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The most dangerous metric in scheduling

Feb. 5, 2018
Doc Palmer examines why measuring schedule compliance is a sometimes controversial (but vital) task.

The sixth principle of scheduling pertains to the use of schedule compliance. Schedule compliance is probably the most dangerous of all maintenance metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs). Schedule compliance is a critical metric for managing maintenance to improve productivity and reliability. Unfortunately, most plants use this metric in such a wrong way as to keep both from improving.

It is easier to explain and analyze numbers of work orders instead. Consider a crew that was scheduled 100 work orders and completed only 50 of those work orders. It is easy to show that the crew achieved 50% schedule compliance. Finally, avoid giving rewards or penalties for extra work so as to keep the focus on the success of the original schedule. Consider a crew that was scheduled 100 work orders but completed 200 work orders, of which only 50 were on the original schedule. Schedule compliance is properly measured at 50% (50/100). Schedule compliance is not 200% (200/100), which would reward the crew, nor is it 25% (50/200), which would penalize the crew.

A secondary purpose of the metric is to help the plant improve its reliability by identifying and analyzing the gap in its work management processes. What are the reasons the plant could not execute all of the work it thought it could? Management can best identify and correct work management issues if the plant properly loads the maintenance schedule and analyzes its success.

About the Author

Doc Palmer | PE, MBA, CMRP

Doc Palmer, PE, MBA, CMRP is the author of McGraw-Hill’s Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Handbook and as managing partner of Richard Palmer and Associates helps companies worldwide with planning and scheduling success. For more information including online help and currently scheduled public workshops, visit www.palmerplanning.com or email Doc at [email protected]. Also visit and subscribe to www.YouTube.com/@docpalmerplanning.

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