No manager enjoys seeing a team wrestle with downtime. But when it’s planned through your CMMS (computerized maintenance management software), then there’s an opportunity to still be productive and engaged while minimizing that downtime. Read on to learn the best ways to manage planned downtime in your department.
Consult with Your CMMS
Identify clearly which components of your critical systems will be experiencing planned downtime by using your CMMS software. During that downtime, address maintenance, repairs, upgrades, and similar issues for unrelated components or systems. Use the reporting and analysis from your CMMS for guidance as to which other maintenance tasks are due. CMMS data can help you to plan a series of alternative tasks that fill the planned downtime but no longer, enabling a more streamlined workflow.
If you have more staff than needed to address the planned downtime tasks, adjust your employee schedules accordingly, if possible. Or, have those employees with freed up time review CMMS training modules or other workplace training and safety materials. It’s the perfect time to offer hands on practice in making assessments, taking measurements, and performing inspections of other components.
With better knowledge of the system, their duties, and job responsibilities, they may be more engaged at work and feel more fulfilled, thereby decreasing your department’s turnover. In addition, better informed and trained employees may be better able to identify and troubleshoot common problems, reducing the need for unexpected maintenance and repairs.
Develop Stand-By Plans
No matter how well you plan downtime for essential maintenance tasks, there are likely to still be people in the organization who count on those affected systems. Have a plan in place so that your team members – where possible – can still meet the needs of departments whose work is being interrupted.
Consider whether there’s a manual work-around or whether an existing system can pick up some slack. Review past your organization’s past downtime documentation in your CMMS to see how the issue was previously addressed. Evaluate that past documentation to see what changes might need to be made for future instances of unplanned downtime.
Have a Plan B
Even when every part of a planned maintenance task is outlined to a T, unexpected events can occur. And unfortunately, these can extend your planned downtime into unplanned downtime. Be sure to have a way to keep staff informed, along with an ETA for resumed service.
Your staff should know what their duties are in these unforeseen situations before they occur. And be sure at least one employee is documenting the delay, causes, solutions, and other details for input into your CMMS. This is valuable data that will improve guidance and oversight of the next planned and unplanned downtime experiences.
Planned downtime presents a unique challenge to an organization. It’s when essential work gets done but it also may leave some employees with a disrupted workflow. If you’e not already using a CMMS to better adjust workflows and adapt to circumstances where planned downtime turns into unplanned downtime, it’s time to consider why not. Learn more about CMMS solutions and how they can help you better manage the needs of your organization.