Schedule Compliance | What Is Schedule Compliance?

What is schedule compliance?

Schedule compliance is a maintenance metric used for determining productivity and the effectiveness of scheduled maintenance processes. Schedule compliance measures the percentage of work orders completed on or before the due date over a given period of time.

World Class Standards For Schedule Compliance

Aim to have 90%+ schedule compliance.


Organizations that are committed to measuring the effectiveness of their scheduled maintenance process use schedule compliance as a performance metric. Maintenance activities are typically scheduled over the course of one week and schedule compliance is measured over the same period, although time periods may vary by organization. It is critical that managers create a formal process that promotes periodic review of results and open discussion for areas of improvement.

Manufacturing organizations benefit the most from tracking schedule compliance when properly implemented. By definition, the organization is required to proactively create a work schedule to adhere to. In manufacturing plants, scheduled maintenance typically means machine downtime which forces close communication and coordination between schedulers, operators, mechanics, and other plant personnel.

In plants that operate near capacity or under tight cash flow, measuring the reliability of scheduling processes are especially critical. Each piece of equipment is a profit center and any extended amount of downtime could hurt company finances.

4 Strategies to improve schedule compliance

1. Analyze results and trends

Improving schedule compliance begins with analyzing results, analyzing trends, and identifying root cause of low compliance.

2. Involve personnel in results analysis

Personnel involved in work scheduling must also be involved in reviewing results. It should be expected that there will be conflict during these discussions. Management’s role is to assure the discussions stay healthy.

3. Understand your organization

Identifying root causes of low compliance involve a deep understanding of your organization’s processes, capabilities, and culture.

4. Ask the following questions:

  • Is your scheduling process documented? Are there guidelines or best practices that help maintenance schedulers and other personnel schedule effectively?
  • Are your personnel trained and has their training been verified?
  • How do you measure and manage productivity of individuals, teams, and shifts?
  • Does your entire organization understand and support the need for preventive maintenance?
  • Is your organization willing to admit there may be skills gaps in some areas? If yes, do you have a vendor base that can cover those gaps?
  • Does your maintenance team know how to identify true priorities and/or emergencies?
  • Do any of your staff tend to stick with tasks they like doing versus what needs to be done?
  • Has management provided you with the right tools, resources, and software to perform your tasks efficiently?

Once you’ve identified root causes for low schedule compliance, the real work of addressing them begins.

4 tips for implementing schedule compliance

A strategy on implementing schedule compliance properly could make the difference between acceptance or backlash.

Here are some practical tips:

1. Define the purpose

We have established what schedule compliance is and how it is a critical metric used to improve reliability and productivity. When you present this metric, get specific on what reliability and productivity mean and how all personnel benefit from improving them.

2. Gain alignment

Get buy-in from leadership at all levels. Educate and empower supervisors and managers on how to respond to any concerns or objections from employees. A common concern can be the time frame involved in calculating compliance. Maintenance teams that have too many “emergencies” will not agree to shorter time frames as they are less likely to be able to comply with scheduled work. It will be up to management to decide how to properly implement schedule compliance in a way that does not de-motivate personnel.

3. Encourage transparency

The true test to your culture will come once you have data to analyze and start asking the “why” questions. Condition your teams to have uncomfortable conversations. If transparency is new to your organization, consider recognizing or rewarding behaviors that support your new need for candor. A technician that does not finish a task on time may one day admit he has not fully understood how to calibrate the new piece of equipment. How his supervisor responds to this will either encourage or discourage more of the same honest behavior.

4. Get feedback along the way

Your formal plan for measuring schedule compliance must include a way of collecting input from all employees. Having a mechanism that allows personnel to proactively give input or ideas enables management to evaluate and make adjustments. It also tells employees that the organization is listening to them.

Want to keep reading?

How to Measure and Improve Schedule Compliance for Preventive Maintenance

To track your schedule compliance, simply find out how many PMs you complete before their due date and compare those to the total scheduled.
View Article

How do I improve schedule compliance for my preventive maintenance?

The key to improving schedule compliance for your preventive maintenance is to analyze your data. This starts with tracking your PM work orders.
View Article

How do I solve IATF compliance challenges with a CMMS?

The new IATF (International Automotive Task Force) compliance challenges can be solved by using a CMMS to track, observe, replace, and repair equipment
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