How to Create a Prioritized Maintenance Schedule
Running a commercial facility requires expert time management skills. On any given day, a facility could see hundreds of people moving through it, play host to heavy-duty vehicles, or endure the operation of professional-grade equipment. With all of that going on, there is rarely a day where a Facilities Manager doesn’t get a phone call about the newest problem that needs solving. So how do you prioritize the to-do list so you make the most effective use of your time? It all comes down to balancing urgency and importance to create three categories: Do Later, Do Now, and Delegate.
We’ll start by qualifying these recommendations. We aren’t talking about emergencies in this article. Each emergency situations comes with its own set of challenges, and a systematic approach can help with that as well. But right now, we’re talking about planned, scheduled maintenance.
| DO LATER
Urgency and importance are two factors that are constantly at odds with one another. Something that is urgent but not important might deceptively feel like a top priority, taking your focus away from what really matters. Conversely, something that is important but not urgent may get put on the back burner indefinitely. Both scenarios fall under the Do Later list, but savvy Facilities Managers know they need to set deadlines to make sure “later” doesn’t turn into “never”. Having specific due dates for each item will help you keep moving through your Do Later list without letting it grow into an unmanageable mess.
| DO NOW
This is the category for everything that is both urgent and important. If the maintenance you’re planning is essential for the facility’s operation and it cannot wait, then it belongs on this list. You might find items such as fixing plumbing leaks or repairing damaged lighting among these tasks. Similarly, anything that was on your Do Later list and is approaching a deadline should be moved to the Do Now list. For example, an annual testing requirement that is due next month would be come urgent and jump up to the Do Now list.
Even the best Facilities Managers can’t get everything done themselves. In addition to the FM’s management, organization, and communication skillsets, keeping a facility operational requires expert knowledge of construction, plumbing, electrical systems, and skilled maintenance. Having reliable vendors that can conduct site inspections or regularly schedule maintenance will take things off of the To-Do List, freeing up time to focus on more pressing things. In many important ways, the best vendors often become trusted partners that make Facilities Managers’ jobs a little easier.
AAA Facility Services is a full-service construction, plumbing, electrical, and repair & maintenance provider. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with a prioritized maintenance schedule.