Pro Tip: Rely on performance work audits or time studies to identify and provide real time frames to complete a greater number of tasks.

Wouldn’t all maintenance management employees like to get additional resources or time to do preventive maintenance? Maybe the solution is as simple as rethinking how long it should take to complete a task.

Over the years, I’ve found that almost every maintenance program has allocated more estimated time for completing preventive maintenance (PM) routines than is required.

Oftentimes individuals responsible for setting up databases will load estimated time for each task without any real frame of reference. Simple tasks generally get 15 minutes assigned, followed by 30, 45 and 60 minutes. These stack up. and you quickly find a PM routine with double the average time required.

What does this mean for maintenance departments? It means that it is possible to have more resource time available than the scheduling software can recognize. This can lead to not assigning enough shift work and overstating the labor pool needed.

Worse yet is if the estimated completion time is not set up to be suppressed and is visible on the mechanics worksheet or tablet. This quickly sets the expectation and a pace for the department that lacks a sense of urgency and efficiency.

What can you do? First, stop printing the estimated completion time on worksheets or tablets.

Next, implement performance work audits or time studies to determine a fair, average time to assign for more accurate planning.

Start with critical assets that should take priority and work from there.

In less than a month you could expect to free up many hours of trapped labor resources.

Rowdy Brixey is founder and president of Brixey Engineering Inc.

You can connect with him at LinkedIn.