When implementing advanced planning and scheduling (APS) systems, you get to interact with the Planners / Schedulers and Production Management.

A useful way to think about these key users of the APS is to think of them as being either an action Hero – someone from a Marvel film – or an Adept – a follower of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”.

The Adept

The Adept, in our experience, understands this concept, even if he has never read the book:

“Probably the most important point of “The Art of War” tries to make is that information does matter, and an educated guess is better than a gut decision. Sun Tzu thought that generals should be adept at the “military calculus” of taking into account anything and everything that could affect the outcome of a battle.”

Source: http://blog.tutorming.com/expats/life-lessons-from-the-art-of-war

Simply put, this means that:

  • The scheduling activity can be likened to an ongoing set of skirmishes where the Scheduler’s task is to deliver a smoothly flowing system that delivers customer orders when promised.
  • The Planner / Scheduler who works to find and resolve problems or causes of problems (e.g. bad data) before they become a problem doesn’t get to be a visible hero.

The Hero

The Hero is always saving the day, but frequently doesn’t prevent the problem occurring in the first place.

Heroes and Adepts in APS

When implementing an advanced planning and scheduling system, the project is more likely to be a success if the Scheduler is Adept and understands that the APS is another tool in the ongoing task of delivering customer satisfaction.

You can imagine the conflicts and synergies when the Scheduler and Production Manager are the same or different in this regard.

How would you categorize yourself in this environment?