Featured Maintenance Management

Complete Guide to Developing a Planned Maintenance Plan

Planned maintenance refers to the process of regularly inspecting, repairing, and documenting equipment maintenance.
What is planned maintenance? How to develop a PPM program?

Planned maintenance (PM) refers to proactive maintenance activities that are planned, scheduled ahead of time, and documented to keep assets and facilities healthy, productive, and safe.

Planned maintenance is also an excellent opportunity to check for code updates and ensure that your building is up to date. It typically happens on a regular schedule, such as monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

What is the main objective of planned maintenance?

The idea behind planned maintenance is to minimize the need for unplanned maintenance and reduce the overall cost of maintenance over the lifespan of the equipment.

By performing regular maintenance activities like inspections, lubrication, and cleaning, businesses can prevent unexpected breakdowns and extend the lifespan of their equipment.

This can save money and improve operational efficiency by reducing asset downtime and maximizing productivity.

We will take a deeper look at the associated costs and an ideal planned-to-unplanned maintenance ratio for operational efficiency later in this post.

Different types of planned maintenance

There are two types of planned maintenance: planned preventive maintenance and unscheduled maintenance.

Planned preventive maintenance

Planned preventive maintenance (PPM) is a regular schedule of routine maintenance tasks.

The goal of PPM is to prevent problems from occurring in the first place or to identify them early so they can be fixed before they cause damage or become expensive to repair.

Typically, PPM is performed on equipment critical to a business's operation, such as HVAC systems, elevators, and boilers.

However, PPM can also be performed on non-critical equipment, such as office furniture and computers. PPM is typically scheduled in advance and carried out regularly, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

A planned maintenance schedule also helps you avoid — or cut — unplanned downtime. For example, imagine your building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system breaking down in the middle of summer.

Without a properly functioning HVAC system, your tenants will be uncomfortable and may even start to look for a new place to live. Unfortunately, that's when your apartments become vacant, which means revenue loss.

Suggested read: How to Build a Preventive Maintenance (PM) Checklist?

Planned unscheduled maintenance

Planned unscheduled maintenance is a legitimate planned maintenance technique that involves delaying the upkeep of an asset until it breaks down.

It might sound contradictory, but this strategy can save money and lives in some industries where critical equipment cannot fail at an inopportune moment.

When you experience equipment problems, your best option is to plan for them before encountering a breakdown.

Planned unscheduled maintenance is appropriate when repairing equipment after a failure exceeds the overall expense of preventing such failures.

Planned unscheduled maintenance fits right in if the asset is:

  • Single-use and is inexpensive
  • Does not have statutory requirements
  • Non-critical
  • Low value
  • Has a short lifespan

You can also include assets with a low chance of failing whose failure pattern is not random.

What are the 4 phases of planned maintenance?

Planned maintenance can be subdivided into four basic categories:

  • Predictive maintenance
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Corrective maintenance
  • Risk-based maintenance

These four phases of maintenance—equipment management, building envelope testing and repair/replacement, general repairs and upgrades, and system redundancies—should be used together for the most comprehensive approach to building maintenance.

Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance (PdM) uses conditional monitoring to spot signs of damage, oddities, and performance issues using real-time asset data.

Using PdM, you can estimate equipment failure time, why it fails, and how to fix it. As a result, you can be on top of potential issues and line up resources to fix them even before failure.

Preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a method that helps plan routine maintenance activities that aim to boost assets, resources, and buildings.

Predictive maintenance also helps reduce the possibility of unforeseen equipment faults and unplanned downtime and helps prevent resorting to reactive maintenance.

Corrective maintenance

Corrective maintenance is an approach that helps fix the problem after it occurs. It's a reactive way of maintenance, and it is generally preferred to be used for assets that are not very expensive and those that do not significantly impact business.

Risk-based maintenance

This maintenance phase involves identifying the risk of an event occurring—whether for a minor repair or catastrophic failure—and determining what needs to be done based on those risks.

It involves:

  • Analyzing data to predict when equipment is likely to fail
  • Ranking risks according to their likelihood and impact
  • Managing risks by implementing strategies that eliminate unacceptable risks and lessen the effects of manageable ones.

Identifying and analyzing risks and developing plans to address them allows organizations to be prepared for various eventualities.

Planned maintenance workflow

You can catch minor problems by performing regular maintenance before issues turn into problems and cause operational disruptions. Keeping your properties in good condition avoids breakdowns and emergency repairs. And that can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.

Let’s say you have a rental property with 20 units. Each unit has its own HVAC system. You’re in the middle of summer, and one of the AC units breaks down. An emergency repair will cost you $500. But if you had been doing regular maintenance on the unit, it would have only cost you $200 to fix.

In this case, maintenance saves you $300.

But that’s not all. The repair cost also caused the unit to be out of service for two days. That’s two days where your tenants were uncomfortable. And it’s two days of lost rent — $200 per day, for a total of $400. So, in this case, scheduled maintenance saved you $700.

