Maintenance Planning & Scheduling Handbook, Third Edition: Increase Your Workforce Without Hiring


maintenance-planningBook Title:  Maintenance Planning & Scheduling Handbook, Third Edition: Increase Your Workforce Without Hiring

Author:  Richard “Doc” Palmer

Publisher:  McGraw-Hill

List Price:   US$ 72.36

Format:  Available soft, hardcover, and eBook

Publication Date:   2013

ISBN: 9780-07-178411-5

Reviewer:      Walter R. Washburn III, PMP

Review Date:              February 2012

Introduction to the Book

The Maintenance Planning & Scheduling Handbook Third Edition details how to improve the productivity of plant and equipment maintenance.  The book is a comprehensive resource for enlightened industrial plant operators, who understand the value of moving the maintenance function from “equipment repair” to a business process for increasing equipment availability,  thus plant capacity, thus revenue.

Doc Palmer points to the demonstrated fact that typical maintenance productivity is measured at 20-25%.  Up to 80% of a maintainer’s shift is spent getting assignments, traveling, waiting to be cleared, finding parts and tools, set-up, on breaks,  etc. – NOT working with tools to get the job done!  Yet an effective planner, supported by the right process and resources, can improve the effective output of 30 hands-on maintainers to the equivalent of 47.  This handbook provides the vision as well as the how-to and hands-on specifics for accomplishing maintenance planning and scheduling effectively.

A handbook, traditionally, is an easily-consulted companion and reference for specific kinds of work or specialized interests, with detailed instructions and how-to assisting the practitioner in the complexities of tasks or operations.  This handbook delivers on that promise.  It is immensely practical and accessible.  It is focused on the practitioner, organized on the tasks and structure needed for the problem domain, consistently grounded in actual experience, and bolstered with case studies from actual, real-life implementations.

Doc Palmer, a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP), has more than 30 years experience on the front lines of plant operations.  Since publishing the First Edition, Doc Palmer has worked full-time consulting, mentoring, and training with maintenance organizations both in the USA and abroad, and brings that rich experience to this Third Edition.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The volume’s size (897 pages) and weight (3 ½ pounds) may give one pause, but it is well organized, practical, and usable.

The initial four slim chapters provide essential theory and foundational principals important to make the business case, and to establish an effective approach to building a planning and scheduling organization.

The next nine chapters provide in-depth detail, building on the principals of planning and scheduling introduced in the initial chapters.

The 800 pages of appendix material, however, elevate this handbook from a valuable read, to priceless.  The appendix matter details tools, forms, process, working systems,  real-world examples, implementations, templates, and more.  For instance, one 126 page appendix describes in exhaustive detail all of the considerations and planning that need to be completed to deploy a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) successfully.  Another large appendix addresses the process needed to overcome cultural barriers and institute the factors needed to successfully establish and support a planning group. Then there are numerous nuts-and-bolts references for essential elements of performing the planning function: sample forms and work orders, essential tools for the planner, filing systems and process, equipment numbering schemes, process for work-sampling studies, work order systems and codes, etc. 


To read entire Book Review (click here)

About the Reviewer 

walter-r-washburnflag-usaWalter R. Washburn

2nd Lt Walter R. Washburn (USAF) started his career in 1976 as Chief of Maintenance at a remote RADAR site in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  There  he managed various craft skill sets in the maintenance of two multi-megawatt heavy ground RADARs, a computer facility, a 500 MW power generation plant, and a high-power UHF radio data-link site – contributing to the operations of the BUIC and SAGE air defense network during the height of the cold-war.  Memories of the challenges of managing maintenance without the benefits of Doc Palmer’s handbook guided this review.

Beyond his start in the Air Force, Walt has spent another 30 years leading technical projects in systems integration, systems implementation, enterprise change management, and software application development.  He’s worked in DoD, Applied Sciences Consulting,  Banking, Consumer Services, e-Commerce, and Healthcare, where for the past 10 years he’s helped build strategic software applications for CVS Caremark.

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World Inc and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (www.pmidallas.org). Publishers provide books to PM World, books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter where they are given to chapter members who commit to providing a book review in a standard format; the reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Since PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books.  If you are an author or publisher of a book related to program or project management, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].