12 maintenance templates and how to use them

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Scott Britton’s maintenance team was drowning in administrative work.

“Whoever was finishing up their 12-hour shift would write pages of notes for the person starting the next shift,” says Scott, the General Manager of Operations at Rambler Metals & Mining.

Writing and reviewing these notes took up an hour at the beginning, and end, of each person’s shift. To make matters worse, maintenance requests would get written down on Post-its or scraps of paper. The maintenance team would spend an immense amount of time shuffling through heaps of notes and prioritizing the work.

It was utter chaos. And although it was clear that better processes would offer relief, that would take time. This choice between two time-consuming projects is a common one. And it often ends up favoring the status quo. So you’re left living with broken processes and growing frustration.

See how Scott’s team dug itself out from it’s mountain of admin work here

Luckily, there’s an easier way to take your maintenance team from an administrative hellscape to a well-oiled machine—templates.

Creating new processes from scratch is hard. Maintenance templates lower the effort level from a 10 to a five. You still need to make key decisions, but you have a foundation to work from.

This article highlights 12 maintenance templates (plus free downloads) that’ll help you create world-class policies, schedules, budgets, and more. It will also give you a short primer on how to use these templates and finally put an end to your daily frustrations.

1. A template for designing an asset management policy

Download your asset management policy template

What is this template?

An asset management policy provides a set of guiding principles, intentions, goals and methods for managing assets. It’s a way for everyone at your company to feel confident in their choices and their contributions to the facility.

The policy provides a template for decision-making so people can achieve the best possible outcomes for each task while meeting the organization’s goals. It not only embeds asset management into the culture of a facility, but it also serves as a sign of the organization’s commitment to efficiency and sustainability to those outside the company. An asset management policy contains:

  • Broad principles about asset management
  • Roles, responsibilities, and a guide for policy implementation
  • An outline for how asset management is integrated within the organization
  • Goals, service levels, inventory guidelines, and maintenance standards

Policy statement

In managing the assets belonging to (Insert Company), we are committed to:

  • Taking steps to connect the appropriate departments, functions, and support activities in order to build effective working relationships and encourage information-sharing.
  • Using asset management decision-making to drive optimum value for customers.
  • Ensuring decisions are made collaboratively. Ensure decisions consider all life-cycle stages and interrelationships between asset, operational and service performance.
  • Focusing on decision-making that recognizes the interconnected nature of asset systems and how decisions about one set of assets may potentially interact with or affect assets controlled by other departments and functions.

Example of a policy statement in an asset management policy

How to use this template

An asset management policy can double as the foundation for larger maintenance, asset management, or reliability projects. The scope, intent, and roles and responsibilities sections are particularly useful for guiding future projects. Want to implement a new system for maintenance requests across several sites? That’s not a small change. Using this framework to outline the project will help you measure progress, prevent confusion, and stop scope creep.

2. A template for building your perfect maintenance strategy

Download your maintenance strategy template

What is this template?

There are a lot of advantages for maintenance teams that can tie their work to the bigger goals of the company. This template helps you make this connection. It outlines a four-step process for creating a maintenance strategy that aligns with the work being done across the organization. This includes establishing these high-level goals, figuring out how maintenance can impact this goal, and then creating metrics and focus areas that help you drive results.

Example template

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How to use this template

The maintenance strategy template can help you design better processes as well. For example, start by listing your ideal metrics and strategies. If you don’t have the right processes or systems in place to get those metrics or execute those strategies, make a plan to put them in place. Design your work orders to collect the data you need or set up sensors and maintenance software so you can move from calendar-based maintenance to condition-based maintenance.

This way, you have two sets of maintenance plans—one for the current state of your maintenance program and one you’re working toward. Showing how these changes help you achieve larger goals for the company gives you a better shot at getting the buy-in and budget you need to implement your plan.

3. A template for calculating asset criticality

Download your asset criticality template

What is this template?

The asset criticality template helps you calculate the impact a piece of equipment has on your organization and the consequences of that equipment failing. There are two ways to assess asset criticality. The first is to measure the probability of failure and the impact of failure. Each is scored from one to six. The scores are multiplied to find the risk priority number for the asset and a corresponding asset criticality level.

Risk priority template

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The other method is criticality by consequence. This asset criticality framework only takes the impact of asset failure into account. It measures the impact of failure in three areas—health and safety, environment, and operations. Each area is rated on a scale of one to five. When multiplied, you get the total criticality of your assets. The higher the number, the more critical it is.

Asset Criticality

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How to use this template

Asset criticality factors into a lot of different decisions you’ll make about your maintenance program. The most common scenario is when you’re building a preventive maintenance schedule. But it’s also helpful when optimizing that same schedule.

If you are spending a lot of time and/or money on a routine maintenance task without seeing results (ie. finding failures, improving machine performance), you might want to cut back on the frequency of this task. These charts can help you decide if the risk of less maintenance is worth the reward. For example, if an asset has an RPN of nine, it may be worth the risk. If the RPN is 24, it’s probably not.

On the other hand, you can use a criticality analysis template to plan for emergencies. For example, if the criticality score of an asset is 100, you might kit parts for common failures in that machine. If an emergency does occur, you can fix it faster and lower the impact on the operation.

4. A template for creating preventive maintenance checklists

Download your preventive maintenance checklist template

What is this template?