Typically, the workflow for planned maintenance works this way:

Workflow for planned preventive maintenance

The best way to plan and execute maintenance is with the appropriate software.

What is a planned maintenance system?

A planned maintenance system is a software solution that helps you with maintenance planning.

The software lets you create a database of your properties and each piece of equipment. You can then use this database to monitor how each piece of equipment performs.

The best software for the task is computerized maintenance management software (CMMS). A CMMS is a solution that helps you with all aspects of maintenance.

You can use a CMMS to track work orders, manage vendors, and energy, schedule preventive maintenance, and keep an inventory of spare parts and replacement parts.

With a CMMS, track and manage asset lifecycle to check if everything is working correctly, which makes it easy to spot equipment downtime. You can also use the software to schedule these tasks.

For example, you can set a task to inspect the HVAC system annually and assign contractors. Then, when the time comes, the software automatically generates a work order for the contractor.

What is planned maintenance percentage?

A common goal in the maintenance industry is to perform at least 80% of maintenance activities as planned, with the remaining 20% reserved for unplanned, corrective, or breakdown maintenance.

This allows for a proactive approach to maintenance that can help to reduce the frequency and cost of unplanned maintenance while still providing the flexibility to address unexpected equipment failures.

Comparing the cost of planned vs. unplanned maintenance

The general rule of thumb is that PM should cost around 2-3% of the total asset replacement value per year. So, if a piece of equipment is worth $1 million, you'd want to budget around $20,000 to $30,000 per year for planned maintenance.

Typically, PM activities cost around one-third of unplanned maintenance costs. This is because unplanned maintenance often involves emergency repairs, which can be more time-consuming and expensive, and in some cases, up to 10 times more expensive than PM.

PM is scheduled in advance and can be performed during periods of lower demand, making it less disruptive to production and less expensive overall.

How to calculate planned maintenance percentage?

Planned maintenance percentage is considered an important maintenance KPI to measure the effectiveness of planned maintenance programs.

Here's how you calculate it:

Planned Maintenance Percentage = (Planned Maintenance Time / Total Maintenance Time) x 100


  • Planned maintenance time: Hours/time spent on planned maintenance activities during a given period (e.g., a month or a year).
  • Total maintenance time: Hours/time spent on all maintenance activities during the same period, including both planned and unplanned maintenance.

For example, if you spent 600 hours on planned maintenance activities and 800 hours on total maintenance activities during the month of January, the planned maintenance percentage for that month would be:

Planned Maintenance Percentage = (600 / 800) x 100 = 75%

This means you spent 75% of the maintenance time in January on planned maintenance activities, and 25% on unplanned tasks.

Regularly calculating planned maintenance percentage helps tweak and improve your maintenance plan to invite more process efficiencies, healthier equipment, and cost savings.

Suggested read: A comprehensive guide to Maintenance KPIs

An example of planned maintenance

If you are lubricating the pumps and motors in your HVAC system because it is showing signs of declined performance, or deterioration, it is considered reactive maintenance.

However, if you are lubricating it because it has completed 2000 operating hours, it is planned maintenance.

In general, something can be considered planned maintenance if it meets the following criteria:

1. It is scheduled in advance
2. It is proactive
3. It is based on original manufacturer's recommendations or industry standards
4. It is performed on a regular basis

Looking for a solution to streamline and optimize your PPM program?

Try Facilio

Benefits of planned maintenance

A good maintenance strategy is crucial for any property owner or manager. By investing in planned maintenance, you can:

  • Minimize downtime — If a significant system breaks down, it can take days or weeks to fix. That’s the time when your property is not operating at full capacity. That total downtime could have been prevented or scheduled for a time that is less disruptive if you had been doing preventive maintenance.
  • Increase your equipment’s lifespan — Preventing equipment failure extends the lifespan of your systems. For example, your property's HVAC systems, bathroom appliances, and other fixtures will last longer with proper care.
  • Improve tenant satisfaction — When your tenants are happy, they’re more likely to renew their lease. And when they don’t have to deal with unexpected repairs, they’re even more comfortable. Nobody likes dealing with emergencies, especially in commercial properties with many tenants.
  • Keep maintenance costs low — Emergency repairs in case of breakdowns are expensive. Urgency drives up the cost of labor and materials. If you can avoid those costs by avoiding emergency repairs, your bottom line will thank you.

Ready to create a PPM plan for your organization? Here's what you'll need.

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General requirements for creating a maintenance plan

A maintenance plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the activities and procedures required to ensure that equipment is maintained in a safe, reliable, and efficient manner.

