How to Facilitate Planning and Scheduling Meetings

A key element of an effective Work Management System is to hold weekly planning and scheduling meetings to confirm the the next week’s schedule, what work needs to be planned and what work has to be carried to the next week. But the meeting has to have purpose, have the right people in the room and stay focused on the tasks and not take too long.  Understanding how to facilitate meetings is a skill that needs to be developed.

How to facilitate planning and scheduling meetings

First, step is to create your procedure for the planning and scheduling meeting. You need to detail:

  • The purpose
  • who should attend
  • what should be prepared and brought with the attendees
  • what is going to be decided at the meeting
  • logistics of the meeting
  • who is going to be in charge of the meeting
  • the rules
  • if minutes will be taken and what to do with the actions
  • KPIs that you need to review during the meeting

What should you be reviewing during the scheduling meeting?

It’s very important for scheduling meetings to stay focused on the next week’s schedule and to adjust that schedule based on what jobs are to be on the schedule, possibly any jobs that weren’t completed in the current week, and possibly reviewing priorities and backlog status.

Best practice is to look at a four weeks schedule..4 weeks out 25% of work, 3 weeks 50%, 2 weeks 75%, the next week 100%.

What about planning?

Planning takes some time. Resources such as parts and contractors need to be in place before scheduling work. This is a key part of planning. The planning meeting should be looking at the backlog, what work should be planned, reviewing feedback and priorities.

Who should be in the planning and scheduling meetings?

Optionally, the operations and maintenance managers could attend as well as operations supervisor

How to prepare for a planning and scheduling meeting

Every person attending these weekly meetings need to be prepared! Nothing’s worse than showing up to a meeting with people who have no clue about what’s going on! So, to prepare at minimum everyone needs to review all the draft work schedules and what work is proposed for the schedule. This is not the meeting to go into detail about the backlog or to select the work. That is done at other meetings. Attendees should be ready to identify the changes needed and come with solutions – not problem-solving issues. Problems should have a person delegated to look at them with committed deadlines and actions.

Measuring Performance and dealing with non-complying attendees

It’s really important to hold people accountable for attending and participating in the meetings. You should come up with ways to reward people for showing up, participating and being prepared. Have points for being on time, participating and being prepared. Be sure that you are coaching team members who aren’t meeting expectations.

So, what happens when people aren’t showing up. 1. Talk to them – what’s happening that they can’t show up? Is the meeting the wrong time for them, can someone else take their place? or maybe the meeting needs to be moved to a different time?

Need coaching on how to be a great planning and scheduling meeting facilitator?

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Owe Forsberg


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