When it comes to your preventive maintenance program, you can experience substantial gains early on by simply becoming less focused on reactive issues and more focused on preventing breakdowns from happening. For instance, it’s no secret that a strong preventive maintenance program can nearly eliminate unscheduled downtime and improve the quality of work from your team.

Without a long-term vision, you may be selling your team short. Understanding where you want your maintenance organization to be in the next three or five years can ensure that you are aligned with the broader goals and objectives of the organization, as well as ensure that your maintenance activities are contributing to that success.

Developing a reliability and maintenance policy can help you drive this vision forward and cement your success within the organization.


What is a reliability and maintenance policy?

A reliability and maintenance policy serves as an internal communication document for the entire organization to understand the goals of your preventive maintenance program and how you measure success.

A reliability and maintenance policy includes essential details, such as:

  • Current state vs. future state goals
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Importance of KPIs and organizational value
  • Improvement plan and tactics
  • Timeline and key internal stakeholders
  • How employees can submit comments and feedback


Steps to establishing a reliability and maintenance policy

Creating and implementing a reliability and maintenance policy will take time, as there are several key stakeholders that will have to be involved throughout the process. However, once in place, it provides clear objectives and KPIs to measure your team’s success.

1. Outline current state vs. future state

Understanding exactly how you are conducting preventive maintenance and where you may have gaps in your process can help you determine where you want to be in one year, three years or even five years. Having a clear outline of this will help drive the direction of your reliability and maintenance policy. As part of this, you should have an understanding of preventive maintenance processes already in place and their current performance.

2. Establish your goals and KPIs to measure success

Once you understand where you are, know where you want to go. In doing so, you can clearly see where you need to measure your team and preventive maintenance program to gauge success. Understanding your KPIs early on can help you use benchmarks to have a consistent way to evaluate your progress along the way.

Potential KPIs that your team can manage:

  • Service-level agreement adherence
  • Time spent on reactive vs. preventive maintenance
  • Adherence to the 10% rule of preventive maintenance

3. Create an improvement plan

An improvement plan serves as the crux for your reliability and maintenance policy. It can also be the most difficult part of the policy to create, as it does require you to take an honest look at where your team can improve.

When you are putting together your improvement plan, involve stakeholders across the organization to understand where they see gaps in your processes and areas for improvement.

4. Develop a timeline

Most reliability and maintenance policies address a finite period of time. Common timelines include one, three and five years. Understanding internal processes and what’s preferred by your organization can determine the appropriate timeline. In addition, knowing your gaps and expectations for improvement can drive your timeline as well.

5. Gain internal approval

Unlike other programs within the maintenance team, this type of policy works best when you have buy-in from other stakeholders within the organization. It can help give the organization more visibility into your team and their contributions to the business’ goals. Because of this, bringing external stakeholders within the policy development process can ensure that you are in line with expectations and able to contribute to the broader objectives of the organization.