What is the Maintenance Planner minimum skills set for a person who wants to be a Maintenance Planner and Scheduler in the Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Role?

A Maintenance Planner needs the skills and knowledge to develop detailed maintenance job plans with correct tasks, trade skills, times, materials and resources to do the maintenance work safely, efficiently and right-first-time.

Unless the person in the role has the Maintenance Planner minimum skills and knowledge set they can never properly plan maintenance work. They can only become a good Maintenance Job Scheduler.



Hello Friend,

Your lady sounds like a great find. But without having the Maintenance Planner minimum skills set she cannot do the role well. If she does not have a background in equipment design/maintenance she will struggle as a Maintenance Planner. Until she understands the engineering of how the equipment on your site goes together and works she will not be good at planning maintenance work. By default she will end up becoming a very good Maintenance Scheduler and Parts Purchaser who does no planning, because she does not understand how machines operate and are constructed.

If that is the case you will need to give her someone to work with who knows the machines and plant and what to do to maintain them. This person will do the maintenance job planning until she learns about your machines’ construction and assembly and can confidently plan their repairs and maintenance task-by-task.

A mechanical equipment planner must intimately know the design of the machines for which they will plan and prepare maintenance. They must know enough engineering and technical knowledge to be able to repair the machines unassisted themselves if you want great maintenance planning done. If a Planner is not so technically capable that does not mean that the maintenance cannot be planned; someone else with that level of knowledge can do it for them.

An electrical planner has even more demanding requirements, since they will need to be licensed as well as knowing their discipline deeply and proficiently.

A maintenance planner and scheduler will need to be very capable with using planning software to create job plans, schedule work orders and develop job network diagrams. They will need to be comfortable with spread sheet software to develop reports and create financial models. They will need to be an expert on using the site CMMS.

A maintenance planner will write job plans and procedures to do all the maintenance tasks on a maintenance work order. This requires proficiency in using suitable software to create text documents and drawings. To write about the work to be done on a machine and how that work will be done, to set the standards of work quality to be met, to understand how you go about proving the machine and its assemblies work properly needs someone that is technically competent on the equipment and is a very clear and precise communicator.

A maintenance planner must know the fundamentals of condition monitoring, of maintenance strategy, of how to create reliability, of the science of the production process and a sound knowledge about the operation its machinery, of using the soft skills needed when working with maintenance and operations people.

If you put someone into the role of maintenance planning who does not have the minimum level of knowledge, skills and capability described above, it will result in great frustration in the production and maintenance groups and the creation of many errors and wasted efforts.

People who do not know the machinery and plant operation, who do not know the engineering of how it is built and maintained, who need to learn the software tools of maintenance planning and scheduling can learn the missing knowledge. But that will take much time and practice, and you need someone who can do the maintenance planning role well now.

Your only choices are to either give the new person help to do the job scoping and planning by giving them someone with all the technical knowledge needed while they learn how to become a good maintenance planner, or get a proficient person from the appropriate maintenance or engineering disciplines to become the maintenance planner.


My best regards to you,

Mike Sondalini
Managing Director
Lifetime Reliability Solutions HQ


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