Scheduling… what do you mean?

In the discussion so far, I have assumed that when you said that you would like to improve planning and scheduling that you meant Maintenance Planning and Scheduling, but there are at least 10 other types of assigning, planning and scheduling that Maximo and the Maximo Scheduler addresses:

Location, Asset or Tool Scheduling – The process of assigning and scheduling assets and tools which are consumed by a work order until they are released to be used on another work order, or the process of scheduling work in a part of a location hierarchy where from a safety point of view multiple work orders cannot take place at the same time. We use the Graphical Scheduling application of Maximo Scheduler.

Crew Assignments – The daily process of fulfilling crew positions with available labor and tools, taking into account sickness, holidays and other periods of individual or equipment unavailability. We use the Graphical Crew Assignment application which is part of Maximo Scheduler.

Appointment Scheduling – The process of scheduling technicians to be at a service address at a specific time slot in a workday, in order to fulfil an appointment. We use the Appointment Book Manager and Graphical Appointment Book applications, a part of Maximo Scheduler Plus.

Spatial Scheduling – The process of assigning and scheduling work orders that are geographically dispersed and where a key requirement is to minimise travel time for the technician or crew. This will normally require understanding where the technician/crew is at any point in time, using GPS, so that emergency work can be introduced efficiently. In Maximo, this will use Service Addresses, Map Manager, Work Zones, Travel Time Matrix and the calculation of Street Level Routes. The Graphical Assignment application – Dispatch tab, is used to visualise the assignments.

Repair Facility Scheduling – The process of efficiently scheduling movable assets (trains, planes, buses and trucks) into the locations and bays of a repair facility (railway shed/tracks, hanger, garage/bay). This process creates location assignments. We use the Graphical Assignment – Repair Facilities application, a part of Maximo Scheduler.

Shutdown or Outage Management – The process of managing a set of work orders performed between two fixed points in time, a start and finish date/time. This often involves collecting the work orders together into one or more work packages, some of which may be performed in preparation for the shutdown/outage and some performed afterwards. In Maximo, we use the Graphical Scheduling application to manually assess this, but it also has capacity planning optimization to examine what work orders can be performed in the fixed period of time.

Project Planning and Scheduling – The process of managing a project against time and cost. This often involves creating several work packages which are formed into a work breakdown structure (WBS), interlaced with a cost breakdown structure (CBS), and an organisational breakdown structure (OBS). In Maximo, we use the Graphical Scheduling application, but Cost Management and Budget Monitoring are also useful tools.

Shift Planning and Scheduling – The processes of planning and scheduling of work where there are multiple shifts, where some work orders must be handed over from one shift to the next and other work orders can be interrupted so that the shift that started the work order continues with the work order the following work day.

Critical Path Method (CPM) Scheduling – A part of the scheduling of projects where work orders are scheduled in time based on precedence logic and start or finish constraints, assuming infinite resources; labor, crews and tools. The CPM schedule calculates a set of schedule (or early) dates (Graphical Scheduling) in a forward pass from the start date of the project. Having determined the finish date of the project a backward pass (Maximo Scheduler Plus) calculates a set of late start and finish dates. The difference between late finish and early finish is known as the total float. The work orders with zero total float forms the critical path through the project.

Resource-Levelled Schedules – A part of the scheduling of projects where a fixed availability of each resource places a limit on how many work orders can be performed at the same time. The resource-levelled schedule will be preceded by a critical path method schedule (CPM). The technique of resource levelling requires identifying the critical resources and critical work orders, setting them in time within the desired constraints of the project, and then setting a scenario that can be used for comparison purposes. Less critical resources are then added to see the effect on the schedule. The result of resource levelling may result in a revised project finish, but once agreed a snapshot is created to set a baseline. In Maximo, we use the Graphical Scheduling application ideally with resource levelling optimization.