Purposeful data drives value in planning and scheduling

Question: Jeff, what is the value of good, complete data for planning and scheduling?

Jocelyn, Scheduler, NY

Answer: In simple terms, useful data translates into money, time, and better asset reliability. Let me expand on these.

The creation of detailed task plans or procedures for both the PM program and corrective work coupled with efficient scheduling and coordination eliminates avoidable delays. Avoidable delays include:

  • Waiting for the equipment to become available for maintenance activities
  • Spending time looking for parts and materials to perform the work
  • Searching for information (e.g., instructions) on how to best execute the job
  • Getting pulled from one job to another and having to restart the first job – in other words, ineffective prioritizing

Studies have shown that every hour spent planning and scheduling saves three to five hours in execution. When the task detail, parts, and job estimates are more complete, we stand a much better chance of executing the work correctly from a precision standpoint and within the allotted time. Seventy-plus percent of failures are self-induced. Winston Ledet noted in “Don’t Just Fix It, Improve It” that poor work behaviors drive 84% of failures. Precise, standardized work coupled with adherence pushes that percentage down. Our partners gain higher asset availability and reliability. Costs go down, especially when defect elimination techniques are part of the process. We can get more done with the same resources because we are working smarter (wrench times increase with the reduction in avoidable delays).

Integrating a continuous improvement loop in the process ensures that we are always looking for better ways to plan, schedule, and execute the work. I don’t believe that a perfect work plan exists; there are still opportunities to improve every plan with better task steps, level of precision, job duration, etc. Time is precious. Many organizations struggle to get windows for equipment access. Accurately defining the job durations and executing with surgical-like precision builds confidence with our partners, encouraging them to allow for windows of access.  When we have precise execution, we have less reactivity. We also overcome issues related to the human costs for reactive organizations, too. Windows to maintain or improve assets become increasingly available as we don’t lose time for unexpected failures. Complete data helps feed that improvement loop.

Following the execution, encouraging the technicians to document their findings and activities wholly and accurately enables the organization to look for opportunities in defect elimination, root cause, and reliability engineering as examples. Incorporate the data into equipment design, selection, and installation of new capital projects to ensure better asset reliability and maintainability. 

What insights would you add?

Send me an email at the address below, and I will respond or place your questions with my answers here.

Talk soon,
Jeff Shiver, CMRP

If you have problems in the fields of maintenance, reliability, planning and scheduling, MRO storerooms, or leadership, please contact Jeff Shiver with your question(s) here.