Maintenance planning should provide a huge bump in our work order completion rates. Yet most companies find that planning simply provides a lot of frustration. Six principles of planning and six principles of scheduling plus a consideration of reactive work help us successfully make planning into a best practice with obviously great results. These principles involve protecting planners to run a Deming cycle to make “better” plans over the years instead of perfect plans now and starting maintenance crews with fully loaded, weekly schedules that they are allowed to break. We can also plan some of the reactive work if we don’t have to be perfect and never tell supervisors to wait. These concepts are at odds with traditional approaches of procedures-driven-maintenance, high schedule compliance, and letting reactive work bypass planning altogether. But they make our companies wildly successful in draining huge outstanding backlogs of proactive work.
Doc Palmer has four decades of industrial experience primarily as a practitioner within the maintenance department of the Jacksonville Electric Authority, a major United States electric utility. From 1990 through 1994, Palmer was responsible for overhauling the existing maintenance planning organization. The resulting success played a role in expanding planning to all crafts and stations owned and operated by the utility. Publisher McGraw-Hill subsequently sought out Palmer to author the Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Handbook published in 1999 and now in its fourth edition (2019). Currently Palmer provides guidance, mentoring, and training for companies internationally for maintenance planning success. Doc Palmer is a registered professional engineer with a master's degree in business administration. He is also a CMRP, Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional.