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Scheduling Mayhem, Mishaps and Misunderstandings

TRC-2018 Learning Zone 38:01
by Shayne Jones, Salt River Project

What is the value of scheduling work? Why should we be required to think ahead and try to slot work when we really don’t know what will be going on that day? What is the value of assigning craft resources? Shouldn’t supervision just be able to grab whoever isn’t busy and give them the most pressing work order at the moment? Why do we need to know if we have parts available? How much time do maintenance organizations lose each year because they assign people to do work for which there are no parts available? Oh yeah, equipment clearances, you want me to notify our operations partners ahead of time for clearances so they can hang them when they have time available and we are not standing around waiting for them. That time waiting for equipment clearances is what we use to get our tools to the job, find a partner to help us, make sure we have other crafts to support us and catch up on what happened at the game last night. There is a multitude of good reasons to schedule work. Do we all really know the reasons? Do the people we are asking to schedule and execute the work understand the benefits? One of the shortfalls with the work schedule is not nearly enough communication. Scheduling work is one of the greatest time savers available to an organization if it is done right. Doing it right requires a commitment, a belief that it is the right thing to do to help the organization improve. The biggest challenge is communicating that benefit and sharing the rewards of a good scheduling program. Scheduling cannot be done successfully without good metrics. A good dashboard of performance is one of the best communication tools available. It should not be a hammer, rather a learning tool.

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