Determining Resource Load
When scheduling work, it is important for organizations to have visibility into the right group of work orders to schedule and to understand the resource load versus availability for those work orders.
The resource load displays how many labor or crew hours are required within a given time period such as a shift, day, week or month to complete the work orders scheduled in that time period. The availability displays how many labor or crew hours are available to complete the work within that same time period. This visibility allows schedulers to resource load level the work ahead of the week of execution with the goal being not to schedule more work within a time period than you have resources available to complete work.
For example, 4 weeks before the week of execution, a scheduler may schedule enough work within a week to account for 70% of the time for their mechanical resources. If there are 4 mechanics who work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week then the scheduler has 32 hours a day and 160 hours a week of mechanical resource availability to schedule work that requires a mechanical resource.
If 200 hours of mechanical work is scheduled within that week, then the organization is setting up the weekly schedule to be out of compliance and much of that work may need to be rescheduled and become break out work. If the scheduler schedules work to fill 70% of mechanical resource availability for the week, then 30% of mechanical availability is left for administrative tasks and break in work. Finding the right level to resource load level a schedule for a week is a key metric for an organization.
Work Queries in Maximo Scheduler
The Work Queries section in Graphical Scheduling is used to define the scope of work that will be included in the schedule. In the blog article, “T-Week Scheduling with Maximo Scheduler”, it is explained that the query does not have to contain complex date logic. The query should be simple. If you were to go to Work Order Tracking and search for a group of work orders to schedule, what would the criteria be? For example, work orders with a status of WSCH, APPR and WPCOND and a crew work group of MECH and a priority of 1, 2, 3 or 4 and site of BEDFORD may be included in the schedule. Only those work orders that match the criteria in the Work Queries section will be included in the Gantt View.
When setting up queries in the Work Queries section, a data source of PM, WORKORDER, WOACTIVITY, WORELEASE or WOCHANGE can be selected. This allows flexibility of how work orders or tasks are included in the schedule. Also, this allows forecasted PMs to be included in the schedule. More than one row can be added to the Work Queries section. The schedule may be set up to bring in all work orders for T-4 to T-16 weeks with a data source of WORKORDER and also bring in forecasted PMs for the MECH crew work group for the next year with a data source of PM. If data source is PM, then the query will search for PM records in the Preventive Maintenance application that match the criteria and will display records in the Gantt View based on the Forecast.
Resource availability can be calculated in a schedule based upon true availability using craft/labor/crew type/crew/calendar/shift or by using alternate availability.
Resource requirements are planned for a work order in the Labor section on the Plans tab. Labor can be planned as a craft or crew type. Resource load in a schedule is calculated based on the labor plan on the work orders that are in the schedule. This is also the beginning basis for calculating labor availability. The schedule will only display and calculate availability for craft and crew types planned on work orders within your schedule, you will not see availability for electricians if no work orders in the schedule plan for an electrician. There is an option to include additional resources on the More Information subtab on the Schedule tab. For example, if you want to include electrician availability in the schedule even though there are no work orders with a plan for an electrician, you can use the Additional Resources section.
If using true availability, the calendar and shift are the next important elements when setting up the schedule. Only labor and crews that have the same calendar and shift association will be included in the schedule. If the Day shift is the only shift specified on the setup in the schedule, then resource availability for mechanics on the evening shift will not be summed up and displayed in the schedule. More than one shift can be specified on a schedule, although there may be performance impacts if more than three shifts are selected.
The Restrict Resource Availability section can be used to further limit the resources that will be included in the resource availability calculation. For example, not every labor with a craft of Mechanic and calendar of Day and shift of Day should be included in the schedule. Only labor records with a craft of Mechanic, calendar of Day, shift of Day and work site of Bedford and crew work group of MECH should be included in the schedule. In this example, by adding a query in the Restrict Resource Availability section to limit resources by work site and crew work group, the right set up resources is summed up in the resource availability calculation.
A data source of TOOLITEM, AMCREW or LABOR can be specified in the Restrict Resource Availability section. The data source corresponds with restricting the Labor, Crews or Rotating Tools that are included in the availability calculation.
There is one final consideration if using true availability to calculate resource availability in a schedule. The System Property, mxe.skd.resourceavail, can be set to either consider or ignore modified availability for a labor or crew. For example, if a mechanic is on vacation for a week for 40 hours, the resource availability calculation should only display 120 hours for that week instead of 160 hours. This prevents the scheduler from overscheduling work for a week based on available resources. The System Property is set to include the modified availability as the default.
If calendar and shifts for labor and crew records aren’t managed in Maximo or if the schedule is dependent upon contractor labor that isn’t managed in Maximo, alternate availability can be used. There is a checkbox on the More Information subtab of the Schedule tab that controls this functionality for a schedule. Check this checkbox to use alternate availability.
Alternate availability for a schedule can be defined in the Scheduling Alternate Resources application. In the Resources section in Graphical Scheduling, right click on a Resource type and select Go To Scheduling Alternate Resources.
Within the Scheduling Alternate Resources application, click the Modify button and then click Add New Alternate Availably next to a row. There will be one row for each combination of craft/crew and calendar/shift that is included in the schedule. Enter a quantity of how many resources are available for that shift. For example, 3 mechanics are available on the day shift. Alternate availability can be consistent for the entire schedule, or different quantities can be specified by date range, e.g. an additional contractor resource will be available for a few weeks.
Look for more content on using Maximo scheduler in the coming weeks. You can learn more about how to manage work more efficiently by visually planning, scheduling, assigning, and tracking work inside of Maximo by clicking here.