Real-Time Master Class – Initial Findings

At the End of March (26/27th) we hosted our first Real-Time Master Class with 6 organisations sharing their thoughts, experiences and best practice.  The aim was to take a detailed look into Real-Time and understand if there are processes, or principles which should be promoted as Best Practice.  

With 2 days of notes and over 20 full flip charts of information the PPF team have lots to write up, but as a teaser prior to our first formal output here are some of our key findings.  The following is all “work in progress” and we would welcome any feedback/suggestions.

Discussions were focus on:

  • The Role of the Real-Time function as part of the Planning Team and Operation
  • Shrinkages
  • Short-term Flexibility Strategy
  • Triggers for Action (Push & Pull)
  • Operational Communication & Buy-In
  • The Future of Real-Time
Following a very successful 2 days together the group have agreed to meet up again later this year to discuss and push the topic further.  This steering group will then help us to formalise our findings leading towards a Summer/Autumn webinar prior to the Best practice Seminar in November.  Our aim is to develop an efficiency model and defined maturity categories which will be first publish in the 2014 Best Practice guide.
If you would like to attend a future Real-Time Master Class and be part of the steering group please email:  

Real-Time Efficiency
Based on the operating excellence model we should all be familiar with the Planning cycle of: Forecasting, Scheduling, Real-Time and the MI/Performance Management.  Applying this principle to Real-Time we identified two efficiency cycles for Real-Time:

Real-Time Efficiency, Stage 1
Description - Hand over from Scheduling to Real-Time, e.g. between 1 and 4 week prior to working.

  • Short-term forecast:  A reforecast completed by either the Forecast, Scheduling or Real-Time team.  
  • Short-term Scheduling: this would include the planning of all known offline activities, e.g. Training and Communication session.
  • Real-Time Projection: Detail intra-day view
  • Analysis & Communication:  Report/meeting with operation including commentary and actions
Real-Time Efficiency, Stage 2
Description – On the Day management

  • Review, Refocus and Reforecast:  At regular intervals throughout the day to understand the new focus.
  • Optimisation:  Changes to the original plan following the refocus
  • Live Operational Decision Making: Here and now decisions.
  • Interval Projection Reporting: Creating the new refocus for the day.

This is how the efficiency model could look:


The aim of this shrinkage table is to identify the earliest stage a category can be planned and calculated correctly.  It also provides a structure/guideline to help with the communication and reviewing of shrinkages.

As discussed during a number of sessions it is critical that information is fed back into the plan and doesn’t end with Real-Time. 

For more information on Real-Time, the Real-Time Master Class & Steering Group, webinar or the Best Practice seminar (Tuesday, 19th November) please email: 

Take a look at these articles, videos and links
See the latest articles on Real Time and Tactical Planning


(c) Professional Planning Forum 2000-2019
This site uses cookies to help deliver an engaging user experience.
To learn more about what cookies are and how to manage them visit