Leadership in Maintenance Weekly/Daily Operations and Maintenance Meetings

Leadership in Maintenance Weekly/Daily Operations and Maintenance Meetings

Torbjörn Idhammar, IDCON INC

Daily and weekly meetings between operations and maintenance are crucial in taking the efficiency of your daily maintenance to a higher level. Many organizations deal well with production stops, but have issues with organizing routine work. Coordinating meetings where various departments prioritize work orders (WO) and maintenance is the foundation for a partnership between operations and maintenance. Such meetings create efficiency. Well-organized meetings with clear goals and agendas can completely change the culture for the better in an organization.

Readers may think that their jam-packed schedules don’t need any more meetings. Why not just let the maintenance planners just keep up with the weekly WOs? Everyone can go into the maintenance system and see the status on a WO. Why go old school and hold a meeting when there is e-mail, messaging and technology to connect us? Why do I, as operations manager, have to sit through a maintenance meeting?

In my experience, many organizations have problems with collaboration between operations and maintenance. Mostly it boils down to communication, ensuring everyone in operations knows what jobs need completion the soonest. Maintenance oftentimes doesn’t have the right equipment ready when a job is beginning. Then, both parties think the ”wrong” WO is prioritized. The list of mix-ups goes on.

An efficient, well-structured meeting does take extra time out of the workday. But it’s still the best and most effective way I’ve been able to successfully coordinate daily work. Technology is great, but it’s not as efficient as a live-discussion.

So what does an efficient and well-structured meeting look like and what are we supposed to get out of it?

Weekly meetings for Maintenance (1 hour)

A weekly meeting should take no more than an hour. The maintenance coordinator, maintenance planner and foreman of the operations department should be present. The main topics of the meeting are:

  • Operations and management place priority on all new work order requests (only bring to discussion if there are disagreements).
  • Work orders that are to be carried out within 2-4 weeks are moved to the planner for scheduling.
  • Last week’s completed WO statistics are updated. For example: % of planned jobs, % scheduled jobs, % planned and scheduled jobs.
  • Status of WOs completed this week is discussed. Solve scheduling conflicts, if there are any.
  • A schedule for the upcoming week and WOs for every job is offered. This assures us that operations can stop the machines/equipment on decided time and that all WOs are well planned.
  • The schedule is posted on the wall after the meeting.

Decisions about WO priorities should only change in the weekly meeting. Exceptions may be made for URGENT jobs, using clear, previously agreed upon definitions. If what’s decided and agreed upon in the meeting changes too often, especially by people who weren’t even present, it renders them completely useless. For productive meetings, priority parameters must exist, along with a functioning work order log, and adherence to basic meeting rules.

Daily update meetings (max 15 min)

Most organizations don’t have reliable enough operations to just hold weekly meetings. The weekly schedule needs to be updated on a daily basis. A common mistake is to hold daily meetings first thing in the morning. They need to be held midday, so that a schedule can be made for maintenance around 3 pm in preparation for the next workday.

The daily meeting doesn’t have to be long, and covers just a few topics:

  • What was completed yesterday?
  • What is being done today?
  • A schedule for tomorrow with a title, time and work order assigned to each job.
  • Numerical values.

A daily meeting shouldn’t have to take more time than 11-12 minutes if everyone is prepared and on time.

Test Yourself

Read the statements below and grade your organization for each.

test yourself to see how good your maintenance meeting is

1. All work orders (WO) have an estimated completion time and proper priority in the maintenance system)

2. Maintenance knows when the equipment is available for production stop.

3. Operations know what WOs are to be carried out each week.

4. The schedule is only interrupted for URGENT jobs. An urgent job means disruption in production, quality issues, uncontrollable safety or environmental risks.

5. Maintenance personnel know which WOs will be carried out tomorrow, before clocking out today.

6. Only prepared jobs are on the schedule.

7. Routine meetings are held between operations and maintenance, as mentioned above.

8.We start our meetings in a timely manner, always no more 30 seconds from the decided time.

9.Our daily meetings are shorter than 15 minutes and weeklies, shorter than 45.

10. Our maintenance personnel complete prepared and scheduled jobs during 90 percent of their shifts. (Evaluated daily with ”cut-off” time by noon for the following day.)

Add up your points to see your score.

0-40    = Examine overall structure and routine work from the foundation up.

41-70 = There is a lot to improve. Analyze what type of improvements would yield the most for your company.

71-90 = Great! You likely have a functioning organization in place, but can probably make improvements on the individual steps that make up your procedures.

91-100=You should charge admission for people to come observe how well you work. 

I’m interested in hearing from you. If you have any valuable tips about how to get efficient meetings in place, join the discussion on this topic on our LinkedIn forum. Search for IDCON’s discussion page.


Torbjörn Idhammar

Torbjörn Idhammar is the president and CEO of IDCON INC., a Reliability and Maintenance Management Consulting Firm. Tor’s responsibilities include training IDCON consultants, product development, sales, and marketing. He gives advice to IDCON’s multi-site and international clients to ensure outcomes and deliverables are met.

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