Captain Unreliability

6 ways to overstress your planner and create a culture of unreliability at your plant

Oct. 4, 2022
The Captain says keep these tips in your back pocket in case your planner is actually getting work done.

In today’s maintenance world, many organizations have a maintenance planner. Many of these planners take on the scheduling portion as well. Their goal is to improve the efficiency of the maintenance technician, all the while coordinating all the tasks and skill sets required that need to be done to keep machinery and equipment in a defect-free operating condition.

They have to work on parts ordering for work orders, manage the total backlog as well as the ready backlog, and ensure that both parts and resources are available for the maintenance technician to execute work as efficiently as possible. They have to take work requests and convert them to work orders. They have to establish credibility with all of those they impact as well as seek feedback to current job plans that could possibly impact the overall maintenance strategy.

With all that being said, there is a lot on the plate of the current maintenance planner. So what can we do to make them even more stressed and ineffective? Best practice: A culture of unreliability is where it is at!

Who cares about being great? That is too much work. We don’t play the game to win championships, we just want that paycheck and be rewarded for our effort of unreliability. Our reactivity is king. If it is broke, why fix it? We have always done it this way and it is the best and only way. Here are a few examples of how unreliability is the best for us:

  1. Keep changing the production schedule so that it is impossible for planned work to be completed. The goal here is to change the schedule 6 to 10 times a day because you do not have raw materials or packaging materials to meet customer demand. Then, as equipment keeps failing, you can blame maintenance for your inability to produce product. Honestly, who wants to lose all those overtime hours anyway? At least you are providing them extra income for their work, right?
  2. Keep rewarding the reactive superman so that they can be happy. Have an ice cream social because you were down for eight hours with no hope in sight and this hero showed up and was able to quick fix the problem, so you can run again. What greater way to show your appreciate than celebrating failure?
  3. Give planners 152 metrics to measure and call them Key Performance Indicators so that they are the most important metrics to maintenance planning. Then, have them report on the “KPIs” every week so they can waste eight to ten hours a week preparing for the weekly meeting.
  4. Tie up your planners in meetings all day. The most ineffective people know this secret: schedule a meeting. Ensure that 60% to 80% of their day is set aside for meetings. This is the best waste of time for most involved. Tying up their day sitting around and talking about the problems within your facility is the greatest solution there is to solve to the root cause of the issues, especially when most of you have never seen the shop floor. You already know the solution, anyway, just spend time convincing everyone just how smart you are.
  5. Require the planner to attend every breakdown and assess the situation, to report back to you. Every time a piece of equipment goes down, utilize the planner to assess the reason for the machine failure and report it back to you. This keeps you in your office or frees you up to attend more meetings.
  6. Are you planning or do you have a planner? This is the question. Having a planner means that you are cool and doing what everyone else in industry is doing. You can then brag to everyone that you have planning when they ask about how things are going. Steer clear of the question, ‘Are you Planning?’ because this will expose the fact that you are not.>
I hope these tips help you continue your culture of unreliability and I wish you all future success in your endeavors.

This story originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of Plant Services. Subscribe to Plant Services here.

About the Author: The Captain

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