Recently, a question was emailed to me that is a common one:
“Awhile back I had sat in on a web conference you did for a district on PMDirect [
SchoolDude’s preventive maintenance software] where you had gone through a kind of “Quick Start” scenario…the things to focus on when first building your PMDirect program. Would you have any documentation (other than what’s included in “Help”) or some tips you could share? Thanks.”
Stellar question! Here's the way I've seen some schools approach this:
- Start with PMs that are related to safety and code compliance, or are state-mandated.
- Create PMs based on what the techs are already doing. It makes it official in the database, it doesn't overwhelm the guys and it gives you practice at setting up schedules.
- Look at a history of high/emergency work orders for any trends. Roofing and HVAC were big for one gentleman, but Doors and Hardware was number 3 out of his top 10 emergencies because of the constant beating from usage and rough play.
- Mission-critical or business-continuity items such as major mechanical or roofing. If those fail, the building is shut down or is majorly uncomfortable in peak hot/cold seasons.
- What your superintendent/board/president/provost/chancellor requires.
If you use PMDirect, here are my personal tips:
"Get in what you can fit in"
It takes months for some teams to get used to new routines while they're dealing with their busy days, so don't overwhelm them. You can create a schedule now, but say it doesn't start until a few months down the road.
Set a Monthly Goal to Add More
Start with a few PMs this month, new ones next month, new ones the next month, and so on. Stay focused on what the techs can accomplish. The best PM programs are marathons, not sprints, but the victory is always sweet with reduced emergencies and stats to prove your department's current state.
Use PM Templates
(available via Step 7). It copies data that you can modify and you can create your own templates.
Don't create Templates and then create Schedules
You can create a schedule for a first building and save it as a template to use for other buildings. It's a much easier approach to save time and thinking!
Don't wait to start PMDirect schedules to have specific equipment!!
- You need to do preventive maintenance. Period. Do not dink around to create something perfect on Day 1. Accept it: it's not going to happen, even with a pre-built database. Let your schedules evolve by editing them when necessary for your specific building and teams' environment.
- You can say you are working on a category of HVAC/Boilers or HVAC/Air Handler Unit in a specific building and still get great data for where the guys need to go and for reports. We call these "Classifications" with related "Types".
- Not everything should be an asset. You need to do preventive maintenance or safety checks on smoke detectors, lighting, sidewalks, floors, doors, windows, stairs, etc.
That's why we don't force Equipment when setting up a PM schedule, but still give great history through
reporting on Classification and Types in MaintenanceDirect.
- Later, if you have a boiler as a very specific asset in the database, then modify an existing PM schedule for that building to start being associated to any Equipment for additional history.
Just because you can be detailed, doesn't mean you have to be
If the techs know what to do and what to take with them, skip some of the steps in a PM schedule. You can always modify a schedule later on for new people or situations.
- Focus on steps 1, 2, 4, 14, 15: what, where, who, when
If you over-think, you over-delay, then you're right back where you started: over-worked. Keep it simple and grow it.
Have you seen any successes or have tips of your own? Please share your story in the comments below.