CMMS Reliability Reliability & Maintenance Center Software

Enterprise Software Solutions: Planning A Work Order

EP Editorial Staff | January 2, 2018

By Kristina Gordon, DuPont

Planning is a critical element of the work-management process. Effective planning ensures that the person doing the work has the information needed to successfully complete the job. Proper planning is also important because it promotes safe job execution, ensures cost control, reduces downtime, optimizes resource management, supports continuous improvement, and enhances regulation compliance.

To select open work orders to plan, go to transaction IW38. In the order status menu bar, click the outstanding box. You may also click completed (TECO status) or historical (financially closed) to view completed and historical orders.

You can choose the period to and from dates for the orders that interest you and the basic start date. This will capture work that may have been created in the past but had the start date changed. Created On is another possible field to populate if you are looking for the actual day a work order was converted.

Next, populate your maintenance plant, then select a layout if one has been created. The layout is how the report will be displayed, based on your selection criteria.

Click the execute button. The open work orders will display according to the criteria stated. Click the basic start-date column and sort the list. You may also sort by revision code if used, and user status. Some companies use an array of user status entries that will alert the planner to pull work orders that have the correct user status on them. For example, a coordinator will take a notification, convert it to a work order, and click a user status to show where the work order is in the process. This will then prompt the planner to pick the order up and plan it.   

Once the work order is displayed, the first item that should be added is a task list. Task lists are useful because they help identify the basic information for recurring maintenance. This information should include the following:

• high-level operation steps

• labor hours required to complete the tasks

• appropriate work centers to perform tasks

• proper control key if creating a requisition for materials in the order.

The following image shows the three types of task lists available in SAP.


Once a high-level task list is added, the planner should field-scope the job. Field scoping is a very powerful tool for the planning process. By identifying and better defining the problem, the planner can add to or create more quality operations to optimize the effectiveness of the work-management process.

To perform a successful field scope, a planner should first review the P&ID (process and instrument diagram), print a copy of the notification or display on a hand-held device in the field, use a good form as a checklist during the field scoping project, and, if allowed, take good pictures of the issue. This will avoid traveling back and forth and help the planner once back in the office.

Once workforce availability for the job is scheduled, any permits needed have been issued, and all materials to perform the job have been received and kitted if necessary, the work can be performed. EP

Kristina Gordon is SAP PM Leader, DuPont Protective Solutions Business, and SAP WMP Champion, Spruance Site, Richmond, VA. If you have SAP questions, send them to and we’ll forward them to Kristina.



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