Importance of Work Order Management

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Importance of Work Order Management


A work order authorizes and directs an individual or a group to perform a given task. A well-defined work order system should cover all the maintenance jobs requested and accomplished, whether repetitive or one-time jobs. The work order system is useful for management in controlling costs and evaluating job performance. 

Although the type and size of the work order can vary from one maintenance organization to another, a work order should at least contain information such as: 

  • Requested and planned completion dates
  • Work description 
  • Reasons
  • Planned start date
  • Labor 
  • Material costs 
  • Item or Items to be affected
  • Work category (preventive maintenance, repair, installation, etc.)
  • Appropriate approval signatures.

In order to make sure that there is a smooth work order management process, the CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Software) or the EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) can be used so that the process is automated and there is also a streamline in the work order from beginning to end. 

Defining work order types:

The division of work into various work order types is driven by the organizational requirements to measure various areas where work is done. This can be governed by regulatory as well as corporate reasons.

A work order type can most easily be defined as an area of work that has the requirement for work to be carried out in various modes of execution. Basically, the definition of a work order type must be driven by:

  • The various types of day-to-day operational requirements of the plant or installation
  • Needs to separate or define capital work orders
  • Regulatory requirements
Work order types
  • General maintenance (GN)
    Covers all of the work (regularly scheduled inspections, overhauls, replacements, repairs, and service works) that is required to keep the plant running to set standards. In addition, it covers the emergency works required when the plant is forced to stop in an uncontrolled and unplanned manner.
  • Capital works (CP)
    Covers labor and materials associated with the design, planning, and execution of works associated with the following stages in erecting, dismantling, and improving the plant past its original or current design specifications.
  • Statutory (SY)
    Covers all work required to comply with regulatory controls or requirements of a specific plant with regard to electrical systems, pressure vessels, pressure release devices, lifting equipment, etc
  • Environmental (EN)
    Covers all works required to maintain the plant to the high environmental levels that most operations now aspire to.
  • Safety (SA)
    SA includes all works required to maintain a high level of safety. SA can be scheduled tasks and can also include routine safety inspections.
Defining maintenance types:

This is a form of executing a task under the various classifications of work defined in the work order types, not a class of work.

Maintenance types include:

  • Emergency works to restore operations or prevent excessive risk to the safety of people and plant items
  • Repairs to plant items, overhauls, workshop repairs, scheduled works, and engineering modifications
  • Administrative indicators for overheads
Mainenance types
  • Corrective actions (CA)
    Any repair work required to return the plant to full operating, safety, or environmental standards, CA can include capital works. For example, repairs after devastating incidents, catastrophic failures, and acts of God.
  • Preventative maintenance (PM)
    Maintenance work done in a planned way and with a predetermined time schedule is called the Time Based Maintenance (TBM) and the maintenance work done in a planed way but based o the condition of the equipment is called Condition Based Maintenance (CBM).
  • Predictive maintenance (PD)
    PD is used in some cases as modern equipment diagnostics help predict the time frame to undertake the maintenance work by planning it based on the condition and the scientific prediction.
  • Breakdowns (BR)
    BR covers all breakdowns, for all classes of work. It is an effective indicator for tracking the health of the plant generally. A breakdown must be seen as something that has stopped a piece of equipment and requires fixing or as a failure that will stop a piece of equipment within a relatively short period of time. Whatever the situation, it requires immediate attention.
  • Opportunistic Maintenance(OM) or "If Down Do"
    If there is a shutdown on the equipment, production line, the assembly line or a production cell then that opportunity is utilized to carry out certain maintenance activity.
  • Autonomous Maintenance (JISHU HOZEN)
    This is a methodology introduced to involve the operators in daily maintenance activities on their machines. This looks simple but the results are great and it makes a big difference to maintenance function. The general tenandecy of the operators in the shop floor is "I run it and you fix it". But here autonomous maintenance is bringing in a different culture. Instead of you fix it, I run it and I fix it. Here operators are taught to clean their equipment, inspect their equipment and lubricate their equipment. This it the minimum requirement of Jishu Hozen.
Work order templates

CMMS contain work order template for creating a standard of how to do work. The work may be corrective, preventative, predictive, or even some modifications that you are likely to repeat. 

A template can be linked with a maintenance routine or used to create a work order when there is a need to do so. By linking it to a maintenance routine, you should be in a situation that leads to a one-to-many relationship, i.e., one template work order to many maintenance routines.

As well as being the repository of experience for your maintenance plant, a template is also a tool for cutting down on the amount of planning work required for each task. Within each template, you should have all of the relevant information required to complete a task, and it must align with the corporate definition of what constitutes a planned work order.

Another function of the work order template is to provide leverage over the planner-to-craft-employees ratios. There is an often-quoted figure that a maintenance planner should be planning for no more than between 15 and 20 craftsmen. With the effective use of maintenance work order templates, you will be looking at the possibility of extending that to between 35 and 40. The reason is simple: with the advent of more and more templates, of higher and higher quality, the amount of time spent by the maintenance planner on the areas of work order planning is considerably reduced


    Day by day we are getting efficient on below items:

    • Estimated resource hours and types
    • Estimated materials
    • Estimated costs
    • Procedure
    • Safety information
    • Tracking/Monitoring
    • Knowledge management
    • Better Insights


    • CMMS: A Timesaving Implementation Process (Plant Engineering Series) 1st Edition – Daryl Mather
    • World Class Maintenance Management – N.K. Shivananda


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