How to create a preventive maintenance plan

Creating an effective preventive maintenance plan is the key to successful upkeep and in this article, we run through the process of creating a plan.
How to create a preventive maintenance plan
Written by
Tom O'neill
Published on
April 12, 2023

An effective preventive maintenance plan will empower your maintenance teams and is a crucial foundation block for successful operations. Whether you are starting in a new role or looking to update your current Planned Preventative Maintenance plan we'll help guide you through the entire process.

Preventive maintenance plan

Step 1: Define your goals

The key to any effective preventive maintenance plan is to have set defined goals that help to guide the plan. Spend time understanding what your teams and your organisation are looking to achieve through preventive maintenance and design your plan to achieve these goals. Some examples of goals are: 

  • Reduce downtime
  • Decrease maintenance costs
  • Increase health & safety 
  • Extend asset lifespan
  • Reduce energy usage 

You may want to focus your plan on just one goal or you might want to track several goals that are important to your business. Having overarching goals not only guides your maintenance plan but also helps to keep your operations streamlined and focused. Begin your preventive maintenance plan by writing down your goals and work from there. 

Maintenance plan goals

Step 2: Establish KPIs

Once you have established your goal(s) you will then need to attach KPIs that will help you to measure success. Maintenance KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are measurable goals and are often SMART; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Maintenance KPIs can be anything from measuring downtime to measuring asset lifespan. Below is a list of example KPIs most commonly used with maintenance teams:

  • Health & Safety: Number of reported accidents during any period of time (eg. monthly)
  • Costs: Total costs of maintenance operations as a whole or more specific maintenance costs such as cost of replacements or costs per work order
  • Downtime: Asset downtime costs or time period
  • Assets: Asset lifespan 
  • Team & Productivity: Total overtime and/or costs of overtime or amount of out-of-hours (or emergency) callouts.

Step 3: List assets

With your overarching goal(s) and your KPIs established, you now have the essential building blocks to design a preventive maintenance plan that will help you achieve your goals. A handy place to start would be your assets and listing out every asset will help you understand what tasks need to be created and where. 

Create a list of all your assets including:

  • Vehicles and transport
  • Furniture 
  • Lighting
  • Health & safety assets such as fire extinguishers and smoke alarms
  • Windows and doors
  • White goods such as dishwashers and washing machines

It may help to list each asset by room for example beginning with the kitchen or cooking areas and listing each coffee machine, sink, dishwasher, and so on...

Maintenance assets

Step 4: Create high-level task lists

Now that you have a complete list of all the assets you are responsible for you can now begin to create high-level tasks for each asset. This process helps you to quickly identify which tasks to prioritise and provides a unique opportunity to refine tasks through fresh eyes.

Step 5: Break down tasks into segments  

A long list of recurring tasks can be overwhelming and confusing. Breaking down your task list into short and long-term tasks (or frequency) is a good way to initially segregate your tasks and from there you can establish further segments such as priority, location, team, or category. Examples of recurring PPM tasks broken down can be: 

  1. Test smoke alarms in building 1 on a monthly basis. 
  2. Housekeeping to clean fire exits in buildings 3 and 4 on a weekly basis.
  3. IT Department to check trip hazards in IT Room on a daily basis. 
  4. Maintenance team to perform legionella test 6 monthly

Step 6: Train teams and operatives 

Once the above steps have been completed it is now time to equip your teams with the preventive maintenance plan. Effective training ensures the success of any maintenance plan and empowers teams to be productive, knowledgeable, and confident in performing their specified duties.

Step 7: Test, evaluate, and refine the plan

Now that you and your teams are comfortable with the preventive maintenance plan you have designed, it is time to begin implementing it into daily operations. An important part of any plan is to continue to refine it and this can be done by testing and evaluating the recurring tasks outlined. 

Evaluate your maintenance plan daily, weekly, or monthly after implementation and plug any immediate issues or move around tasks that might need refining. It is important to remember that your preventive maintenance plan will not be perfect at the outset and that success comes from experience, time, and tests. 

Step 8: Use software designed for maintenance

Finally, how you keep track of all your PPM tasks is crucial to all effective maintenance processes. Depending on your budget, team size, and organisational need you may want to opt for maintenance software with a powerful PPM tool that can keep you on track of all your tasks. Maintenance software can also help you evaluate your recurring tasks and where you can improve to help you reach your business goals. 

FaultFixers has designed a PPM tool with maintenance operatives and managers in mind; “It’s changed the way our whole team works – before we had 5 painful spreadsheets, and now we can manage everything on the go” - Facilities Manager

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