KPI’s for the Maintenance Manager Who Wants to Drive Maintenance Department Success

What should a Maintenance Manager personally focus on to get the best performance and results from their maintenance department?

The Maintenance Manager role is to create an efficient and highly effective maintenance department. When Choosing Maintenance Manager KPI’s, pick those that will deliver better maintenance department performance.

The following is an email thread discussion with a Maintenance Manager who wanted to use personal performance KPI’s to focus his efforts on achieving his maintenance department’s performance targets.



Dear Sir,

I am holding the position of Head of Maintenance Section in a large power plant.

Could I please ask what relevant KPIs should I set for myself to be appraised in terms of performance.


Thank you, and regards, Seng



Dear Seng,

Your request covers two categories of KPI—those that relate to your personal performance as a maintenance manager, and those that relate to the performance of the maintenance department you lead.

Your Maintenance Manager job position is like a cog in a machine—it fulfils a function needed by the organization. The leadership role you have can be done by perfectly well by numerous others. While you are in the role, your first responsibility is to ensure your organization survives and remains in business. Your second responsibility is to make your organization better, which for a business and its departments is to become ever more efficient and ever more effective at making and delivering their products or services to customers.

The KPI’s to use for monitoring your maintenance department performance are those that measure its efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency is needed in the use of your financial, physical, intellectual, and human resources. Effectiveness is required from the work you and your department are responsible to do. There needs to be both leading indicators to forewarn of problems and provide guidance toward success, and lagging indicators to show trends of results. There is much information available in books and online about these types of KPI’s for maintenance groups.

Personal Maintenance Manager KPI’s would monitor the effect of your decisions and actions. Is your impact actually making things better, worse, or there is no effect at all? What can your role do to help the maintenance group be more efficient and more effective? Your role interacts with the people who will implement each asset’s maintenance strategy. You will never touch the plant and equipment assets yourself—that is what the maintenance workforce does. The KPI’s that monitor your personal Maintenance Manager effectiveness should trace the influences of your decisions and input on your department’s efficiency and effectiveness.

I don’t have any suggestions as to what KPI’s to use to observe your personal effectiveness. But I’d be happy to review and comment on your Maintenance Manager KPI’s if you chose to use them.



Dear Mike,

Thanks very much for your quick reply.

I am looking at KPIs in terms of my achievement, alignment and revision/adjustment of my role. I am setting my objectives on the Availability to plan and execute scheduled maintenance of plant equipment. I have also set on Efficiency objective on plant performance and efficiency enhancement. Reliability of the plant is essential to keep out of forced outages. Tackling personnel and organizational issues are my greatest problems. Could I please request you to review and comment on such KPIs.

Thank you, and regards, Seng



Hello Seng,

With regards, “Availability to plan and execute scheduled maintenance of plant equipment.” I presume Availability in this case is the presence of manning and resources to do scheduled maintenance when its is timetabled to be done. Furthermore, scheduled maintenance means the work orders allocated to be done in a specific time period, say, week-by-week. This scheduled maintenance includes all plannable and schedulable work order types, like, Proactive, Preventive, Predictive, and Corrective Maintenance work orders. Emergency work orders I will leave in a category of their own (though emergency work can be pre-planned and pre-scheduled).

That is a useful KPI to apply to a maintenance group, as it reflects the real performance of the Group, and it is largely controllable by the Maintenance Group. It is also a leading indicator, since it measures preparedness to undertake and complete work before the work is done. Percentage of Scheduled Compliance would be the accompanying lagging indicator measuring actual accomplishment of the scheduled maintenance.

For, “Efficiency objective on plant performance and efficiency enhancement.” I take it that ‘Plant Performance’ means maximizing saleable power. And ‘Plant Efficiency’ is maximising power generated for the energy input. It requires understanding how the Maintenance Group can improve plant performance and plant efficiency.

Plant Performance increases with improved plant reliability, since Plant Uptime rises. Plant reliability is improvable by the Maintenance Group. This is a good KPI to place on a maintenance group, as reliability is one of the key business outputs delivered by a maintenance department.

Power Plant Efficiency is trickier for Maintenance to influence. They have no control over the fuel, or how it is used in the plant. What they can effect is whether the plant is in a condition to get maximum energy from the fuel. What the KPI is for the effect of maintenance effort on energy conversion efficiency—I don’t know.

On the “personnel and organizational issues” fronts. You have chosen KPIs that you want to improve. Are your personnel more than capable enough to improve those KPI’s? Do they have the right mindset, skills, and methods to get the improvements you want? Is your organization structured to effectively drive KPI accomplishment? Are the processes used by the Maintenance Group effective vehicles to reach your KPI’s? Do you need to build better processes and populate them with properly capable resources?


Thank you, Mike

Since these KPIs are useful for the maintenance group, how do I observe my personal Maintenance Manager effectiveness on these KPIs. Can I tap on these KPIs, influence the outcome and how am I going to measure the progress and achievement of the outcome?



Good day Seng,

At present, the KPI targets you’ve set are yours alone. You know what business goals you want to reach. Your success depends on hitting, and hopefully surpassing, those goals. But achievement of your goals is done totally by the work of other people. What can you do to get all those people to willingly and keenly achieve those goals?

You are now working in the realm of team leadership, as opposed to team management. Team management is about setting timelines and providing the knowledge and resources to do things successfully. Team leadership is about providing motivation, useful guidance, and support to become successful at doing things.

One action you can take as a Maintenance Manager to lead is to ensure that your people have the same goals as you do. Share your vision with your people and explain what it will take to reach it. Cascade your goals down the maintenance department structure. First to your immediate reports, and they to their reports, etc. You’ll need to dissect your goals into sub-goals suited to the organizational levels and rolls in your department.

Emotional Intelligence takes the fore so you can gain understanding of the circumstances and situations that your people are working and living in at your organization. Setting goals that they cannot deliver means your goals will also not be reached.

A second action as the Maintenance Manager, is to put the goals as agenda items at your meetings with your managers and staff. You want to observe timely progress towards their achievement. You want to preempt problems and delays so you can help your people address issues successfully and stay on the timeline.

Progress will be measured by the successful completion of sub-goals, which accumulate together to successfully complete the prime goals. Proof of achievement will be the delivery of higher plant Availability, Efficiency, and Reliability.

I got the picture below given to me over 25 years ago. It helped me in my role as Maintenance Manager. Maybe it can help you too.


Dear Mike

Thank you very much.

Could I please request you to provide examples of sub-goals. How do I dissect my Maintenance Manager goals into sub-goals.



Hi Seng,

The slides below come from my enterprise asset management training course presentation. They show you what cascaded goals look like. You can get a copy of this EAM training presentation from our online store at webpage, 3-Day Enterprise Asset Management Course PPT presentation.