2 Ways to Improve Work Processes

Jeff Shiver, People and Processes

In my visits to job sites around the world, I often find opportunities (weak links) in work execution processes. The two that are most prevalent are the work feedback loop and the maintenance planner/scheduler closing and archiving completed work orders to history.

The work feedback loop is shown below. The planner/scheduler plans and schedules work. Once the work has been executed, the feedback mechanism closes the loop by providing the planner/scheduler with information from completed planned jobs.

Ideally, the completed work order should include information required to update the job plan. These items consist of additional or corrected task steps, safety information, parts and materials, and job duration information. The planner/scheduler then reviews and updates the job plan for the next time the work is required.

In the case of closing and archiving completed work orders, the planner/scheduler is the guardian of the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS)/enterprise asset management (EAM) data. To that end, in addition to using the information from the completed work order to update the job plan, the planner/scheduler must make sure that the work performed description is comprehensive and accurate. Obviously, "it was fixed" is a poor work performed description. This is what the planner/scheduler must guard against.

In addition, the planner/scheduler should be ensuring that the right equipment asset was properly identified, correct failure codes were used and so on. This represents the last chance to get the data right before it is archived in the CMMS/EAM. Performing this task correctly ensures accurate data for mining bad actors and other reliability engineering reporting later.

Together, these represent two simple yet, often overlooked opportunities to tie up loose ends and strengthen your maintenance program.

If you have additional comments or ideas, please share them so everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow.

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About the Author

As a managing principal for People and Processes, Jeff Shiver helps organizations implement best practices for maintenance and operations. Prior ...