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S9C3 - MAINTENANCE COORDINATION

Table of Content

INTRODUCTION

INTEGRATED ACTIVITY PLAN

Operations Input

Maintenance Input

Supply Input

Engineering Input

Common Inputs

Limitations and Constraints

IAP DEVELOPMENT TECHNIQUES AND TOOLS

Techniques

Tools

MAINTENANCE COORDINATION CELL

IAP EXECUTION

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND IMPROVEMENT

PRODUCTION PLANNING AND CONTROL PRINCIPLES

  • Units shall establish and employ planning that integrates whole of unit activity to deliver capability, including:
    • identification and prioritisation of activities
    • consideration of all relevant requirements
    • deliberate allocation of available resources
    • communication of the plan throughout the unit.
  • During integrated plan execution units shall:
    • employ organisational teamwork
    • manage unit performance
    • perform analysis of plan execution
    • identify productivity improvement opportunities.

INTRODUCTION

1. Maintenance coordination is the act of assessment, planning and scheduling of maintenance activities; taking into account operations, maintenance, supply and engineering requirements. The output of maintenance coordination is an Integrated Activity Plan (IAP), which is developed in concert with an optimised aircraft usage plan to meet operational requirements. In a strategic context, maintenance coordination supports fleet management by sustaining a viable fleet plan.

INTEGRATED ACTIVITY PLAN

2. The IAP is developed by bringing together inputs from operations, maintenance, supply and engineering elements into a single view. This approach enables holistic coordination, fosters performance and actively demonstrates an inclusive culture. Figure 1 - IAP Model identifies essential inputs to IAP development. Through execution of the IAP, outputs (aligned to the inputs) are achieved leading to capability delivery.

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Figure 1 - IAP Model

3. Development of a successful IAP requires deliberate identification, prioritisation and allocation of available resources. An outline of considerations, grouped by contributing input elements, is provided in the following paragraphs.

Operations Input

4. Capability delivery is the primary output of units, hence must be considered during IAP development. The following describes IAP operation inputs:

  1. Aircrew Qualification and Categorisation System. This defines proficiency and readiness levels of aircrew, contributing to assurance of the operational airworthiness system. Unit flying program development requires cognisance of this system in conjunction with preparedness directives and conduct of operations.
  2. Unit Flying Program. The Unit Flying Program has a direct affect on required numbers of serviceable mission capable aircraft. The flying program is a contract identifying aircraft configuration and mission requirements. Like any contract, all parties must act in a manner to honour the contract intent. Strong relationships are the key to honest communication to support a solid contract. The primary intent of the contract is to ‘Plan what you fly, fly what you plan’.
  3. Programming Considerations. Basic parameters that constitute a flying program must be agreed and documented to assure common understanding of requirements. Internal unit considerations contributing to flying program development include:
    1. sufficient mission ready airframes to achieve the desired program outcomes
    2. standard flying window
    3. communication protocol
    4. night flying
    5. away base sorties
    6. safety days
    7. standard configurations
    8. minimum and standard turn/reconfigure times
    9. sufficient authorisations to alter flying programs
    10. supporting unit, for collective training, flying programs
    11. supporting unit fleet plans and rostering (e.g. fuel tanker plan)
    12. surge capacity.
  4. Aircraft Configuration. Authorised operations personnel will provide the configuration requirements for the negotiated flying program.

Maintenance Input

5. Development of the flying program requires active participation by maintenance personnel to ensure realistic maintenance targets are set. A collaborative approach will ensure the development of an executable flying program:

