Book Review

Developing Performance Indicators for Managing Maintenance
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Developing Performance Indicators for Managing Maintenance

By: Terry Wireman

Hardcover - 195 pages
Published by: Industrial Pr;
1st edition
Publication Date: August 1999
Dimensions (in inches): 0.74 x 9.32 x 6.27
ISBN: 0831130806


  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 - The Maintenance Function
  • Chapter 2 - Developing Maintenance Functions
  • Chapter 3 - Preventive Maintenance
  • Chapter 4 - Inventory and Procurement
  • Chapter 5 - Work Flow Systems
  • Chapter 6 - Computerized Maintenance Management Systems
  • Chapter 7 - Technical and Interpersonal Training
  • Chapter 8 - Operational Involvement
  • Chapter 9 - Predictive Maintenance
  • Chapter 10 - Reliability Centered Maintenance
  • Chapter 11 - Total Productive Maintenance
  • Chapter 12 - Statistical Financial Optimization
  • Chapter 13 - Continuous Improvement
  • Chapter 14 - Developing Performance Measures for Maintenance Management
  • Chapter 15 - The Future

Our Review

This is one of the more popular books purchased through the Plant Maintenance Resource Center website, and is authored by the "recognized expert" (Plant Engineering, January 1990) Terry Wireman.

At 184 pages long, plus glossary and index, it is not a long book, but has plenty of "meat" to it, nonetheless. The book starts with an outline of WIremans' model for Maintenance Management, which forms the basis for organising the remainder of the book. This model is somewhat similar to that outlined in Campbell's Uptime (reviewed here, in that it is organised in a similar pyramid, and contains 11 elements, starting with Preventive Maintenance at the base of the pyramid, and working up to Continuous Improvement at the apex. The purpose of the book is not to go into detail regarding this model, and there are a number of aspects to this model that many would disagree with, but it nevertheless forms a useful basis for structuring the remainder of the book.

The bulk of the book (11 out of the 15 chapters) is spent discussing the Performance Indicators that can be used to measure performance in each of the 11 elements of Wireman's model (or Maintenance Functions, as he calls them). These Maintenance Functions are:

  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Inventory and Procurement
  • Work Order Systems
  • CMMS
  • Technical and Interpersonal Training
  • Operational Involvement
  • Predictive Maintenance
  • Reliability-Centered Maintenance
  • Total Productive Maintenance
  • Statistical Financial Optimization
  • Continuous Improvement
In each chapter, there is a brief overview of the function, followed by common performance indicators used for each function, together with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each performance indicator. Finally, each chapter outlines some of the key problems that may be leading to poor performance in that functional area.

These 11 chapters really are the book's strength, with plenty of detail there to keep plenty of people happy. In all, over 80 performance indicators are discussed. More experienced maintenance professionals may find themselves nodding their heads in recognition of the points discussed, and less experienced folk will find themselves rapidly accelerated down the learning curve.

There are a few common themes throughout the discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the various indicators - most notably, the requirement for accurate data to be recorded at source.

There are a few areas that the book does not cover, however, that could have added the cream to the cake. Strangely enough, despite its title, the book does not suggest a process that could be used to select and/or develop the most appropriate performance measures at any particular site, and ensure that there is a high level of ownership of these performance measures amongst those whose performance is to be measured (thereby assisting with data accuracy). In addition, although the requirement to have Maintenance performance measures linked to, and congruent with, higher level corporate performance measures is mentioned, there is little discussion on how best to achieve this. Some discussion of Kaplan and Norton's Balanced Scorecard approach may have been appropriate here.

On another front, there is no discussion on how best to utilise performance measures for effective decision making. In my experience, many performance measurement systems are ineffective because the performance measurement system is not properly linked with organisational decision making systems - performance reports are issued, but never effectively used to assist with decision making. Once again, if the people who provide the source data are also involved in the decision making processes (and therefore using the data that they record), this can have a positive impact on data quality.

Finally, there aren't many maintenance organizations these days which aren't forced to pay attention to a range of performance measures related to safety - accident rates, severity rates etc., but none of these measures are discussed in the book.

Overall, though, the book is worth reading - particularly if you are new to the maintenance game and/or haven't yet got performance measures in place at your workplace - but experienced maintenance professionals will also find plenty of food for thought here.

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Revised: Thursday, 08-Oct-2015 12:08:08 AEDT
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