Bluefield Round Table: Improving Planning and Scheduling

Jun 11, 2020 8:25:40 AM

On almost every site Bluefield visits, there’s a desire to improve their work management, and planning and scheduling practices in particular.  We asked several of our specialists the following question:

In your experience, what is the number one thing that sites can do to improve their maintenance planning and scheduling practices?


Alejandro Moraga

Make the planners know and learn about their machines as much as possible in the technical and operational side of things.

Hector Bello

Effective Backlog management:

  • Improve the prioritising of the sequence of Plan & Schedule work
  • Plan work based on a critical path analysis, not only based on a Pert & Gantt chart. 
  • Factor in time allowances for better labour utilisation, based on operational context and work environment.

Steve Smith

Ensure maximum collaboration between operations and execution teams where the mutual objectives are understood and maintenance programs are evolved to minimise operational impact.  

Gerard Wood

Understand that planning and scheduling were introduced to make scheduled maintenance activities more efficient.  If they are doing planning and scheduling but they are not measuring the efficiency of the scheduled work then they may not actually be achieving anything. In order to measure the scheduled work efficiency you can measure how many tasks got completed in the scheduled downtime windows. Time on tools would be good but takes a lot to measure.

I also think that these improvements start by getting a clear scheduled downtime strategy for each machine across their life and then following that strategy.

(We’ve previous written about scheduled downtime strategies in this article)

James Owen

The key is to define and end to end process in a single document that can be used as a single source of the truth.  Every function has a flowsheet, every task has a role, every role has a PD, everybody agrees on mutual accountability.

Adam Hawkins

Hmmm, in a nutshell (for me), manage the measurables, corrective/breakdown vs planned/preventive events to determine efficiency of the maintenance task itself.  Planners/schedulers are too tied up with replanning work that should have been completed but wasn't.

How effective is the client’s preventive maintenance work?  Poorly constructed PMI paperwork means essential maintenance items can be missed by fitters.... this leads to further breakdowns downstream of the preventive tasks.  I have worked for mining companies who had little regard for quality management.  Their high maintenance costs were indicative of this.