Understand the “Why?” in Maximo for Continuous Process Improvement

I think everyone would agree schedule compliance and PM compliance are important to measure. After all, besides being mandatory in many cases, compliance is also a matter of safety, of efficient use of maintenance budgeting, and an integral part of keeping your valuable assets up and running.

But, you may score high in compliance and still experience failures. Why is that?

Let’s dig in.

Analyzing schedule and PM compliance metrics with a critical eye

When your results and your compliance metrics aren’t telling the same story, the state of your job plans can help you understand the “Why?”. Is work being performed against job plans and are they accurate or are they out-of-date and missing critical details?  As Maintenance Planners, Schedulers, Supervisors, and Managers, you need to ask a few questions and drill down into your IBM Maximo data.

Ask yourself:

  • How do you ensure that all the work is getting done properly and that your technicians are following the correct tasks or procedures?
  • How complete are your Job Plans?
  • Do your job plans contain just a header and the technicians are left to their own devices or are tasks listed in detail?
  • What tasks should be included on the plans?
  • Do the tasks align with the job or does the plan include a shopping list of work?
  • How long has it been since your job plans have been reviewed?

One of the most important elements of successful maintenance Planning is having detailed tasks for PMs and corrective work because it can reduce failures. It’s that straightforward.

Studies have shown every hour spent Planning and Scheduling saves approximately three to five hours in work execution.  The more complete the job plans (task details, parts, estimates), the better the chance of executing the work correctly and within the estimated timeframe.

…But, you’ve probably heard all of this before.

Chicken before the egg: job plans and the right Planning and Scheduling tools

Unfortunately, many Maintenance Planning and Scheduling professionals already know this. They know that proper Maintenance Planning and quality job plans can make their Maintenance Technicians work more efficiently and effectively. They know that it can decrease unexpected downtime, and therefore positively impact the organization’s bottom line. We’re preaching to the choir.

You may be thinking, “Well, we can’t focus on optimizing our job plans until our Maximo data is cleaned up.” And you’re not alone. We’ve definitely heard that one before. It’s quite a common concern.

Waiting for your data to be picture perfect before you consider optimizing your processes and cutting back on the time your Planners and Schedulers waste with inefficient solutions renders the same results you have been getting. Gross inefficiency and unexplained equipment failures.

At some point, you have to stop the cycle.  The fact is, cleaning up your data and revising your job plans should be a part of your continuous process improvement procedures.  Start with your most critical assets or the ones causing the most problems and grow from there.  It takes time, but it’s well worth the effort.

Improve maintenance job plans, improve wrench time, reduce failures

What if you could see the current state of your job plans from a single view, making it easy to clean up your job plan details, making them more effective and a part of your continuous improvement process? Would your technicians be better equipped to perform the tasks safely and efficiently?  Would you have more reliable data to understand why something failed and be able to make corrections?  

With the right tools, you can:

  • Add craft requirements and tasks to work orders and job plans
  • Quickly find and fill in the missing data on job plans, such as job plans missing craft requirements or estimated duration
  • Add new job plans
  • Compare and analyze estimated hours versus actual hours
  • View, edit, search, and create reports all from one screen so that you no longer have to work on a record by record basis

If your schedule compliance and PM compliance are looking good, but you’re still experiencing unplanned maintenance and unplanned downtime, your job plans just might be the problem.  When was the last time your job plans were reviewed?

As a Maintenance Planner, improving your job plans has probably been on your to do list for quite some time.  As a Maintenance Manager or Supervisor, it’s time to stop the cycle and get a better handle on the failures with a clear path forward for continuous improvement. Not next quarter. Not tomorrow. Right now.

It doesn’t have to be painful. With the right tools, you can quickly understand the “Why?” when the output doesn’t make sense.  Your data doesn’t have to be picture perfect, but having a tool that quickly drills down to better understand and correct the issues, is a smart part of any process improvement.