It’s not fun, it’s borderline boring…it’s the checklist.
Even the most experienced planner can lose focus because of other priorities
Having a checklist for the detailed planning process is a good tool to assure nothing is missed.
A comparison could be to the pre-flight checklist for a pilot. If you were a passenger, you wouldn’t be happy if the pilot did not fill out the pre-flight checklist. The pre-flight checklist is just to make sure he/she is not missing anything.
IDCON has developed planning checklists for use in our on-the-job planner training and in our public work management planning and scheduling course. You can also find these checklists with line-by-line detail in our Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Book.
The first checklist for the planner is the “Work Order Checklist”. This checklist is a visual reminder of the “heart” of the detailed planning process. The 5 main steps in the checklist are:
- Job steps, timing of each step, and overall time
- Trade skills
- Tools and equipment
Each item of Planning Checklist (part 1) should be considered for each and every work order, whereas Planning Checklist (part 2) can be applied to some specific jobs.
While a having the work order checklist is vital to ensure steps aren’t missed, don’t forget the 1st step of planning…the field inspection. Even if you are very familiar with the area, you should be doing a field inspection for new work orders. It’s not unusual to find things that have been overlooked. The field inspections should be planned as well! Set aside time every day to look at new jobs and to re-visit jobs that are in the detailed planning stage. A well-planned job will also be a Lean job. Lean is about eliminating waste therefore a well-planned job is also Lean job since it will be completed without waiting time and optimal travel time for the crafts person (see “Lean Maintenance 1”)
Another checklist to use is the after the work has been completed, the Work order closing checklist. While not all items will apply, they should still be considered in closing the work order and is a good reminder to the planner. We suggest using our list as a starting point and to customize for your plant.
By adding these visual reminders you can be assured that your work orders have the information and instructions that will be of use to the trades to execute the job safely and efficiently.