People and Processes, Inc.
The Work Order, its utilization, and the standardized flow are the most crucial
elements of your CMMS.
This is the data trigger point that enables the collection of all data for
review and analysis.
Significant time and energy should be spent to ensure it is established
correctly, utilized properly, and monitored for conformity.
These are the system enablers; once a work order is created it establishes a
transactional record that resides within the system. This function allows the
Be utilized as a communication tool
Provide historical data for reporting, metrics, and data harvesting
To ensure collection of valuable historical information a culture of disciple
should be established to ensure all maintenance and equipment related
activities are captured within the work order system.
Remember there is no such thing as an insignificant maintenance or
equipment event and all should be captured.
Things to look at when reviewing work order information are
Work order types
Descriptions of work requirements
Descriptions of work accomplished
A grouping of the type of work performed (i.e. emergency, preventive,
safety, planned, etc.)
Ensure these groupings fit the actual types of work performed by the
Detailed work types allow for segregation and sorting of work performed
and allow organizations to see where and how resources are utilized
Detailed documentation of each work type and when to utilize them
should be developed and disseminated to each system user to ensure
standardized usage for future data harvesting opportunities
A value assignment identifying how critical the required work is
Dictates how quickly it should be accomplished.
These priorities are often abused by organizations and they should be
◦ To identify mean time to plan and
◦ To identify mean time to accomplish
Again, to ensure that priorities do not lose the intended meaning they
should be documented and disseminated to each user and routinely
monitored to ensure utilization conforms to the identified standards.
Various statuses assigned to identify where a work order is in its life cycle.
Typical statuses include;
◦ awaiting planning,
◦ awaiting parts,
◦ scheduled, etc.
Most work order statuses are developed and assigned by the user at
implementation; however, some systems have assigned values that are not
configurable by the user.
These statuses must be embedded within the work management workflow to
enable total integration of the system and the accomplishment of
Review the descriptions of work requirements for details. Descriptions
such as “pump broke” yield little data for future harvesting.
Ideally, as much information about the issues as possible provides
meaningful data, i.e.
◦ Circumstances leading up to the failure
◦ Observations after the failure
If meaningful descriptions are provided it facilitates shorter mean time to
plan and mean time to respond thresholds by eliminating additional
Accurate information is required when accomplishing equipment
historical reviews and future failure analysis.
Review the descriptions of work accomplished, again just like work
requirements the goal is as much information provided as possible to
facilitate future re-use by maintenance resources.
Maintenance is a repetitive business and the failures and repairs
accomplished today, will be done again in the future.
Imagine how helpful it would be at 3:00 AM when the same failure
occurs if maintenance could quickly review what was accomplished in the
Again, this is another critical step to ensure meaningful equipment
historical reviews and failure analysis.
Dave Bertolini is a Managing Principal with People and Processes, Inc. a firm
that specializes in changing cultures from reactive to proactive though the
optimization of people and processes. He has over 30 years experience in
Dave has led over 275 improvement initiatives and CMMS implementations,
utilizing 38 different software packages. He is recognized as an expert in
the implementation and utilization of Computerized Maintenance
Management Systems. He has conducted numerous CMMS needs analysis
and CMMS assessments for facilities, municipalities, and manufacturing
environments. In addition he routinely conducts educational seminars on
Best Practices, CMMS selection, implementation and utilization.