Scheduling work is the process of managing how to fulfil a set of work orders efficiently

Level 1

All work orders should have a target start date, and target finish date calculated by adding the duration of the work order. You get this with frequency-based work orders created for PMs and inspections. For other work you can either set the target date manually or apply a Service Level Agreement based on the work priority originating from the job plan and/or asset/location priority.

Ideally, you would also create a time window around the target dates by using constraint offsets on the job plan or PM. The time window provides a date when it would be acceptable to start the work order early, or a date which indicates the latest it should finish.

Level 2

The second step in scheduling work is to create a relatively smooth profile of resource usage against availability for all frequency-based work. This is achieved by forecasting the PM records and using the Graphical Scheduling application of Maximo Scheduler. This is typically a yearly plan which should take into account holidays when setting availability. This process should also take into account when assets will become available for the PM work if asset downtime or a maintenance schedule window is required. This is long term scheduling.

Level 3

Step 3 has three different tasks ranging from medium to short term scheduling:

  • Medium term scheduling reviews the work to be performed by a team or work area over a 3-month period, perhaps delaying some work so that it fits around the profile of resource availability. This should take into account training, holidays and other non-work activity. This also uses the Graphical Scheduling application of Maximo Scheduler. If too many work orders are being moved to the next period, then you should consider planning overtime or using external services, rather than creating a bow wave of work orders that are unlikely to be addressed in the next or future periods.
  • Material/Service planning occurs when the medium-term schedule has been created. You should review the first 4 weeks of the schedule to identify the material and service needs of the work orders, delaying those work orders which cannot be fulfilled in time, and bringing in other work orders to take their place, then moving on to the next four week period in the three month plan. Many work orders get delayed simply because materials or services are not available, this needs to be addressed in order to progress through scheduling maturity levels.
  • Short term scheduling of work orders over a two-week period when you know that materials and services will be available helps to create a feasible set of schedule dates that can be committed back on to the work orders. The planners should be discussing and agreeing the schedule with work supervisors, they will be using the Graphical Scheduling application of Maximo Scheduler.

Level 4

Step 4 is moving an organization or team towards measuring how well they comply with the plan they set out to achieve and following a trend over time of how they progress, it is called Schedule Compliance Reporting. There are two tasks to perform:

  • Graphically assigning and dispatching labor and crews to work orders and tasks and moving the work assignments to new dates within the short-term window in order to create an efficient use of resources. This should take into account travel time between work and the availability of assets or maintenance windows. It is a manual process, but easier to perform graphically. This task takes into account break-in emergency and urgent work, and which work orders are dropped out of the short-term schedule window, break-out work orders. The Graphical Assignment application of Maximo Scheduler will be used with a rolling schedule.
  • Schedule Compliance Reporting is the activity that agrees and fixes a short-term schedule, normally the following week, and then monitors whether this was actually achieved at the end of the compliance window. Metrics include measuring planned total work hours versus actual work hours, the number of work orders actually completed, against the number that were planned, measuring the number of work orders that broke into the schedule, and the number that broke out of it. These metrics can be compared over time to monitor improvements in the planning and scheduling processes. It is the feature of the Graphical Scheduling application of Maximo Scheduler, which is partly the reason why you should look to achieve step 3 before ploughing straight into step 4.

Level 5

The fifth step in scheduling maturity is Schedule Optimization. If you now have the data to support planning and scheduling, and scheduling and assigning of resources can be managed manually and efficiently against resource availability, then you should review whether optimization tools can be deployed to make the schedules more efficient.