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What Does a Process Planner Do?

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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 21 April 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A process planner creates procedural documentation related to a company's manufacturing or business methods. He usually studies how the company's systems and current processes work in order to suggest recommendations for improvement. The planner is typically responsible for communicating any changes to established procedures and making sure that employees are using the correct methods. In addition to maintaining and improving established business methods, a process planner is also responsible for creating new procedures.

One of the primary responsibilities of a process planning specialist is to examine how a company performs certain tasks and determine the most efficient way of performing these tasks. The planner may simulate or walk through the process himself in order to get an idea of how it should be done. For example, a process planner in charge of writing procedural documentation for computer software applications will perform test installations. He will also attempt to use the software in various operating systems to determine its functional abilities.

Creating documentation that details how an organization's processes should be performed is an important aspect of a process planner's job. Since front-line employees may not have experience with manufacturing systems, computer hardware, software, or service standards, procedural documentation helps maintain performance consistency. Documentation can also help guide employees through unfamiliar aspects of their jobs and substitute for on-the-job training. Procedural guides may also ensure safety standards by serving as a first point of reference when workers operate industrial equipment.

Training employees on how to read process documentation is another of the responsibilities of a planning specialist. In some cases, the planner may train managers who oversee front-line employees and serve as a point of contact for any concerns or discrepancies. A process planner should be prepared to periodically examine established business methods and use his knowledge to make improvements. Some of that knowledge will come from feedback received from employees as well as the planner's own experience with technology and the company's products.

Process planning specialists will usually partner with multiple departments to create new procedures. These ideas may focus on matching competitor activity, meeting consumer preferences, increasing cost efficiency and performance, and reducing accident and injury claims. It is often the responsibility of the planning specialist to make sure that new procedures are implemented correctly and that employees fully adopt new processes. The planner will typically conduct periodic audits to ensure that established rules and procedures are being followed.

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