The topic of planning and scheduling and what each one means has been a big discussion point. The Chinese appear to have only one word that means both planning and scheduling but in reality everywhere I teach from Europe to the Middle East and all across the Americas there is confusion on the difference so today I thought I would share planning and then scheduling as the topic of the week.
Planning is the creation of the work package including:
Job plan and steps and duration
Special tools required
Personal protective equipment required
Crafts or personnel types required
Scheduling is assigning the jobs to a time slot on a schedule.
The reason that this is important is that many of us measure percentage planned work for bench marking purposes and in more cases than not this number is actual the percent poorly scheduled because when you dive in you find that the jobs do not contain the planning elements mentioned above.
Many sites pursue ninety percent planned and scheduled work as a bench mark but you have only reached that number if you have at least the basic elements of a job plan for each job.
One example that I see often would be a work order that says only "remove and replace hot oil pump Time required 8 hours" this is not a plan at best it is a work request that has been scheduled without planning. It does not break down the task or suggest what parts will be needed or what permits might be required. While some might argue that all work is planned and that it is just the level of planning that is in questions I think you can see that it does not meet the intent of the metric and does not provide for the results we are trying to achieve.