S9C2 - KEY RELATIONSHIPS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Table of Contents
KEY PP&C RESPONSIBILITIES AND RELATIONSHIPS
INFORMATION SUPPORT SYSTEM
Information Collection, Collation and Analysis
PRODUCTION PLANNING AND CONTROL PRINCIPLES
- Units shall identify, document, establish and sustain key relationships essential to performance of Production Planning and Control functions.
- Units shall establish an information support system to collect, collate, analyse and communicate timely and accurate information:
- supporting decision making
- enabling information and performance management
- enabling productivity improvement in capability delivery.
- Units shall establish performance management and productivity improvement practices to identify unit efficiency and productivity opportunities in support of organisational goals.
- Unit Executives shall actively lead and be accountable for implementation and sustainment of PP&C key functional responsibilities.
1. Establishing and sustaining key relationships is essential for performance of maintenance activities. This chapter introduces descriptions of key relationships and responsibilities that contribute to Production Planning and Control (PP&C). An outline of these stakeholder interactions are depicted in Figure 1.
2. Stability in PP&C relies on information being collected, analysed and communicated to unit decision makers enabling overall unit performance awareness and productivity improvement. Units seeking improved efficiency and productivity must establish information management and performance measurement for three reasons.
- To lead the unit in a chosen direction by driving strategies and organisational change.
- To manage resources in achieving goals by evaluating the effectiveness of unit outputs.
- To identify processes that enables unit productivity and creates sustainable performance improvements.
KEY PP&C RESPONSIBILITIES AND RELATIONSHIPS
3. A unit’s preparedness is directly affected by culture and the approach personnel adopt in connecting PP&C functions. It is recommended the following paragraphs be read in conjunction with Figure 1 to appreciate how PP&C stakeholders extend beyond the maintenance domain:
Figure 1 - Key Relationships within a Unit
- Commanding Officer (CO) is identified as the Senior Executive within the Airworthiness Technical Regulatory Framework (TRF); the CO is responsible and accountable for all resources allocated to the unit. Hence, the CO is accountable for conduct of all maintenance activities, resolving arising issues and delivery of effective and efficient maintenance output in support of operational preparedness.
- Executive Officer (XO) is delegated responsibility by the CO for leadership and management of aircrew and non-maintenance elements of a unit. The XO is required to negotiate with key stakeholders to influence the flying program, assuring aircrew training and categorisation scheme requirements are fulfilled.
- Senior Maintenance Manager (SMM) is delegated responsibility by Technical Airworthiness Authority for leadership and management of unit maintenance elements. Ideally, effective resource scheduling to support the flying program will deliver a large portion of maintenance training requirements. However, it is vital that all stakeholders understand the need to properly train operations, maintenance, supply and engineering personnel in effective resource scheduling. Principally, resource scheduling is performed through coordination of internal resources and liaison between Units, FEGs, System Program Offices and supporting agencies.
- Principal Maintenance Coordinator (PMC) has responsibility for the Maintenance Coordination function, which encompasses technical, supply and operational personnel. Further information on the PMC role can be found in Section 9 Chapter 3.
- Plans Officers/Operations Officers are responsible for planning and optimisation of the short, medium and long term flying programs to ensure Raise, Train and Sustain (RTS) activities fulfil preparedness requirements. Liaison and negotiation of flying program requirements is necessary between operations planning and maintenance elements to ensure optimisation of fleet utilisation.
- Unit Performance Officer is delegated responsibility for management of centralised quality system related activities that would support holistic unit performance management and productivity improvement. These include; Authorised Maintenance Organisation Quality Management System (AMO QMS); Work, Health and Safety; Training Coordination and Maintenance Control Office functions. The Unit Performance Officer may also hold additional responsibilities in support of the AMO. (E.g. MASO)
- Warrant Officer or Warrant Officer Engineering (WOE) sets the standard and culture for the maintenance related workforce. The WOE exercises oversight of maintenance personnel RTS management to ensure adequate skills and experience coverage.
- Officer in Charge (OIC)/Section Heads are delegated responsibility for leadership and management of the maintenance workforce. In collaboration with Unit Training Coordinators (UTC), Section Heads execute oversight to ensure workforce health and management activities are supported to assure appropriate coverage, standards and culture.
- Unit Training Coordinator is delegated responsibility for coordinating the programming and delivery of training to unit personnel. Crucially, the UTC is responsible for managing professional mastery development and must therefore closely support OIC/Section heads to maintain workforce health and promote innovation in workforce performance.
- Quality Manager (QM) is delegated responsibility by the CO for compliance and conformance assurance of unit AMO QMS IAW airworthiness regulations. The QM is also responsible to the SMM and XO for monitoring unit output, measuring performance and identification of productivity improvement inline with QMS principles. The QM advises results of these measurements to unit stakeholders.
- Unit Safety Advisor (USA) / Unit Safety Officer (USO) is delegated responsibility by the CO for assurance of Work Health and Safety (WHS) compliance and conformance. The USA is also responsible to the SMM and XO for establishing and maintaining unit safety culture. WHS Management System is a quality system, hence the USA/USO in conjunction with the QM, contributes to performance management and productivity improvement of the unit.
