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What is the Objective of 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