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Maintenance Planning
and Scheduling


Richard Hudson

Kieran McKeown

The course helped clearly define what the roles and responsibilities are between different people and different stakeholders. This has allowed us to look at our existing structure, and, using the framework provided by the IMechE, to see where improvements can be made.

Verified by an engineer

Kieran McKeown studied Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of South Wales. He works for the Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I as a Maintenance Planner at the Magor Brewery in South Wales. It is one of the biggest breweries in the UK and produces more than 1 billion pints of beer a year. Brands include Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois and Becks. Kieran performs all maintenance planning and scheduling for the can and keg production on the site. He is responsible for organising planned maintenance activities, corrective maintenance and any emerging work that appears day to day.


Why the Maintenance Planning and Scheduling course?

“Planning and scheduling is something we’ve been doing for a while now at Budweiser, however, it is a process we are looking to optimise within the business. We believed we were doing a lot of things the correct way, but we wanted to get some kind of formal structure that is an approved or a recognised way of working. So, I started looking for courses. Unfortunately, planning and scheduling is not an area that is broadly covered by training providers, and I was struggling to find a good quality course. There’s just not a lot of availability. I wanted something on this specific topic, backed by a professional body.

“I am a member of the IMechE and knew of their courses and their reputation, so I had a look – and sort of stumbled across this course. It was at short notice but it was an online course, so that made it easier. A remote course is more viable for someone like me who lives a fair way from London or other course venues. Plus, a virtual offering works well for my employer. They are keen to promote learning and development; and a virtual course like this one allowed me to join in at short notice.”

What was your experience of the course?

“There was some pre-course work to download and consider. This was useful as, inevitably, there were some areas that were of more interest to me than others. It was important to understand whether what we were doing was right or wrong, and where there might be deviations from a recognised framework.

“It was a morning course, so I booked a quiet room on site and logged on a few minutes early, just to make sure that everything was fine. The trainer, Matthew Laskaj, welcomed us all as we joined and encouraged everyone to turn their camera on. That really helped to ensure everyone participated.

“There were seven other delegates, from completely different fields of engineering to mine. Their business backgrounds were very different, too. That was useful because it stimulated a group discussion about how people were doing things differently and the various stages of progress we were all at. We had an interesting open discussion as to how we interpreted the role of maintenance planning and what we thought that meant for our business. The size of the group made it more personal and we all had a chance to speak.

“Matthew took us through his slides but it was more interactive than that sounds. He talked about the slide content and then he would pose questions to each attendee. Sometimes people would volunteer to speak, at other times Matthew would ask someone how a particular topic applied to them or how they interpreted it.

“It was very well prepared – there was a clear structure but at the same time it was informal. Matthew covered everything I needed, but allowed time for questions, for him to propose ideas and to discuss attendees’ feedback.”

What are the key reasons someone should attend the Maintenance Planning and Scheduling course?

1 “You will understand relationships between key team members – how the actions of the maintenance planner and the maintenance scheduler (who may be the same person!) interact with those above them and the teams carrying out their plans. It was great to understand the wider view.”

2 “Part of the pre-work for the course is looking at how time is lost or wasted in maintenance activities – and how you can try and claw that time back. That is a key insight.”

3 “If you are responsible for maintenance scheduling and planning, this course gives you a framework and a structure of what it should look like for your workplace.”

What’s been the impact?

“The course helped clearly define what the roles and responsibilities are between different people and different stakeholders. This has allowed us to look at our existing structure, and, using the framework provided by the IMechE, to see where improvements can be made.

“This was probably the key thing for us because some of the scheduling activities we talked about on the course were already in place, so it was more about identifying time losses and what we could do to regain that time.

“One of the things we have changed is the pre-planning that goes into a job before it is assigned. We now create a better document that the maintenance technician will be given when they receive a work order or a job. We’re doing this using an online system to create an information centre for the technician. If there’s something they’re unsure about, instead of it causing extended downtime or extended job time, they have all the information they need at hand. We are really benefitting from that clarity for the technician.”

Three pieces of advice you’d give future attendees

1 “When you do the pre-work for the course – and you should do it – write down the key topics that you would like to discuss or understand more about. At the beginning of the course, we were asked if anybody had a specific need or requirement to ensure that it was covered.”

2 “If you interact with the tutor and interact with the other delegates, then the course will be a lot more enjoyable and beneficial.”

3 “Use the course notes to make sure you understood everything. It will really help when you’re implementing all the changes needed.”

What’s next?

“I am a happy customer! I’ve been looking at the other offerings that IMechE has and, if   possible, I’d like to take the online World Class Maintenance course. I have also contacted my management team on site and told them that Maintenance Planning and Scheduling is a good, beneficial course and one that we should consider for others in my position. I still refer to the course notes. I find it useful to reinforce what I learned in the course and how I’m trying to implement change.

“The course has also spurred me to review my own membership and I am going to apply for Incorporated status. I want to continue in my career, using the training that the IMechE has given me, with the longer-term view of becoming a maintenance manager.”

Maintenance Planning & Scheduling

  • Duration:
    2 days
  • Location:
  • CPD Hours:
  • UK-Spec:
    B, E, C,