One of the frequently asked questions in the Maintenance Scheduling realm. Join Jeff Shiver, CMRP as he provides suggested levels


Hello, I'm Jeff Shiver, Managing Principal of People and Processes.

Oftentimes when I teach planning and scheduling classes I get asked the question, "How much should I actually schedule for next week?" And oftentimes you'll hear some number less than 100. Maybe it's 50 percent, maybe it's 80 percent. Obviously 100 percent is out there and then you hear 120, sometimes 125 percent.

Let's take a look at those. Ideally, what we really want to do is we want to schedule 100 percent. This being the first choice, you might ask, "Well, why is that, Jeff?" Well, the reason is if we schedule at 80 percent, how do we know that we need to go to 100 percent? At what point do we do it? Are we doing it based on schedule compliance or what?

For new planning organizations starting out, if you're not really reactive and especially if you're like a facilities environment, I might encourage you to choose 100 percent. That said, if you're really reactive and you know there's no way in the world that you're going to possibly get 100 percent done, then you might back off of that.

You have to really have a good reason and you have to use metrics like schedule compliance to say, "Hey, when is it really time for us to move up? Because we don't want to sit and barely utilize our people." For example, if we're not looking and determining that we have emergency work orders that are breaking the schedule, then we really need to bump it up and get it closer to 100.

"Well, why not 120 percent, Jeff?" I know some companies do that because what they're doing is they're actually taking and they're keeping in their back pocket some work. It's in the backlog so they can pull it out.

A good supervisor knows what's in the backlog so let's schedule 100 percent and don't worry about the 120. But again, if you're really reactive it's okay to reduce it but you've got to have a proactive plan to break the emergencies and get to 100 percent. That should be your goal.

Hope you enjoyed the tip. I'm Jeff Shiver, People and Processes. Have a great day.