Engineering Team Leadership - The Daily Plan Preparation
doubts about the importance of proper planning. However, if you don't use any
planning system, this planning can be a very time-consuming job. Lack of
planning causes low team performance and many unfulfilled tasks. The
specialized software is critical to avoid such situations and make daily
planning easy and fun.
I was explaining the importance of creating productive routines and habits in my last article. I have also promised to show you how a software solution can help with such methods. Planning is one of the areas in which a particular system helps a lot because it is speeding up the planning process, making it more comfortable, more accurate, and sometimes even fun to use!
First of all, I want to say that planning isn't only for managers like DoE, Chief Engineer, or Maintenance Manager. If managers are the only members of the team involved in the planning process, the preparation is becoming a very time-consuming process, is inaccurate, and what is more, the supervisors and their teams don't accept it fully. The planning can become just an annoying way of wasting precious time for everybody. However, if you delegate the preparation on your supervisors, then the result is different. When you let your whole team cooperate on planning and tracking - in ways that work for you and your colleagues - the plan will become the best tool for the success of your department.
The usage of software for the planning of engineering tasks allows the involvement of more members of the Engineering team to the planning process. Let's use the villa building maintenance process as an example and Building Maintenance Supervisor as a responsible person for such maintenance.
Preventive maintenance jobs are "silent."
In my experience, most managers and their teams don't have one comprehensive list with all maintenance jobs. More common is the existence of preventive maintenance tasks list with their periodicity. However, there is no way of tracking when preventive maintenance tasks were conducted. Instead, managers are keeping this information in their minds, which is the biggest manager's mistake because these tasks are "silent" - there's no alarm sound, no big red light is flashing. This lack of tracking causes them to be overlooked easily, and the particular maintenance plans are not followed properly. On the other hand, corrective tasks are very "loud," they are getting higher priority and moving preventive maintenance tasks down the to-do-list.
List of jobs - preventive and corrective maintenance in one
The fundamental pre-requisite for accurate planning is to have all requested jobs in one place. The file must contain all requests for corrective maintenance from other departments as well as internal findings of engineering staff. These requests are, for example, scratches, damaged wall paint, door hinges issue, a broken tile reported by Housekeeping or a guest request for the hammock installation at the villa garden. Even Building Maintenance Supervisor creates his/her tasks for the team like, for example, fabrication of new shelves to the kitchen, hanging the decoration in the restaurant and similar.
The second group of jobs is the preventive maintenance tasks, for example, protection of floor stone tiles, oiling of wooden frames, sanding wooden table, and so on.
When the supervisor sees the list with all these tasks, he or she can adequately estimate the time needed to complete each job, delegate each task to the responsible worker and prioritize. The further picture is an example of a view on an elaborate list of jobs combining corrective and preventive ones.
The manager in the daily planning process
My role in daily planning is more about observing and monitoring than personal involvement in planning operations. I go through a regular planning session every morning and ask my supervisors to order the planned tasks based on their importance. The supervisors know that I monitor it, and I will be asking them in case some tasks aren't fulfilled at the end of the day, and they are postponed to the other day. Nobody wants to explain why jobs aren't finished in time!
Would you like to see a practical demonstration of the preparation of a daily plan in specialized Engineering software? Let me know and let's set up a functional demo.