Is your organisation experiencing equipment failures? Do your equipment shutdowns over-run? Both outcomes significantly increase costs and reduce the production time of an asset. In most instances, poor planning will be a contributor.
Bluefield has conducted many site assessments and identified several common issues that prevent organisations from producing a quality plan:
- Inadequate training – in most cases, planners are promoted from a trades position without any training. Usually, there is a hand over with the outgoing planner, who may not have had training either. Handovers should include knowledge transfer on systems, folder locations and structure, regular planning schedules, and timing. Handovers will never be adequate to teach a person the “how”. And With inadequate knowledge, planners tend to focus on simply producing a giant chart schedule, rather than a robust plan, leading to unforeseen gaps in the detail.
- Poor job scoping not understanding the requirements of a task, in-depth, will result in poor execution. Jobs are best scoped by engaging key stakeholders e.g. end end-user, OEM, repair technicians, and supervisors. By incorporating stakeholders' knowledge, and identifying risks and unknowns, architects can produce better ranges that set their teams up for success.
- Insufficient time allowance – there is a common thought that planning is not difficult, and it is merely planning and scheduling blocks of work into logical spaces in the future. While this is true to some extent, there is a lot more time and effort required to ensure a quality, and an executable plan is produced.
- Insufficient handover – once the plan has been completed it must be approved by all affected parties i.e. equipment owners, execution teams. Often teams don’t take the time to understand how the plan will affect them until execution day which causes delays and poor execution quality.
Once the issues have been identified, the solutions can be developed and implemented. Every workgroup has varying constraints and operating idiosyncrasies, therefore it is vital to ensure the workgroup is engaged to be a part of the solution development and implementation. The Solutions are dead in the water without group ownership. The solutions should center around the following:
- Scope the jobs well. Ensure key stakeholders are engaged to gather as much detail about the job as possible. Communicate assumptions.
- Allow enough time to plan well
- Complete operational readiness review to identify what could go wrong.
- A quality handover to execution must be conducted so they understand the detail and what is expected.
- Complete a review once the job is complete to identify improvements.
The number one rule when planning and executing a job is Plan the Details, Plan the Details, Plan the Details, and Protect the Plan!
Bluefield provides training on the principles and application of maintenance planning processes. Rather than running a software training course on how to use SAP or Microsoft Project, we focus on the practical aspects of the planning process and execution using case studies and activities.
We have several experienced maintenance planners and facilitators who can not only deliver training on-site, remotely, or in face-to-face sessions, but can provide coaching and mentoring once the training is completed. We believe that most learning is done by doing rather than sitting in a classroom, so we focus on projects, improvement initiatives, and other practical opportunities for learning.
To give your planning team the best chance for success by focusing on the fundamentals, contact Bluefield today.
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