So is it a Planner, a Scheduler, or is it a Planner/Scheduler?

Recently, I had an interesting conversation about staffing the maintenance planner and scheduler roles with in a facility. The question was centered on whether a site should have the two disciplines split or if they should be combined. The answer in my mind is… it depends.

Here are my thoughts on criteria that affect the planner/scheduler organizational structure:

Size of the maintenance workforce:

If you are in a small facility it becomes very hard to support standalone schedulers. For that matter, it is hard to get one person dedicated solely to planning and scheduling. To put some numbers to it I would suggest that in an average maturity facility you will need one planner for every ten to fifteen crafts and one scheduler for every fifty crafts. The number of planners you need may drop as you mature and the job plan library is populated and refined but the scheduler will stay at a fixed level.

Reliability maturity of the facility:

More mature organizations can pool more of the crafts and share across multiple areas for maximum resource efficiency and utilization. If you share resources across multiple areas then that can be a good reason to have a standalone scheduler who devotes his time to working with all of the effected parties and creating a schedule that they can all support.

So if you consider both of these factors than it becomes a bit easier to design your organizational structure but you must keep in mind that as these size and maturity change your structure may have to change as well. 

What are your thoughts?