How often should PM strategies and tasks be reviewed?

The question is often asked “how often should PM strategies and tasks be reviewed?’"Here are 3 processes an organization should have in place to support PM reviews.

Root Cause Analysis  review:  Each time an RCA is performed on failed equipment a review of the maintenance strategy should also be performed.  The review of the maintenance strategy including the PM tasks should determine if a task exists that is supposed to prevent or identify early the incipient failure that ultimately led to the failure of the equipment. 

If a task exists it should be determined if the task was performed properly.  If the task was performed properly then the task should be changed as its ineffective.  If the task was not performed properly then training should be provided to so that the task will be performed properly in the future. If no task exists then one should be developed and added to the PM procedure and the maintenance strategy updated.

Maintenance tech feedback:  Feedback from the maintenance techs can be a valuable source of information. If the maintenance techs provide information or suggestions on how to improve a task it should be reviewed by the technical authority (discipline engineer) to ensure effectiveness.

5 year PMO review:  Industry best practice suggests that a formal review of all PM routines should take place every 5 years.  The formal review is sometimes called PM Optimization.  This is the minimum requirement in Marshall Institutes estimation. 

  • Some oil industry maintenance and integrity standards require a review every 5 years. Of course they use SCRM or derivative of it. Their standards for RCM are less rigorous than some industries like Nuclear Power Industry.
  • John Moubray, author of “RCM II”, suggests a review every 12-24 months for critical equipment and up to 3 years for less critical.
  • Anthony Smith, author of “RCM, Gateway to World-Class Maintenance”, recommends a first review at 18-24 months and then every 3 years after that.
  • Steve Turner, well known RCM practitioner from aviation industry, and owner/creator of a Preventive Maintenance Optimization process in Australia recommends minimum every 3 years.
  • Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals in US recommends every 3 years.
  • Marshall Institutes experience and observations of companies in industry suggests that a review every 5 years is the minimum for most equipment and operating contexts.

My key point is that Maintenance strategies need to be reviewed periodically. If the organization understands the risks and has history to support their decisions they should be able to determine an acceptable frequency for reviews.

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