DIRECTORATE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
JOB CARD SYSTEM
page 1 of 4
During the 1970’s the Directorate took the decision to introduce a Job Card System to track maintenance, installation and other related work carried out within the organisation. This topic includes the JCS booklet to accompany the CB201 tracking form and is shown on Page 4.
I am grateful to Derek Theobald for writing the article to this topic and describing how the system came about, together with some personal conclusions about it’s ultimate demise.
The Job Card System by Derek Theobald
Factors leading to the Introduction of the JCS
In the early 1970s, DTels was asked by the Police National Computer Unit (PNCU) to take on the responsibility of installing and maintaining the Visual Display Units associated with the computer. These units were located in police premises throughout the United Kingdom. At that time, DTels had very few technicians with the skills to carry out the maintenance aspects of this task.
In addition to this, maintenance in general was carried out using mainly local procedures and methods supported by individual equipment handbooks. A handbook of the time, in the main, explained how an equipment worked and not how to fix it when it went wrong. In this way, the times taken to repair common equipment’s varied from depot to depot.
At the request of the Deputy Director (Field Services), Andy Holdstock, then SWE in charge of the Field Services HQ technical support team, produced a discussion document which set out to examine the problems and offered answers to many of them.
As a result of the ensuing discussions the Maintenance Planning Group (MPG) was formed, located at 60, Rochester Row, London SW1, with a move to Weyhill shortly afterwards.
One of the tasks set MPG was to establish the reliability of operational equipment and the time taken to carry out repairs and modifications, VDUs in particular as these items were owned by a third party and were subject to separate financial arrangements which had to be justified.
Cue the Job Card System!
note: I had some difficulty in attempting to match events with dates as the development and use of this system took place around thirty years ago. So I have abandoned that approach and concentrated on what I can remember of this system in terms of general statements.
From my previous note, I stated that one of the factors leading to the introduction of the job card system was to establish a basis for charging P.N.C.U. for the work done on their behalf.
Although the Directorate H.Q. canvassed the depots with respect to technicians with ’digital’ experience in the early 1970s (I was an S.W.T. at Hannington at the time), the job card system was developed and brought into use during the time I was a C.W.T. in Field Services H.Q. , most likely during the middle of the decade. I’m sure its demise happened during the time I was i/c Maintenance Planning Group, about 1979.
Field Services H.Q. (Ray Stoodley and others) required what became to be known as the Management Information System (M.I.S.). The Job Card System was one (major) element of this.