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By Dan Hounsell, Editor
Maintenance & Operations Article Use Policy
Creating an effective maintenance planning function in a department will create different challenges for managers, depending on, among other factors, the type and size of the facility and the size and skill levels of the planners. Woods says managers should keep several key points in mind when beginning the process.
“For the function to start, it needs support and firm belief from upper management to initiate,” she says. “For the function to maintain, constant communication, responsibility, accountability, and respect needs to happen. For the function to sustain, it needs to create value.”
Managers also are likely to face misgivings and myths, both from front-line technicians and top executives, about how the function should integrate into the department.
“The great misconception is that planning or execution of the plan can be done in a silo,” she says. “The truth is that communication between planners, customers, supervisors, leads, engineers, and crafts people should be constant. Expectations with each other should be set. Feedback should be expressed and taken as lessons learned, as opposed to personal attack.”
Woods suggests these first steps for managers interested in creating a maintenance planning function in their departments:• Identify the issue, and determine its root cause.
• Set a goal of what needs to be accomplished.
• Lay out a road map for the goal.
• Identify expectations of key stakeholders.
• Identify areas in which a pilot program could be initiated.
• Explain the value of the change to key stakeholders and other interested parties.
• Communicate, communicate, communicate.
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Effective Maintenance Planning Produces Challenges for Managers