Work is managed by organizing, prioritizing and properly executing the required task within the given time limit. While working in base maintenance department, one can benefit from more time and freedom provided to manage his work in a better way, in contrast to working in line maintenance where one might has to heavily rely on others. The basic two issues encountered in work management are given below.
- How to manage variance? The work environment in aviation maintenance is very happening, fast and very random. This sort of work environment demands some assumptions to be made for dealing with maintenance instructions, regulations, job cads, etc. while the personnel employed for the maintenance tasks are often unaware of the challenges like insufficient time, lack of training or resources, work pressure, airline’s financial status, etc. Hence, this results in to some particular level of variance between the actual outcome obtained and the expected outcome by procedures, policies and regulations. It should be noted that the variation from the conditions that are normally expected, may lead to increase the risk. For instance, if an engine change is to be expected to take place 6-8 hours but for any reason or situation, this change has passed over 10 hours. Now, one has to manage the variance related to the time pressure.
- How to manage in the void? Most of the times, there are some instructions given to the mechanic as guidance to maintenance procedures; however some maintenance tasks do not carry the predefined maintenance procedures. Such tasks with undefined maintenance procedures occur quite seldom. Thus, the mechanic is required to make up his mind to evaluate the risks involved, make and evaluate the decisions and then take the necessary actions to solve the problem. So, the management in the void is concerned with the instinctive ability of the worker to deal with the problems in unpredictable conditions.
The airline crews demonstrate an outstanding example of teamwork, although they have a very varied range of personnel working together. They get connected together with two attributes: time (schedule) and trust. Each and every person of the team fulfills his part of the duty right on time with the trust that the other member has also performed his task well. And thus, everyone is dependent on another.
The strong teamwork involves the risk of potential regulatory violations on part of the qualified person’s responsibility and accountability. So, whenever a regulation is violated then the particular person executing the respective task holds the compliance responsibility for it. And therefore, the regulators carry out the accountability of the violation occurred on the responsible individual(s) only. This enforces every individual to execute his/her responsibility properly as per the regulations. But as far as the teamwork is concerned, it has to be dependent on lots of people who individually hold quite a little quantity of professional responsibility and accountability.
Managers should make sure that the mechanics or the engineers are properly trained for the task for which they are assigned. Also, the managers should ensure that all the resources required to execute the given task are provided to the engineers or the workers including the tools and the updated manual carrying the maintenance instructions. It is the duty of the manager to confirm that if the workforce is capable enough of performing the job professionally or not and then he should assign the job to the individuals according to their respective capabilities.
Mechanics should never sign a job card carrying multiple tasks without knowing that whether every task in it was assigned as per the approved maintenance instructions or not. This should be done as a regular practice all the times. Never replace the retired parts with the used ones. Always follow the maintenance manual to confirm that correct part is provided through checking the part number. Mechanics should always consider the reference repair schemes for perfection before duplicating. They should never accept the verbal affirmation from the Maintenance Control or an individual without confirming it themselves through a neutral third person even when the verification is done after the release of the aircraft. It should always be kept in mind that the risk is increased even if a single intermediary component gets disturbed from its original configuration to get access to the other component. Mechanics should also ensure that the sufficient required time, resources and knowledge is provided to fulfill the given maintenance task. (Patankar and Taylor, 2004)
The study of human factor programs for maintenance evaluates that the success of an individual in a team is his success only whereas his failure contributes to the failure of his team and his organization. Individually, the mechanics are well acquainted with the effects of the affairs that are related to safety and involve human performance where as the organizations get puzzled about the next measure to be taken regarding it. The advanced Maintenance Resource Management i.e., MRM programs require that the organizations willingly amend their structure and procedures for providing better maintenance and security. The organization does this by providing feedback of issues that are related to safety, creating secure and efficient self reporting system, implementing simple procedures towards resource development, and managing an effective error management program for aviation maintenance.
Since, the aviation industry is consistently training its workforce and improving its safety related procedures, it is therefore, highly recommended that the academic authorities also include the applicable principles for the involved human factors in the course outline of the aviation maintenance related subjects that are being taught in colleges. Improvements in safety procedures are very essential for aviation maintenance and thus, these improvements should be carried out both in organizational level and in academic level. By implementing the latest professional safety measures at the college level, the future maintenance professionals will be better qualified with acquaintance to safer working habits even before they enter the professional field as part of the workforce.
The scheduling system should be efficient enough to coordinate between the maintenance schedule from the Maintenance Department and the flight schedule from the Flight and Schedule Departments. The scheduler should keep an accord of both when the maintenance is due for an aircraft and when the aircraft would be made available for flying by the Maintenance Department. Thus, the above mentioned three Departments interact closely to plan the trips of an aircraft.