- Maintenance Control Office (MCO) is responsible for integrity and assurance of maintenance data. The MCO provides information in support of effective maintenance coordination, task planning, workforce management and performance analysis.
- Stores and Supply Section is responsible for unit supply chain and equipment management. Supply section liaises internally to understand maintenance requirements and externally, for elevation and resolution of supply challenges. It is essential maintenance coordination and task planning and control functions communicate with supply section to assure mutual understanding of outcomes and lead-time requirements.
- Contractors are responsible for the conduct of contracted maintenance that is beyond the resources of the operational unit. Communication of contracted maintenance schedules between the SPO and the unit ensures that induction and delivery of materiel is well planned, contributing to the overall platform capability delivery.
INFORMATION SUPPORT SYSTEM
4. Information relating to operations, maintenance, supply and engineering limitations, constraints and environmental conditions are the key inputs for supporting PP&C responsibilities and relationships. This information is perishable, altering continuously due to ongoing changes in operational requirements, unit performance and resource availability. The dynamic nature of unit activities requires a flexible response in scheduling, activity coordination, problem resolution and reporting.
5. Information Management is defined as ’the framework and set of processes by which an organisation captures, analyses, prioritises, stores and ensures timely dissemination of relevant information for decision-making purposes’. Information Management is based on the provision of ‘the right information, at the right time, to the right person, and in the right format to enable the right decision to be made’. The unit may choose to co-locate the Quality Management, Unit Safety, Unit Training Coordination and Maintenance Control areas, which allows for potentially faster information collection, collation, analysis and interpretation. This co-location will broaden awareness of initiative implementation and provide holistic unit performance management and productivity improvement.
6. Reliable information sources are required when conducting performance measurement, overall unit planning and requirements-based decision making. Selecting correct unit performance measures will drive improvement in quality and unit productivity. Performance measures must have the following characteristics, as applicable:
- Be aligned to key factors, identified through unit business planning, that drive the unit and reflect organisational requirements. Information to support these measures must be captured and analysed during task progression and upon completion.
- Be simple, measurable, accurate, reliable, timely and security classified.
- Use validated and verified sources of information.
- Results of measurement activities and performance information must be appropriately accessible across the unit.
- Measures should systematically evolve best practices and implement these lessons through local instructions.
Information Collection, Collation and Analysis
7. Use of contemporary management systems provides an information rich environment enabling information mining, collation and analysis. The unit elements responsible for information management must also identify, document and report unit performance however, unit managers remain accountable for performance outcomes. Information sources for input to performance measures can be obtained from the following:
- Collation and utilisation of information for compliance and performance analysis of Operations, Maintenance, Supply, and Engineering functions.
- Analysis of performance measures to reconcile Preparedness Directives and the Statement of Operating Intent (SOI) against the Materiel Sustainment Agreement Product Schedule (MSA PdS).
8. Sound analytical methods must be used to support decision making. Information analysis involves the identification of patterns and anomalies in collated data to identify performance trends and causal factors. This enables objective decision making for unit improvement, followed by ongoing monitoring and management review.
9. Information relating to performance and progression of activities throughout the day must be periodically updated. Timely and accurate information flow is necessary to enable effective decision making and must be sourced from relevant stakeholders. Information enabling immediate action will likely be sourced and distributed during the following activities:
- Aircraft Requirement & Readiness Status (Daily/Weekly). This communication mechanism is utilised by operations to identify aircraft configuration requirements for on forwarding to maintenance. A response from maintenance of the unit’s ability to produce sufficient platforms in the required configuration will result. This communication mechanism should be considered one of the most important tactical level communication channels between operations and maintenance personnel and enables a ‘single point of contact’, hence reducing the probability of confusion regarding mission requirements.
- Maintenance Briefings (Shift/Daily). Usually occurring 1-2 times daily at commencement of work and/or shift handover and is often led by the PMC. This brief provides stakeholders with an update of current maintenance priorities and short-term future requirements. Outcomes of this briefing commonly entail section level tasking, information on maintenance effectiveness and highlights likely impacts to flying program to WOE, ENGOs & SMM. Applicable information from this brief should be reported to operations and supply personnel to ensure these functional areas have up to date information. Alternatively, supply and operations personnel may be invited to attend as required.
- Maintenance Task Status Reports (Task/Shift/Daily). These reports monitor progress against each task and phase of a maintenance activity. Information gathered and reported must:
- provide an indication of progress of individual tasks by maintenance managers
- provide a synopsis of overall progress against the maintenance plan and priorities
- enable adjustments to the maintenance plan or priorities that may be required (if extenuating circumstances dictate, such as the emergence of work not previously discovered)
- enable adjustment of short term flying program requirements, leading to an understanding of impact to longer term flying program and overall fleet plan
- inform supply personnel of spares requirements including new and cancelled orders
- aid in the refinement and improvement of planning, resourcing, control, and maintenance processes utilised for conduct of the activity.
10. Deliberate planning requires information relating to the specific activity. This information will vary in granularity depending upon the lead time to the event, with greater fidelity evolving as execution approaches. The following paragraphs outline forums requiring deliberate planning and associated information.