  1. Maintenance Forecasting. Daily maintenance forecasting allows the PMC to provide an accurate prediction of aircraft availability in the short to medium term. Maintenance forecasting provides an indication of complexity and duration of work for the particular servicing, allowing for proactive preparation of required resources.
  2. Availability of Airframes. Provide an accurate assessment of aircraft availability in the short to medium term and likelihood of available assets to meet flying program outcomes, noting airframe configuration requirements.
  3. Optimised Airframe Usage. Selecting a suitable airframe for operations is a deliberate act that has both short term and long term impacts. Matching airframes, with appropriate configurations, to task requirements must be balanced against DM scheduled maintenance, consumption of flying hours and fatigue accrual. These characteristics must remain balanced to avoid adverse impacts on overall fleet health.
  4. Trade Sequence of Work. Identify most efficient order of access where rectifications cross multiple trades and concurrent work cannot occur.
  5. Nature of Work. There are a number of different types of work to be considered as follows:
    1. Scheduled Maintenance. Servicing staggers, maintenance forecast reports and planned usage rate allows prediction of scheduled maintenance events. This enables a high degree of forward planning.
    2. Unscheduled Maintenance. The maintenance phases of unscheduled maintenance are commensurate with scheduled maintenance except for the first two phases. These phases being that tasks arise external to the PSS and the requirement for fault finding. To mitigate this discrepancy during IAP development, operations debriefing and capture of accurate unserviceability symptoms is essential.
    3. Deferred Maintenance. A review of deferred maintenance needs to be conducted to potentially include rectification with programmed or scheduled maintenance.
    4. Repairable Item (RI) Schedule Re-alignment. Re-alignment of RI scheduled maintenance with Planned Servicing Schedule (PSS).
    5. DM Induction and Delivery. The agreed configuration and scope of work for both maintenance venues.
  6. Support Equipment Allocation. Control of GSE/S&TE to align with maintenance priorities.
  7. External Maintenance Support. Liaise with external agencies as required for support outside of the scope and capacity of the parent unit.

Supply Input

6. The following IAP supply elements directly support capability delivery and must be considered:

  1. Spares Planning. Linked to maintenance forecasting, collaboratively identifying spares in support of maintenance events will reduce variance in completion times, highlight supply system shortfalls and improve unit performance.
  2. Spares Coordination. Involves spares planning, demanding, hastening, storage and delivery of required items of supply in the right configuration and location, at the appropriate time to return an aircraft to a serviceable state.
  3. Deployed Supply Pipeline Planning and Management. During away base operations, resupply timings, return of spares and physical constraints of the supply pipeline must be factored into supply pipeline planning. Collaboration between maintenance and supply personnel will enable a balanced approach to Fly Away Kit composition and supply pipeline management. Stakeholders are expected to contribute to development of deployed supply pipeline management include Unit, SPO and FEG level operations, maintenance, supply and engineering personnel.
  4. Inventory Management. Encompassing RI & BDS Management, Inventory management enables cost effective acquisition and holding of correct inventory levels supporting maintenance.

Engineering Input

7. The following engineering inputs will impact on the development of the IAP and must be must be considered:

  1. External Engineering Support. Frequency & complexity of activities delivered from System Program Offices (SPO) and support contractors are predictable. This allows forward planning of facilities, support equipment, tools, spares and workforce requirements. Tasks arising from external engineering support agencies vary in complexity and when combined with flying program and maintenance requirements will determine optimal incorporation. The following are typical products requiring consideration:
    1. publication amendments
    2. maintenance policy updates
    3. Special Technical Inspections
    4. modifications
    5. Maintenance Interval Extension Request advice
    6. deviations
    7. technical advice.
  2. Internal Engineering Support. Within the scope of the AMO, engineers perform a range of tasks that will affect available resources and must be considered during IAP development. Internal engineering input includes the following:
    1. Deferred Maintenance and MIER. Inherent considerations of deferred maintenance are airworthiness, operational limitations and future maintenance planning. Each having relative impacts on IAP development.
    2. Aviation Safety Occurrences. Investigation and resolution of these events may absorb resources otherwise required for conduct of maintenance.
    3. Defects, NCR, Deficiency. Investigation and resolution of these artefacts will impact resource availability and may result in changes to unit processes.
    4. Performance Management and Productivity Improvement Feedback. These activities will likely lead to unit process amendment.

Common Inputs

8. The following common elements are required for consideration during development of the IAP:

  1. Workforce (Personnel). Availability of personnel is key to the successful execution of the IAP. Workforce rostering must be tailored to accommodate the negotiated flying and maintenance programs. Workforce considerations include:
    1. Workforce Capacity and Load Levelling. The conduct of planned unit work is limited by the available workforce. Load levelling of planned future work will prevent regular task versus unit workforce availability mismatches. Where planning identifies these mismatches, amendment of rostering structure, rescheduling or cancellation of tasking is required.
    2. Handover/Takeover. Ensure an accurate and effective shift hand-over is provided by operations, maintenance, supply and engineering personnel. This includes face-to-face and paper/electronic based handovers.
  2. Governance Activities. Governance ensures organisational objectives are achieved, risks are managed and resources are used conscientiously. Governance activities that will impact the IAP include, although not limited to, operational and technical airworthiness, work health safety and hazardous chemical management, and supply governance activities.
  3. Facilities. Effective management of venues, facilities and bays ensures maximum availability of workspace for conduct of maintenance. Facilities management needs to account and plan for the complexity of scheduled maintenance and consider major unscheduled arisings.

