Designing an effective maintenance work management process is essential to any Maintenance Productivity improvement initiative. It defines the key steps, methods, tools, roles & responsibilities, and metrics to ensure that the right job is done at the right time. It also serves as a road map for managing workflow efficiency and driving workforce productivity.
Throughout the Work Process Design, MPI facilitates the vetting and collaboration of different perspectives to build consensus, alignment, and ownership of the future state Work Process. In addition, members of the Design Team achieve the required proficiency to serve as subject matter experts during the field implementation, training, coaching, and continuous improvement. Here’s our approach:
- Define Objectives and Goals: Clearly outline the objectives and goals of your maintenance work management process. Identify what you want to achieve, such as minimizing emergency break-in work, backlogs, and downtime, improving equipment reliability, optimizing resource allocation, and enhancing safety.
- Assemble a Cross-Functional Team: Form a team that includes representatives from maintenance, operations, and other relevant departments. This cross-functional approach ensures that different perspectives are considered during the design process and results in stakeholder alignment and ownership of the future state Work Process.
- Map Current Processes: Analyze your current maintenance processes to understand how work is currently managed, from work request initiation to completion. Identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement.
- Identify Key Workflow Steps: Break down the maintenance Work management process into key steps:
- Work Identification – capturing sufficient work description
- Work Notification Screening – separating simple and basic jobs (or worklist jobs) from complex jobs requiring proper planning and scheduling
- Work Prioritization – establishing a risk-based priority system for high impact work
- Work Planning (complex jobs) – field scoping and stepping out the job requirements, e.g. permitting, process equipment isolation, manpower, parts, tools, equipment, and work face accessibility
- Work Scheduling (complex jobs) – scheduling manpower and shared equipment
- Work Execution – field problem-solving, decision-making, and eliminating barriers to complete the job
- Work Backlog Management – balancing work resources with work demand
5. Define Roles, Responsibilities, and Key Interfaces: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member and their peer interfaces involved in the process. This includes operators, operations maintenance coordinators, maintenance planners, schedulers, maintenance crafts/technicians, supervisors, and support organizations.
6. Develop Work Order Templates: Create standardized work order templates that include essential information such as equipment details, work description, work location, required materials, safety procedures, and any special instructions.
7. Prioritization and Criticality Assessment: Establish criteria for prioritizing work orders based on factors like safety, economics, production impact, risk, and equipment criticality. This ensures that high-priority tasks receive appropriate attention.
8. Planning and Scheduling: Develop a process for efficiently planning and scheduling maintenance tasks. Ensure that tasks are assigned to crafts/technicians with the relevant skills and that schedules are optimized to minimize disruptions.
9. Resource Management: Create a system for managing resources such as spare parts, tools, equipment, and labor. Ensure that resources are available when needed to avoid delays.
10. Safety Procedures and Risk Assessment: Integrate safety procedures and risk assessment into every stage of the process. Identify potential hazards associated with each task and establish protocols for mitigating risks.
11. Execution and Documentation: Implement procedures for executing maintenance tasks according to the work orders. Ensure that crafts/technicians document their activities, findings, and any changes made during the work.
12. Feedback and Continuous Improvement: Establish mechanisms for collecting feedback from crafts/technicians, supervisors, and other stakeholders. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to the process.
13. Tools & Technology Integration: Integrate a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) or an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system to automate and streamline the work management process. This includes work order generation, tracking, reporting, and analytics.
14. Training and Change Management: Develop training programs to ensure that all personnel involved are familiar with the new process. Implement a change management strategy to address behavioral cahnge and facilitate a smooth transition to the new workflow.
15. Testing and Refinement: Pilot the new maintenance work management process on a small scale before full implementation. Gather feedback, identify any issues, and make necessary refinements.
16. Communication, Awareness, and Recognition: Implement a continuous communication plan for preparing the organization, maintaining awareness of key objectives, expectations, and benefits, and recognize individual and team accomplishments.
Remember that an effective maintenance work management process is adaptable and should evolve over time to meet changing needs and technological advancements in the industry. Keeping the work process simple and practical also makes it easier for the field organization to apply it in their daily problem-solving and decision-making duties for progressing work safely and efficiently.