- Maintenance Planning (SMM) Meeting (Weekly/Monthly). This forum is convened to enable short to medium-term unit planning. Inputs to this meeting include (but not limited to):
- QMS/WHS reporting (e.g. defect reports, ASORs)
- Supply chain requirements & limitations
- Medium-term fleet planning requirements
- Upcoming deployment/exercise planning
- Personnel management, GSE, S&TE availability, training and competency.
- This meeting provides an opportunity for representatives from across the unit to convene and pass on important information. Items for discussion include current unit priorities, a synopsis of activities conducted since the last meeting, outline activities for the coming week/month, review of primary performance indicators and highlight potential areas of concern. This brief typically forms part of the Squadron executive’s communication strategy for dissemination of information to all ranks within the unit, which supports the generation of a positive unit culture.
- Maintenance planning meeting outcomes will likely include an assessment of the unit ability to meet the flying program without compromising the fleet plan (e.g. flog rates, fatigue life, DM schedule) and identification of proposed solutions for consideration by higher authority.
- Maintenance Induction/Delivery Meeting (As required). These briefs are typically conducted when transferring platforms between operating units or entering and exiting deeper maintenance. This meeting outlines and negotiates the physical platform status, enabling appropriate resourcing upon transfer.
- Fleet Planning Meeting (Monthly/Yearly). Fleet Planning meetings are planned, conducted and controlled to ensure continued engagement of relevant stakeholders for negotiation of the fleet plan. Important considerations of this meeting include:
- upcoming operational and deeper level scheduled maintenance activities
- significant unscheduled maintenance arisings affecting ability to meet the flying program
- incorporation of modifications and special technical instructions
- future planned exercise requirements (individual and collective training opportunities)
- unit personnel availability
- operations, supply and maintenance facilities availability
- domestic and deployed supply chain support.
- Deployment Planning Meeting. To successfully conduct capability delivery away from home base (exercise or operations) the development of a deployment plan is necessary. Deployment planning typically occurs in a three-phased approach; Initial, Main and Final Planning Conferences are held to ensure identification of requirements and planning of activities to be conducted on deployment. Unit personnel are to contribute to these planning conferences ensuring operations, maintenance, supply and engineering related requirements are captured, in conjunction with other deployment inputs. Topics for consideration may include facilities requirements, tooling and support equipment requirements, fly-away kit composition and supply support, and remote engineering support arrangements.
11. Reporting forms an important mechanism for information dissemination to unit decision makers, and external stakeholders. Performance reporting conveys information throughout the chain of command outlining performance trending and causal factors. Performance reporting is generally focussed on effectiveness measures, with the following outlining various PP&C performance reporting forums and formats:
- Aircraft Status (ACSTAT) Reports (Daily/Weekly). Aircraft Status Reports are typically produced daily by the Flight-line Officer, WOE or Principal Maintenance Coordinator (PMC) and contribute to the maintenance brief (described below). The ACSTAT captures physical aircraft status, at time of information collation (typically a snapshot once or twice a day), likely time to make serviceable, outline of major maintenance requirements and highlights resource shortfalls (e.g. spares, engineering disposition, workforce availability).
- Quality Management System (QMS) Meeting (Monthly). QMS meetings form part of the compliance, conformance and performance activities for regulation assurance. These meetings include quality management system status, compliance finding rectification and analysis of regulatory activities affecting the unit. CO or delegate chairs this meeting, supported by operations, maintenance, supply and engineering stakeholders. Outcomes result in improvements to unit standing instruction, management processes and/or practices.
- Performance Analysis and Reporting (Monthly). Conscious and continued consideration of performance will highlight unit efficiency and effectiveness. Regular reporting assists in development and sustainment of organisational self-awareness by informing unit managers of their platform, workforce and support systems performance. Units must consider utilising a range of measures, aligned to capability inputs, as follows:
- Major Systems – Select measures that describe the physical status of the aircraft or major systems in a Unit (e.g. Maintenance Release Success, Launch Success, Platform Reliability, Mission Effectiveness, Organic Maintenance Availability, Serviceability, Fleet Health and Planning Effectiveness).
- Personnel, Organisation and Training – Select measures that describe the strength (vs. establishment), experience and readiness of unit personnel (e.g. Tradespersons Training Progression, Personnel Health, Readiness and Tradesperson to Supervisor Ratio).
- Supplies and Support – Select measures that describe the efficiency and effectiveness of supply and support systems (e.g. Demand Satisfaction Rate, Critical Item Stock Levels and Cannibalisations).
- Command and Management – Select measures that describe the status of policy and procedures, quality management and safety management systems within the unit (e.g. ASORs and Ground safety incidents).
12. Collection, collation, fusion and analysis of reported performance information will highlight risks and opportunities for productivity improvement. Productivity improvement is founded upon efficiency measures, hence evolution of performance reporting measures are required. To assist Units and FEGs with development of appropriate productivity measures, examples are provided at the Maintenance Operations ToolBox SharePoint site. It is encouraged that publication sponsor be contacted for assistance in productivity improvement measures development.