Maintenance Management

Alidade MER provides maintenance management assessments, training and professional consulting in maintenance management based on the Alidade MER Organizational Reliability Model©.

Contact us to discuss your objectives, and how we can help you achieve them.

Maintenance Management link-header-proactive

Maintenance management is a process to identify, prioritize, plan, coordinate and schedule, execute and close out work orders.  When a best-practice maintenance management process is designed, implemented and driven to common practice, with accountability, the benefits can be enormous.  The first benefit is more efficient resource usage.  Measurable improvements are found in several areas:

  • Workforce labor effectiveness improves on the order of 20% to 30%.
  • The number of work orders completed per person per day can improve by 50% or more.
  • PM completion rates improve to near 100%.
  • Reactive work declines from 60% to less than 20%.
  • Resource availability from improved labor effectiveness can be:
    • Reinvested in more PMs,
    • Increase training and skills for greater craftsmanship,
    • Reliability continuous improvement projects.

In addition to much greater efficiency for maintenance resources, disciplined maintenance management also more completely allocates labor, materials and contractor costs to systems and assets.  This means better data for better decisions.


Work identification includes defining the types of work by categories; reactive and planned and scheduled.  Reactive work is work that cannot be planned and scheduled due to urgency or high priority.  Planned and scheduled tasks include PMs, and all medium and lower priority corrective work that is not emergency or high priority.  Scheduled projects and administrative activities (training, meetings, etc.) should be planned and scheduled because they make human resources unavailable for work, and the amount of time spent on these activities can be measured.


Prioritization is important for all non-reactive work types.  In order to perform prioritization there needs to be work types (PM, corrective identified by PM, other corrective, project and other).  There also needs to be a criticality assignment method.  PM work types should be elevated priority work because they are the authorized asset management strategy.  By performing the right PMs, at the right time the number of reactive work items will be minimized.  PMs should be completed on time, 100% of the time.  All other work should be organized based on criticality and an aging factor.  Criticality must consider safety, regulatory compliance, mission (operations) and cost.  Alidade MER recommends a weighting criteria among these categories with added importance on safety and regulatory compliance.

An aging factor is applied so that lower criticality items will eventually be coordinated and scheduled.  The aging factor should be scaled to ensure lower priority work items get considered within six to eight weeks of being put in the queue.


The planning function is the act of arranging parts, shared equipment, permits, etc. to remove hindrances to the work.  It includes estimating the time required for the assets to be made available, and the labor types and quantity needed.  Proper planning eliminates wasted activities; excessive travel to/from the shop, job site, stores, etc.  Many work items do not require much or any formal planning, but all work items should be reviewed so that any planning requirements can identified and arranged prior to the work being coordinated and scheduled.  A planner checklist is used as a tool to ensure planning items are not overlooked.  When work can only be done during specific time periods (batch processes, winter or summer for instance) the planning process must identify the planning lead time.

Coordination and Scheduling

The coordinating and scheduling function is the act of making certain planned work to be performed is agreed upon by asset users and asset maintainers at a defined time period.  Coordination and scheduling of work items must occur prior to the date that the work will be performed.  All planned items (parts, equipment, permits, etc.) must be confirmed to be on-hand, correct (fit, form, function, quantity and quality) and ready to issue before scheduling the work item.  This reduces the need for expediting or shifting work items after they are scheduled.  When planning, coordination and scheduling are performed effectively there will be a 20% to 30% improvement in labor availability.  This newly available labor can be applied to doing more work, skills training, reduced overtime, reduced contractor costs and other benefits.

Executing the Work

When prioritization, planning and scheduling are done correctly the tradesman have a much better probability of executing the work without interruption, on time, and with high quality.  This benefits the customer by having work done on time and with high quality.  It benefits the maintenance manager by having the lowest maintenance costs.  It benefits the tradesman by not having to waste time transiting to and from the job site to obtain parts, tools, permits, etc.,

Efficiency also increases job security.  When the maintenance team is efficient, they are the lowest cost option.  Reliability increases and product/service quality is improved leading to more satisfied customers.

Completing and Closing Work Orders

Improving an asset management strategy requires accurate tracking of labor, materials and other costs.  It also requires completing PM and other work orders correctly; having the time to do quality work.  Important information, including parts/materials consumed, updated tool/equipment lists, notes on what was found, etc., are vital to measuring performance, improving future work planning and scheduling and becoming even more efficient.

The net result of disciplined maintenance management is having control and stability.  When control and stability are established and sustained organizations achieve the lowest cost, highest productivity and highest reliability systems.