How Preventive Maintenance Optimization Can Help You

by Robert Bishop CMRP, CRL, ISO 55K

Maintenance Engineer


Can your organization benefit from PMO? Find out if it’s right for you and how to go about getting started.

What is Preventive Maintenance Optimization (PMO?)

Preventive Maintenance Optimization (PMO) is a concentrated effort to identify and eliminate gaps and inefficiencies in maintenance strategy.  Many organizations can improve their asset management and maintenance strategy with the right resources. PMO can help utilize these resources. While PMO projects require a large effort, the benefits make the effort worthwhile.

Why do we need PMO?

All asset management systems are dynamic. Over time, they are subject to entropy and will trend toward disorder. To fix this, you will have to optimize your approach and strategy.

How do our systems become cluttered?

Often, the clutter is due to additions. Equipment is taken out of service and not fully updated with new technologies. Typically, organizations purchase new equipment and add it to an existing route-based program, or use an existing job plan that ends up being inefficient. New equipment may be introduced with a strict adherence to the OEM-recommended maintenance plan to avoid warranty issues, while other equipment may not. All of these items contribute to a gradual increase in inefficiency.

How do you know when a PMO is needed?

When the effort needed to address the inefficiencies is outweighed by the benefits of executing a PMO. Many organizations will find themselves needing this effort every 8-10 years–maybe sooner.

How do you go about starting a PMO project?

There are a few things you must consider when deciding if and when to start a PMO project for your organization. First, you must ask, “Will the benefits outweigh the cost of executing a PMO project?” If it makes sense to move forward, you must decide if you will manage the project yourself or if you want to hire a consultant to facilitate the process. It is important to identify the core team as well as any ad hoc members that will be needed for certain topics, such as safety or quality. Once you have commitment from the organization to move forward, you can start figuring out the details.

Then, you will need to charter the project. This includes identifying the scope, resources, timeline, deliverables and leader for the PMO project. Efforts can be phased or focused on a subset of the maintenance and reliability activities to minimize the necessary resources, but this will likely extend the timeline of the project.

Who should lead the project?

The leader should understand the big picture and the end goal. This person should have no other distractions while working on the project and be familiar with the activities being reviewed. A maintenance engineer, reliability engineer, CMMS administrator or maintenance supervisor is often identified as the lead. 

What needs to be completed before launching the project?

Gather historical data, such as facility drawings and P&ID’s, and make them available electronically for the team. Other items, such as asset lists, FMEAs, failure codes, manuals and any applicable regulations need to be readily available also.  Sidenote: Many Kaizen event practices apply to PMO. The team must have a highly focused effort with few distractions to meet their goal.

What should be evaluated during the PMO?

Throughout the PMO project, you should look for gaps, waste or error. Focus on having the right tasks to address all failure modes and make sure that each failure mode is mapped to a task.

Other considerations:

  1. Make sure all of your equipment is in the strategy. Occasionally, new or transferred equipment is used without being part of the maintenance strategy.
  2. Decide whether the equipment is critical and if so, how it is being used. The criticality of the equipment and its use can change over time. This can happen because the equipment is repurposed, the process it supports changes importance, or its relative importance to the organization changes because of business needs. The results of an FMEA can make this exercise relatively straightforward, but most organizations do not have an FMEA for each piece of equipment. The ideas and approach of an FMEA must be used in PMO without the rigid nature of a formal FMEA process.
  3. Properly group and distribute work. Route-based work needs to be logical and minimize motion for those involved with executing the tasks. Tasks should also be grouped by common locations as much as possible, thus eliminating unnecessary travel. The level loading of work from week to week or month to month can also be accomplished.

Do you have something to benefit from PMO? Don’t delay. Start building that business case today.




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Preventive Maintenance Optimization

May 22, 2017 + 1 Upcoming Date

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