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Topics: Agile, New Practitioners, Scrum
Scrum in Aircraft Maintenance
Anonymous
Hello everyone,

I work in a company that does Aircraft Maintenance which follows currently the waterfall methodology. This means that we plan everything before the aircraft comes to our hangar. A big problem that we face is that only after the inspection we are able to know what extra tasks we will need to perform besides the regular ones that are already established on the contract and law.
My question is if a Scrum approach could be advantageous to my project. The sprint concept can be really helpful because after the inspection, we could plan on the sprint number 2 what tasks will be required and define priorities. The daily meet up would also give to everyone valuable information how the tasks are going during the sprint and what problems could arise.
I just want to know some opinions from experienced people, I know that scrum is much more than that but I want to have a feedback first before thinking on the next steps.
Thank you a lot in advance for your answers.
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You can do some, but still need an overall plan in order to be efficient. Some activities like disturbed systems tests, flight tests, re-installation of interiors, cargo linings, etc. you only want to do once, so there is still significant macro level sequencing required. I have seen it done where there is an insistence on completing certain jobs on time but in the wrong sequence, which leads to a ton of rework when it comes time for the next job, like removing all the newly installed seats to put the aft galleys back in.
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1 reply by anonymous
Feb 05, 2019 1:13 PM
anonymous
...
Hello Keith,

I total get your point and you are totally right, we have a lot of dependencies. Maybe the best approach should be creating an overall plan after the inspection phase (because only after it we will know all the dependencies that this possible extra work will cause) focusing on the dependencies With it, on the sprint planning meeting, we will make sure that the work that we will commit to perform will not have the necessity to be reworked on the next sprints.
Thank you for your feedback
Network:1480



Remember that there is overhead of a sprint-based cadence so ensure that the benefits outweigh those overhead costs. Kanban might be another alternative...

Kiron
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1 reply by Keith Novak
Feb 05, 2019 11:33 AM
Keith Novak
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Kiron, They often find things that the weren't expecting like damage, or 3rd party modifications. It's like bringing your car in to the shop for one thing, and you get a call about what else they found wrong.
Network:278



Feb 05, 2019 11:17 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Remember that there is overhead of a sprint-based cadence so ensure that the benefits outweigh those overhead costs. Kanban might be another alternative...

Kiron
Kiron, They often find things that the weren't expecting like damage, or 3rd party modifications. It's like bringing your car in to the shop for one thing, and you get a call about what else they found wrong.
Network:958



I agree with Kiron, a Lankan board approach may work better than a scrum based activity. With Kanban you still divide up the work into small work pieces and everyone on the team works to set the priorities and cadence. If a problem arises you can reshuffle the priorities based on other things at a daily meeting.
Network:98173



Kanban works best for work that comes in waves. The goal in Kanban is to ensure that you keep your in-progress as close to maximum capability as possible.
Anonymous
Feb 05, 2019 11:07 AM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
You can do some, but still need an overall plan in order to be efficient. Some activities like disturbed systems tests, flight tests, re-installation of interiors, cargo linings, etc. you only want to do once, so there is still significant macro level sequencing required. I have seen it done where there is an insistence on completing certain jobs on time but in the wrong sequence, which leads to a ton of rework when it comes time for the next job, like removing all the newly installed seats to put the aft galleys back in.
Hello Keith,

I total get your point and you are totally right, we have a lot of dependencies. Maybe the best approach should be creating an overall plan after the inspection phase (because only after it we will know all the dependencies that this possible extra work will cause) focusing on the dependencies With it, on the sprint planning meeting, we will make sure that the work that we will commit to perform will not have the necessity to be reworked on the next sprints.
Thank you for your feedback
...
1 reply by Keith Novak
Feb 05, 2019 10:31 PM
Keith Novak
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"anonymous"

If it's a big job, start with a high level end to end plan. That makes you think it through even though you will deviate off plan. Once you do your inspection and find the inevitable problems, adjust the plan you thought through and apply efficient methods where you can, but at the right times.

Unfortunately you don't provide enough info to suggest much more. I can't even say if you're talking small aircraft or large or minor to major maintenance. I'm assuming large scale because it's what I know. I'd be very interested to discuss more, but not anonymously.
Keith
Network:278



Kanbans are used heavily by the OEM in production fabrication. An MRO has to account for inevitable and significant spikes less frequently found with new hardware. The unknowns discovered in the inspection process can immediately derail a lot of planned work. Problems discovered can involve a lot of engineering, including OEM input as to the acceptable fix, and then require fabrication or procurement of replacement components before work can move forward.

There are a variety of ways to combine tools and methods (and the OEM combines many), but they have to account for the component, system, and vehicle level nature of the complete system.
Network:278



Feb 05, 2019 1:13 PM
Replying to anonymous
...
Hello Keith,

I total get your point and you are totally right, we have a lot of dependencies. Maybe the best approach should be creating an overall plan after the inspection phase (because only after it we will know all the dependencies that this possible extra work will cause) focusing on the dependencies With it, on the sprint planning meeting, we will make sure that the work that we will commit to perform will not have the necessity to be reworked on the next sprints.
Thank you for your feedback
"anonymous"

If it's a big job, start with a high level end to end plan. That makes you think it through even though you will deviate off plan. Once you do your inspection and find the inevitable problems, adjust the plan you thought through and apply efficient methods where you can, but at the right times.

Unfortunately you don't provide enough info to suggest much more. I can't even say if you're talking small aircraft or large or minor to major maintenance. I'm assuming large scale because it's what I know. I'd be very interested to discuss more, but not anonymously.
Keith

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