Structure Your Maintenance Audit so that it Uncovers both Your Maintenance Problems and Your New Maintenance Improvement Opportunities

If your Maintenance success is hampered by a lack of maintenance process knowledge, a Maintenance Audit is a formalised technique to find new solutions to your maintenance process and procedural problems.

You do a Maintenance Audit to gain useful insights on where your business has weaknesses and hence the major opportunities available to you for rapid improvement in maintenance performance.



A maintenance audit permits you to review the effectiveness of your maintenance management system and processes at delivering the equipment reliability and plant availability you want.

The Maintenance Audit approach is to collect information on your current maintenance processes, and from the maintenance information systems used at your operation, and analyse them for maintenance process improvement opportunities.

Interviews would be conducted with senior managers in Operations, Finance, Maintenance and the Chief Executive to gain appreciation of how the current processes perform. Interviews are also conducted with supervisory personnel in Operations and Maintenance to understand the day-to-day interactions and performance of maintenance activities.

Information on failure history, corrective maintenance, parts usage and maintenance man-hours for each major piece of equipment over the last five years by maintenance type is also gathered. These are used in a Pareto chart and graphed to see what issues can be identified.

The entire listing of planned activities in the CMMS is also reviewed to check the coverage and mix of preventive and predictive maintenance being done. This allows comparisons with best industry practices.

A report is provided explaining the range of investigations performed, analyses conducted and the resulting recommendations. The report also indicates the results of the best practices benchmarking.

The Maintenance Audit is specifically aimed at the following purposes:

  1. Review of the maintenance management processes and practices at the operation
  2. Benchmark maintenance at the operation against best practice maintenance
  3. Identify opportunities to refine the existing maintenance processes
  4. Identify opportunities for efficiency improvements within current practices
  5. Identify opportunities to make better use of constrained resources, particularly manpower

Another useful framework for considering the current status of maintenance in an operation is illustrated by the Maintenance Capability Plot below. Review of Maintenance capability provides useful insights on where your business has weaknesses and hence the major opportunities available to you for rapid improvement.


Plotting your Maintenance Capability


The Maintenance Audit Process

An objective maintenance audit is completed by using a targeted questionnaire covering the key factors needed for world class maintenance developed specifically for rating an operation. The questionnaire allows you to compare the current effectiveness of maintenance performed in your operation with maintenance best practice used by successful maintenance organisations across the world.

The aspects and issues specifically relevant to asset maintenance management were addressed by use of recognised asset management, maintenance management and reliability management best practice guides and standards.

A common maintenance audit objective is to use the maintenance audit questionnaire so as to answer the key areas of maintenance management system performance listed below.

  • Organisation Culture and Employee Empowerment
  • Maintenance Tactical Delivery: Work and
    Contractor Management Processes
  • Asset Management Strategy
  • Reliability Improvement
  • Materials Management
  • Performance Measurement
  • Maintenance Process Improvement
  • Budgeting and Cost Control Processes
  • Planning and Scheduling Processes
  • Information Technology Management

Usually there are many opportunities to improve the maintenance performance in an operation. The challenge is to ensure a focus on making the most significant improvements first, and in being selective about the areas for improvement to focus on. Trying to make too many improvements simultaneously frequently means that little is achieved at all.

To find the right ways that successfully improve your maintenance and reliability performance permanently requires an investigation into your business systems and the maintenance work processes in use, including the paradigms and beliefs held in your company.

Getting the absolute maximum maintenance and reliability benefits for your business is helped with a well structured and targeted Maintenance Audit.


My best regards to you,

Mike Sondalini
Managing Director
Lifetime Reliability Solutions HQ