Minimise your downtime with the 5 P Rule

Monday, 20 June 2016

Minimise your downtime with the 5 P Rule

The 5 P ’s are a mantra for success. It goes like this: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance, and it’s a pretty failsafe formula. To be successful means staying on the road, and it takes good preparation to avoid downtime. Just stick to the mantra, break it down, and apply it to literally everything you do.


Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s fixing a broken part or managing a roster, there is always a proper way to do the task at hand. What methods, processes, regulations and tools do you need to know and use to hit your target? Cutting corners is never a good idea – it might end up costing you more in the long run.


  • Check for proper qualifications when hiring someone for a job.
  • Rules and regulations are always changing; sign up to industry newsletters to stay up to date.


Make lists. Lots of lists. When you’ve got an objective in mind, list out what the scope of work is, who is involved, how long it’ll take, prioritise tasks, and what resources and budget you need to make it happen. Research and be specific in your details, ensure everything has been covered. This way, it’s unlikely that anything gets overlooked.


  • Use a project management tool that syncs your calendars, contacts, and tasks.


What’s the next best thing to prevention? Setting a plan B, that’s what. Having a back-up plan in any situation means you’ve got the groundwork to reduce costly delays and inefficiencies. If you have a solid plan B, with all the scaffolding already setup, you can tackle problems as they come, and get back on your feet faster than you can say, “Plan B.”


  • Take risk management courses or get an expert to lay out a risk management plan for you.
  • Have back-up items and parts.
  • Make copies of paperwork, or digitise all your paperwork.
  • Get the right insurance.


If you’re going to do something, do it well. If you’re going to do it poorly, what’s the point? Cutting corners to save money could be damaging in the long term. There’s a saying that goes: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” Spot on!


  • When planning ahead, tack on an extra hour or so to each task to act as buffer, just in case.
  • Replace anything that is damaged, even if it looks like it’s still working.
  • Ensure you service your vehicle at the time suggested on your warranty and service book.


Last but not least, performance is key in all this. If you stay focused, work well with others, and manage every step of your plan properly, downtime will be a thing of the past. Or, at least, something you won’t see much of.

Once you’ve got the whole 5 P’s thing down, don’t forget ‘P’ number 6: Pass it on!


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