With a planner running at almost full speed, it’s time to fine-tune the process to make the maintenance planning and scheduling process benefit the department. The communication side of managing your maintenance work is essential.The easiest method to accomplish the communication part of the planning and scheduling process is to hold daily — but at least weekly — planning and scheduling meetings with maintenance team leaders and select members of the management team, as well as possibly some customers who have a direct interest in the process.In the early days of establishing the planning and scheduling process, managers should schedule daily planning and scheduling meetings. Later, the meetings can become weekly as the process stabilizes and matures. In either case, the meeting should be required and always held at the same time each day — or, in the case of weekly meetings, always on the same day and at the same time. Set a strict agenda and take attendance in order to make the process a useful component of the scheduling process.The agenda should include a discussion of last week’s activities and plans for the coming week and weekend. This meeting also is a great place to discuss status of the maintenance program.The last component in making the maintenance planning program a reality is auditing and process and measuring its performance. This component is important because any process worth doing deserves to be measured and audited to ensure the department is following and adhering to it. The items to measure include:• planned maintenance hours compared to actual hours• percent of all technician work hours that are planned • percent of all work hours that are scheduled on a written weeklywork schedule• schedule compliance, which is the percent of hours scheduled that are completed on the weekly work schedule.All of these items are critical to determining if the process and your program are staying on track, as well as to providing the services you targeted when you established the maintenance planning and scheduling program.As the maintenance planning and scheduling program evolves, it should be one of the most important components of the maintenance organization. Over time, if you manage it with discipline and accountability, it will serve the department well.Michael Cowley, CPMM, is president of CE Maintenance Solutions — www.cemaintenancesolutions.com. Cowley provides maintenance training, coaching and consulting services to facility and manufacturing organizations nationwide. He is a frequent speaker at national facilities management conferences.
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