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Maintenance Planner Scheduler Training - Life Outside the Computer

The bulk of maintenance Planner Scheduler training typically focuses on using the maintenance management software, data entry and interaction with the computer screen. Others include the theories and application of best practices, understandably at a high level rather than specifics to any particular organization. Some offerings go into specific equipment technologies covering maintenance and troubleshooting procedures.

What is not covered in the training: non-technical skills. Job descriptions say the role conducts weekly maintenance/operations scheduling meetings, participate in maintenance/production meetings, estimates labor, supports the maintenance manager with KPI interpretation, problem-solving, and continuous improvement.

There is much more to a Planner Scheduler’s responsibilities than computer entries or technical knowhow. The majority of a Planner Scheduler’s time is spend interacting with operations, engineering, vendors, management and hourly employees. The challenge is how to prioritize time. How to be efficient and effective using the time spent in and running meetings. How to organize for the weekly and monthly requirements.

Lecture-style training is what management development professionals call "mugging and jugging". Pour the knowledge in the students' head. Data going one-way hopefully being absorbed by the student. Also called "spray and pray".

The training is delivered in a classroom and/or online. Self-paced learning allows no opportunity to ask clarifying questions. Interactive learning, whether in a classroom or remote, frequently is taught by people with no understanding of Planner Schedulers’ organization or company.

Discussing adult learning, academics propose that, “adults learn best when applying new concepts to their everyday lives, a concept also known as problem-based learning”. Others propose that learning should be experiential and include mentorship. Experiential is participating physically in the learning environment ("getting your hands dirty") and then reflecting on what worked and what didn’t.

Our planner scheduler training leverages these adult learning principles:

1. After the classroom instructions, we take the students to apply the instructions, planning a job with real jobs, as yet unplanned.

2. Apply the instructions in your operating environment, on your equipment subject to that environment.

3. Develop an estimate that supports continuous improvement.

4. Walk real, live jobs with a knowledgeable trainer/coach, followed by discussion afterwards.

5. And…what is not taught in Planner Scheduler training…is how to use maintenance information in continuous improvement, eliminating productivity barriers that waste the time of the workforce.

Our Planner Scheduler training addresses all five of these points. It is not about using your CMMS or specifics of your equipment. It is about what a Planner/Scheduler does outside the computer screen. The computer system is a data tool assisting planning and scheduling jobs. We assume your Planner Schedulers know how to use their computer system.

We include these adult learning principles in our Planner Scheduler Training:

  • Overview of best practice Maintenance Management and where a Planner/Scheduler fits in as the lynchpin of the process.

  • How a Planner/Scheduler manages their time

  • The objective of planning: the job package and the steps to assemble that.

  • Estimating work: - Classroom walking a job. - Live practice walking a job - Debrief and discussion

  • Level loading schedules, and why

  • Conducting the scheduling meetings, and why

  • Key Performance Indicators - KPI definitions, analysis, and actions - An underutilized KPI and how to use it.

  • Maintenance Continuous Improvement: - Teamwork with Reliability Engineering - Bad actor identification - Barrier identification and removal

Our training is custom-tailored to your current processes. We deliver the 3-day training at your site. We precede the training with a visit to your location, talking with your leadership to custom-tailor the training to your needs. The training, delivered by experienced maintenance planner scheduler trainers, is edited to the processes, roles, and priorities unique to your company.


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