SCHEDULING METHODOLOGY - Production and Operations Management

The scheduling methodology depends upon the type of industry, organization, product, and level of sophistication required. They are:

1. Charts and boards,
2. Priority decision rules, and
3. Mathematical programming methods.
1. Gantt Charts and Boards
Gantt charts and associated scheduling boards have been extensively used scheduling devices in the past, although many of the charts are now drawn by computer. Gantt charts are extremely easy to understand and can quickly reveal the current or planned situation to all concerned. They are used in several forms, namely,
1. Scheduling or progress charts, which depicts the sequential schedule;
2. Load charts, which show the work assigned to a group of workers or machines; and
3. Record a chart, which are used to record the actual operating times and delays of workers and machines.
2. Priority Decision Rules
Priority decision rules are simplified guidelines for determining the sequence in which jobs will be done. In some firms these rules take the place of priority planning systems such as MRP systems. Following are some of the priority rules followed.

3. Mathematical Programming Methods
Scheduling is a complex resource allocation problem. Firms process capacity, labor skills, materials and they seek to allocate their use so as to maximize a profit or service objective, or perhaps meet a demand while minimizing costs.
The following are some of the models used in scheduling and production control.
1. Linear programming model:
Here all the constraints and objective functions are formulated as a linear equation and then problem is solved for optimality. Simplex method, transportation methods and assignment method are major methods used here.
2. PERT/CPM network model: PERT/CPM network is the network showing the sequence of operations for a project and the precedence relation between the activities to be completed.

Note: Scheduling is done in all the activities of an organization i.e., production, maintenance etc. Therefore, all the methods and techniques of scheduling are used for maintenance management.