Limitations and Constraints

9. A range of factors fall outside the direct unit control or influence, including although not limited to:

  1. Materiel Support. SPO and contract support arrangements will influence supply chain lead times, engineering support and aircraft availability.
  2. Logistics Support. Common airbase logistic support elements, such as fuel and stores warehousing, will influence delivery timeframes and priority for ground operations support.
  3. Air Traffic Control and Base Security. Airfield operating days and times and security arrangements will impact utilisation of buildings, flightline hardstands, hence, influencing unit work routines.
  4. Personnel Administration and Health Support. Domestic, away base and international support arrangements will periodically impact unit personnel availability requiring unit management.
  5. Noise. Areas from which aircraft operations are conducted, including airbases and deployed location, will have noise restrictions and envelopes which will impact the flying program and maintenance’s ability to conduct ground running activities.

10. Figure 2 illustrates the IAP as a rolling series of executed plans to achieve efficient and effective delivery of unit activities. In this way the IAP remains a fluid, dynamic and live plan. The IAP life cycle is linked to the unit’s work cycle, with transition best synchronized to a period where work output is at a minimum.

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Figure 2 - IAP Life Cycle

IAP DEVELOPMENT TECHNIQUES AND TOOLS

11. Delivery of timely and accurate operations, maintenance, supply and engineering information is central to IAP development. This information will vary in quality and is perishable over time influencing ongoing development, refresh rate and validity of the IAP. IAP development needs to account for information characteristics, such as authority, validity, accessibility and time sensitivity. An understanding of data sources, whether they be raw or derived, when sourced from local or global systems will assist in their interpretation.

12. Awareness of information characteristics will reduce planning rework and improve communication between IAP stakeholders. Utilisation of appropriate tools and techniques will allow units to measure correct information interactions and improve overall unit productivity.

Techniques

13. The successful development of an IAP will require a range of techniques, including:

  1. task assessment
  2. resource management
  3. critical path analysis (CPA)
  4. risk management
  5. relationship building and management.

Tools

14. When planning and executing the IAP, maintenance coordination cell should use tools that are commensurate with task complexity. When identifying or developing maintenance management tools consider the following options:

  1. Spreadsheet software applications such as Microsoft Excel can provide features for performing calculations, analysing data through graphing and pivot tables and the ability to import data from external databases. In its simplest form, a spreadsheet program can be used to document and control maintenance.
  2. Project management software application such as Microsoft Project, can be used to develop a plan, assign resources to tasks, track progress, and analyse workloads. A project management application is a more comprehensive tool for tracking and managing maintenance tasks and activities.
  3. Specialist production management tools and applications are available on the Maintenance Operations ToolBox SharePoint Portal.

MAINTENANCE COORDINATION CELL

15. Maintenance coordination is responsible for assessment and prioritisation in development of IAP with inputs from operations, maintenance, supply and engineering elements. Due to the complexity and volume of work associated with IAP development, units must consider the formation of a PMC led maintenance coordination cell. Central coordination enables effective identification and communication of risks and opportunities to unit objectives. This ensures the PMC is kept informed of all relevant external and internal issues impacting maintenance activities.

IAP EXECUTION

16. Once the IAP has been developed it is divided into appropriate sub elements for distribution and action by Supervisors (Officers-in-Charge, Section Heads and MM’s). The IAP model as shown in Figure 1 illustrates how lower level task plans combine to form the IAP and are executed by relevant unit elements. Depending on the IAP time scale (daily, weekly or monthly) the size and detail of the applicable IAP will vary and applies differently to each executor. Lower level tasks should still have independent task plans for their execution.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND IMPROVEMENT

17. Performance improvement in development of the IAP should focus on minimising adverse affects on production, including the following components:

  1. Number, nature and impact of changes to the plan
  2. Schedule (order) of performed maintenance
  3. Concurrent/coincident tasking
  4. Critical Path Analysis
  5. Identification of bottlenecks
  6. Elapsed time to make serviceable for scheduled and unscheduled events
  7. Man-hours and trades utilised to achieve outcomes of the IAP.

18. An important aspect of executing the IAP is ongoing performance analysis, highlighting opportunities to improve IAP development. Regular assessment of the above components and amendment of QMS will identify areas for unit improvement. Any identified systemic issues and improvement ideas must be raised to the relevant FEG/service level for resolution and implementation

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