Keep the following details handy to inform an effective maintenance plan:

  1. Equipment inventory: A complete inventory of all equipment that will be included in the maintenance program.
  2. Maintenance tasks: A list of all maintenance tasks required for each piece of equipment, including the frequency of each task and the estimated time required to complete it.
  3. Maintenance schedule: A schedule of when each maintenance task will be performed based on the equipment manufacturer's recommendations, industry best practices, and the specific needs of the organization.
  4. Resources: A list of the resources required to complete each maintenance task, including labor, tools, and materials.
  5. Procedures: Detailed procedures for each maintenance task, including step-by-step instructions and safety guidelines.
  6. Inspection and testing procedures: Procedures for regular inspections and testing of equipment to identify potential issues before they become major problems.
  7. Record-keeping: A system for recording all maintenance activities, including the date and time of each task, the resources used, and any issues identified during the task.
  8. Performance metrics: A set of performance metrics to track the effectiveness of the maintenance plan, such as equipment uptime, mean time between failures (MTBF), and mean time to repair (MTTR).

Once you have a maintenance plan in place, the next step is to create preventive maintenance checklists for each asset.

What is a planned preventive maintenance checklist, and how to create one?

A PPM checklist typically includes a list of maintenance tasks, the frequency of each task, and specific instructions or safety precautions.

To create a PPM checklist, you should:

  1. Identify the equipment and determine maintenance requirements.
  2. Establish maintenance frequencies and create a checklist.
  3. Review and refine the checklist with staff.
  4. Implement the PPM program and the checklist, and update it regularly.

We also published a comprehensive guide on building, executing, and managing PPM checklists.

How to build a preventive maintenance checklist? (with free templates!)

How are you managing your planned maintenance program?

There are many ways to manage your PPM program based on how important it is to your organization's operations.

However, if you relate to at least one of these challenges, you might be seeing the tell-tale signs that your organization needs to add a CMMS to the mix.

  1. You don't have a clear picture of what maintenance tasks are scheduled, which ones are complete, and what's overdue.
  2. You wish you spent less time on administrative tasks, paperwork, and manual data entry.
  3. You frequently notice errors such as missed maintenance tasks, incorrect data, and scheduling conflicts–all of which deter your ability to gauge the effectiveness of your maintenance program.
  4. You wish you had better data analytics to identify trends, areas for improvement, and opportunities for optimization.
  5. You have trouble facilitating collaboration and communication between technicians on the ground and other departments they might need assistance from.

If you currently rely on paper, spreadsheet, or calendar-based methods to schedule and manage your PPM program, chances are, you are very familiar with all of these challenges.

Sadly, these challenges are prevalent even with most legacy CMMS.

What you need to get accurate data and analyze it in different contexts to achieve not just system or site-level but portfolio-level operational efficiency is a modern and Connected CMMS like Facilio.

Simplifying and streamlining PPM with a Connected CMMS

Unlike legacy CMMS, which are limited to streamlining asset management and maintenance scheduling, Facilio's Connected CMMS connects your people, processes, and systems in meaningful ways to give you 360° visibility and remote control of your entire portfolio of assets, facilities, and resources.

Facilio integrates seamlessly with your existing BMS/BAS systems to enable interoperability from a cloud-based supervisory platform that enables you to analyze real-time data from your assets in various contexts and command and control them remotely to boost operational efficiency.

Facilio's platform architecture

Further, it comes with intelligent routing to automate the creation, management, and documentation of work orders based on pre-defined triggers, so your assets are always taken care of, and you rest easy.

Automatic work order creation via Facilio's intelligent routing

This takes CMMS, which is traditionally a system of records, to the next level, where it becomes a system of action–setting you up to manage even advanced use cases like tenant satisfaction, energy efficiency, or fault detection and diagnostics for predictive maintenance in the future.

What are your goals and objectives for PPM? We'd love to hear from you!

Your CMMS should do more than just asset and maintenance management

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The rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) over the past decade has been a game-changer for real estate.

This is bringing the cost barrier for automation and advanced maintenance techniques like predictive or prescriptive maintenance down, encouraging higher adoption rates.

This paper by the University Politehnica of Bucharest, Machine and Manufacturing Systems Department highlights:

The IoT platforms provide good support for predictive maintenance as they can integrate information from different machines and manufacturing systems.

Another trend that's increasingly becoming a strategic priority for most commercial facilities across the globe is the move toward green and sustainable facilities.

Motivating factors for this shift go beyond just environmental concerns. In today's volatile energy markets, inefficient energy consumption skyrockets operational costs and threatens the bottom line and the very existence of businesses.

Although energy efficiency is a very different initiative, moving from reactive to proactive maintenance is a step in that direction.

As Frans Melissen, Bert Smit, and Vitalija Danivska write in the book "Rethinking Sustainability in Facilities and Workplace Management":

[...]consumers seem to value sustainable products and services more and more. As a result, some consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services than unsustainable alternatives. Of course, this is not true for all consumers. Still, an ever-increasing percentage of consumers favors a sustainable product or service over an unstainable one if the price they have to pay is (somewhat) similar.

In the future, we'll see even more buildings using these technologies as part of their planned maintenance regime.