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What is the Objective of Planning and Scheduling?

June 30, 2010
(Planning and Scheduling)

That question seems simple enough, however the answer may be one of the fundamental causes for Planning and Scheduling efforts that fail to deliver their potential.

Normally, the answer to this question comes from the maintenance perspective and therein lies the problem. Planning and Scheduling is a system more than a process. And because it is a system that extends beyond the maintenance process, the objectives can not merely come from a maintenance perspective.

I can assure you that without consideration of Productions needs, in addition to those of Maintenance and Reliability, implementing Planning and Scheduling will resemble pushing a rope, and will likely be an exercise that turns out to be much harder than it should be. Considering and establishing clear objectives for involved organizations is one of the most critical steps in establishing a Planning and Scheduling system that is simple and effective.

From the Maintenance perspective, the objectives are:

1. To leverage your labor resource (get more work accomplished with fewer people).

2. To establish an approach that over the long term will reduce reactive maintenance.

3. To minimize the chaos and efficiency losses resulting from disconnects with the production schedule, priority changes, emergency work, and unanticipated part outages.

The bottom line for Maintenance is that an effective Planning and Scheduling system will enable your maintenance personnel to accomplish more work.

This result should be unquestionably obvious in even a moderately successful Planning and Scheduling effort.

Tip from Jerry Wilson and Ricky Smith, Co-Authors Planning & Scheduling Made Simple

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Comments (2)

  • "The bottom line for Maintenance is that an effective Planning and Scheduling system will enable your maintenance personnel to accomplish more work." I would submit that you too are looking at this from a purely maintenance perspective. The goals of any maintenance work should be to increase the reliability of the equipment or process and to decrease losses caused by down equipment. The goal of being able to "accomplish more work" is not nearly as effective as having a goal that requires LESS maintenance work altogether because of increased reliability. Put another way, getting good at fixing this that shouldn't have broken in the first place is not a good goal.

    1) Posted 8:49 am, 08 July 2010 by Bob

  • Unquestionably effective planning and scheduling requires cooperation between operations and maintenence; however, to use planning and scheduling as a source of reducing the maintenance force should not even be considered as a driver for implementing the program. Proper planning and scheduling through the full cooperation of maintenance and operations will help get more accomplished with the resources you have, but will not necessiarly result in a reduction in force. As you find you are getting more done to reduce unplanned downtime you will find you have more time to engage the mechanics in PM's and PDm work that will undoubtedly drive more work orders to be generated to have proactive maintenance work done rather than reactive work. This will increase reliability and improve morale.
    I say this haveing been a planner and operations/maintenance coordinator in a large manufacturing facility and seen it happen. The areas of the facility that had good relations between maintenance and operations were generally more reliable, with less down time and more cooperation between maintenance and operations personnel. This coopration also led to the "ownership" of the equipment by the personnel, better housekeeping and lower injury rates.

    2) Posted 6:51 am, 15 July 2010 by Edward V Marston III

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