Maintenance scheduling is the process of selecting, prioritizing, coordinating, and communicating when work takes place and who is assigned to do it.

Developing maintenance work schedules is an industry proven best practice. All asset intensive operations should do it, and there is a big payoff too.

  • Building weekly and daily maintenance schedules makes the best use of available labor. Scheduling helps ensure the right person gets assigned to the right job at the right time. This boosts the quality and speed of the work and improves departmental coordination.
  • A maintenance schedule provides essential communication within and between functions and people throughout the facility. This helps to clearly define when maintenance work is performed and who is assigned to do that work.
  • Operations has a production schedule. Maintenance should have a work schedule. However, developing maintenance schedules is not just a maintenance responsibility. Operations must be involved as well. Operations helps to set priorities. When working with a backlog of work, effective prioritization of work is critical.

Maintenance schedules may be thought of as falling into three major categories: event schedules, work-specific schedules, and support schedules.

Maintenance Event Schedules

Maintenance event schedules describe major facility activities in detail and pinpoint the month and day(s) during which they occur. Examples might include capital projects, major shutdowns, training days, product trials, etc. These schedules are generally produced using MS Outlook. Schedules in this category include:

  • 12-Month Schedule
  • 8-Week Schedule

Maintenance Work Schedules

Maintenance work schedules define specific work orders accomplished over a short period of time, usually expressed in days or a week’s time. Examples include work for tomorrow or next week or work for a specific shutdown event. These schedules generally contain work performed by Maintenance, Operations, and Contractors. These work schedules are produced using the EAM/CMMS and include:

  • Weekly Maintenance Schedule
  • Daily Maintenance Schedule
  • Shutdown Event Schedule

Maintenance Support Schedules

Maintenance support schedules provide support information for other scheduling processes. Examples include:

  • Resource Availability Schedule
  • Equipment Schedules

Maintenance Scheduling Strategy

Maintenance scheduling is a process of matching work priorities and resource availability. The maintenance scheduling process is designed to ensure that the correct work is performed at the correct time with the correct available resources. To be effective, the maintenance scheduling process must:

  • start early enough;
  • include correct personnel;
  • use accurate information;
  • report decisions in a usable format;
  • have widespread distribution;
  • include proper level of detail for covered time period;
  • have complete work preparation activities;
  • communicate Work Planning Package information.

Maintenance Scheduling Responsibilities

  • The Maintenance Supervisor is responsible for developing the Resource Availability Schedule and assigning resources to the Daily Maintenance Schedule.
  • The Maintenance Scheduler is responsible for developing the Weekly Maintenance Schedule.
  • Operations and Maintenance representation at the various work scheduling meetings is mandatory.
  • The Maintenance Planner performs all work preparation activities to ensure the work does not incur any delays.
  • Maintenance Supervisors must communicate with Maintenance Technicians on information contained in the work plan.
  • All personnel must exercise good business judgment before breaking into an established maintenance schedule.

Maintenance Scheduling Requirements

  • Preventive and predictive maintenance activities must be completed as scheduled.
  • All work schedules must account for at least 100% of available Maintenance man and trade hours.
  • Maintenance schedules must be updated to reflect actual work experience and work completions.
  • Audits / critiques of downtime per Supervisor and work schedule compliance must be performed routinely, and the results must be used to improve future maintenance scheduling.
  • Maintenance schedules must contain realistic and reasonable estimates of work time and staffing requirements.
  • Maintenance schedules will be developed only from the Ready-to-Schedule Backlog of approved work.

Check out our examples of a weekly and daily maintenance schedule. Then contact us so we can get started today improving the utilization of your maintenance resources.

We have been helping organizations develop industry-accepted asset management business processes since 1997. If you need help with yours, contact us @ info@swainsmith.com.

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Tracy Smith

Tracy S. Smith has been helping organizations solve their asset management challenges for 23 years. He is the president of SwainSmith, Inc., an EAM solutions company. He also offers complimentary 30-minute EAM consultations. No sales pitch or a pesky follow-up call. Just straight answers to your questions—and an objective, experienced assessment of your issues and goals.

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