job Plan

When performing job package audits at client sites, I’m amazed at all the forms and formats used within an organization. This causes confusion amongst the technicians.

In today’s environment, many organizations are short on technicians or have many new hires. It is imperative that your organization define the basic elements of a job package to ensure consistency.

What are the basic elements of the job package?

  • Safety and environmental related issues
  • Permits and procedures
  • Detailed job tasks or operations
  • Required Trade skills
  • Assigned labor estimate
  • Parts and materials
  • Tools and equipment
  • A copy of the work order
  • Additional useful information is the location of parts kits or if the parts have been reserved within the storeroom. 

These are the basics within your organization to find these elements. Yes, there are a lot of variables, such as how organized your technical database is. The most important thing to remember is what information is most useful for the technicians.

Set the expectations with the planners, conduct spot checks, and once you have consistency, add additional detail as necessary.

Develop Standard Job Plans

Did you know that within industry, over 50% of corrective work is repetitive?

What does this mean?

Over the course of the year or several years, it is a guarantee that you as a planner will see the same work order again.  A way to add efficiency in the planning process is to develop standard job plans.

A standard job plan is a detailed, planned work order package using a standardized template. Procedures, estimates, best practices, industry standards, etc. will normally be more detailed than one-time work orders.

Typically, standard job plans are attached to the equipment they apply to and are easily accessible. Developing standard job plans has many benefits.

  • Reduces planning time and effort
  • Capture the expertise and knowledge of people who have done the work before
  • Continuously improve over time with the feedback provided by technicians
  • Can be used for training new hires
  • Organize a cross-functional team to develop a standardized template to capture step-by-step instructions, referencing photos and technical specifications.

A great goal for a planner in your organization is to build a continuous library of standard job plans. Explore your CMMS functionality to properly attach them to equipment or create a shared drive. Ensure that you follow a formal nomenclature or naming process so they can be retrieved.