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Openreach: SE Simplified Working

16 July 2014

The National Team (NT) has been in discussions with Service Enablement (SE) regarding a number of 'Simplified Working' initiatives, these include Patch Separation & Rebalance, Proactive Visit Reduction, iPhones and MDF Mapping.


95.6% of SE engineers now use the iPhone, and 92%+ of all jobs are now closed on the iPhone. Openreach shared the outcome of the trial they ran with 60 engineers across various locations, and this data confirmed that engineers are consistently completing an extra 1.2 jobs per day through using their iPhones rather than their laptops. This is directly related to the administrative elements of the tasks and NOT the physical activity associated with those tasks. This increased efficiency equates to 1 minute per job and therefore this 1 minute adjustment will apply to all standard task times across all Service Enablement exchanges.The NT raised the potential issue that some people may find it more difficult to adapt to using the iPhones and therefore may not be able to access the potential efficiencies. The comms linked to simplified working will ensure that the names of the network of iPhone gold users will be reinforced so those who may have such problems may be able to readily access individual support and Branches are encouraged to complement that support where necessary. Whilst the use of the iPhone is not `mandatory’, feedback from members to date indicates that there are no major issues with its use.

The iPhone task time 1 minute reduction will apply from week commencing 28 July 2014 in both Work Manager and iPOP.

MDF Mapping

MDF mapping looks to map all the positions on the frames with a clear equipment number/LIC position and a BAR/Pair position so that engineers can go straight to the location. This mapping will be completed in 534 frames nationally (out of over 5000) and 53% of tasks are completed in these exchanges. These are the largest exchanges where there are 15 or more jobs per day average. Openreach trialled this through 12 sites selected nationally providing a cross-section of complex, simple and congested MDFs.

Openreach say that they believed the trial data demonstrated an improving trend on task time performance in the mapped sites. In the NT’s view the trial data was not conclusive in terms of the further proposed reductions in task times as a result.

In order to test that proposed efficiency saving further, the NT has agreed that the application of the MDF mapping task time reduction (1 minute) would be reflected in Work Manager for scheduling and allocation purposes only. While the revised task times would then be visible on the iPhone and WM live at this stage, the MDF mapping task time reduction would not flow through into the iPOP performance measure. Openreach and the CWU will continue to monitor any benefit of the mapping in the mapped exchanges and after 3 months from the initial first deployment phase we will review the outcomes to determine the impact on task times to be applied to both WM scheduling and to iPOP.

In the week commencing 28 July 2014, phase one of the MDF mapping task time 1 minute reduction will be applied to the exchanges already mapped in Work Manager only, with phases two and three to follow. The CWU will be informed of the dates when exchanges are to be mapped and the work manager scheduling changes made.