The average maintenance team manages over 2,000 planned tasks every year. Putting all that work down on paper (or your maintenance software) could take you a while. This template gives you a framework for creating preventive maintenance checklists. This allows you to formalize or standardize your processes in a fraction of the time. It includes eight steps that are common to most routine maintenance and corresponding tasks and supplies needed for each. It also offers some prompts to help you provide all the critical information to technicians.

PM checklist

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How to use this template

To get extremely accurate as you fill in this template, shadow an experienced technician as they do the task. Jot down the tasks they do, the order they do it in, and the supplies they use.

If you want to help your team eliminate bottlenecks in their days, add two sections next to each task on this template—expected time to complete and actual time to complete. Once this information has been tracked for a few months, you can look back and identify any steps in a task that are frequently taking more time than expected to complete. Then explore the reason why.

Maybe you didn’t account for the time it takes to put on safety gear. Or it could be difficult to find parts in your storeroom, which adds time to the job. This is a good way to spot inefficiencies in your operation and fix them.

5. A template for prioritizing your maintenance backlog

Download your maintenance backlog template

What is this template?

A small maintenance backlog is healthy. But there’s a fine line between a small backlog and one that’s spun out of control. This template will help you prioritize your deferred maintenance work so you can find out which tasks your team should do first. The framework ditches bias and guesswork, which can often affect decision-making when you’re staring at a huge to-do list and can only choose a couple of items to complete.

The template balances the impact of the task (using a criticality analysis chart) with the lateness of the task to result in a final priority score. The task with the highest score should go to the top of your to-do list.

backlog template

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How to use this template

It’s not often that you have the time and resources to tackle even the highest priority tasks on your backlog. There’s a reason your backlog has swollen in the first place. If you find yourself in this situation, combine the data from this template with the information you can collect from other templates to determine the minimum actions that need to be taken.

For example, check out your FMEA (template #12) for assets with a high priority score. Identify the riskiest components and prioritize maintenance on those components first. That might mean not completing the entire task, but it allows you to reduce the risk of failure on that asset.

6. A checklist for parts purchasing and management

Download your MRO inventory management checklist

What is this template?

If a lot of your inventory management processes are of the unwritten type, this template is for you. It’s full of prompts to help you create and standardize your storeroom processes. It’s broken down into five categories that includes:

  • Parts purchasing
  • Parts and work orders
  • Storeroom security
  • Organizing and optimizing inventory
  • Receiving parts

After finishing this template, you’ll have a document you and your team can refer to any time there’s a question about parts purchasing, receiving, usage, or tracking.

Inventory management template: parts purchasing

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Inventory management template: parts purchasing and work orders

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How to use this template

First thing’s first, if you can’t answer one of the questions on this template, make it a priority to fill in that blank. That unknown is the most likely point of confusion and has the greatest risk attached to it.

This template can also help you create a feedback loop with your maintenance team. A feedback loop allows you to collect input from your team on processes and continually make improvements on them. The first version of this template is your baseline. Have regular team or one-on-one meetings with members of your team and ask them for feedback on each area of this template.

For example, how often are parts delayed because you’re waiting for purchase approval? If the approval process is causing bottlenecks in maintenance, revisit your processes around purchasing and look for ways to eliminate the delays.

7. A template for kitting parts

Download your parts kitting template

What is this template?

There’s almost nothing more frustrating than being in the middle of a busy day or a critical repair and spending 10, 20, or 30 minutes searching the storeroom for parts. This template helps you organize your maintenance inventory into part kits so you can reduce the time spent finding supplies for maintenance work. Less time in the storeroom means faster response times, more wrench time, fewer maintenance costs, and healthier assets.

This template groups parts by asset and event. Let’s say there’s a bi-weekly replacement scheduled on a critical asset. This template allows you to document which parts you need for that routine maintenance so you can build a parts kit for it. Having all the parts available in one place might shave off five or 10 minutes from the job. Over the course of a year, that’s more than four hours of saved time.

Parts Knitting template

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How to use this template

Kitting parts isn’t the hardest task, but it can take time. If you’re looking to prioritize your parts kitting efforts, take a look at your FMEAs (and check out template #12 for an FMEA framework). Identify any failure that represents the trinity of danger:

  • Is hard to detect
  • Has a high likelihood of happening
  • Has a big impact on operations

There’s not a lot you can do to prevent these types of failures. But you can put some measures in place to respond to these breakdowns faster and limit their impact. One way to do that is with parts kitting. The five or 10 minutes you save by having the parts for the repair easily accessible could mean saving thousands of dollars each time that machine goes down.

8. A template for building a maintenance budget

Download your maintenance budget template

What is this template?

Creating and tracking a maintenance budget is a tension-filled task, especially if your budget has been cut. And then there’s always the question of if you’re going to hit your targets without going over budget. This template doesn’t necessarily relieve all those anxieties, but it gives you one less thing to think about when budget time comes around by giving you a framework for predicting and tracking costs.

The template breaks down all expenses into functional areas and maintenance type by month. For example, it helps you track how much you spend on materials by emergency and routine maintenance, as well as capital projects. It also tracks your target spending and your actual spending so you can keep an eye on any areas where you went over. At the end of the month, quarter, and year, you can total up and analyze what you spent on each area and type of maintenance.

Budget template

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How to use this template

Besides tracking costs and allocating resources accordingly, this maintenance template can help you make a lot of other decisions. For example, if you find yourself spending more on contractors over the course of a year, it might be worth it to hire someone on your team that has the skills of those contractors. This will save you time and money in the long-term.

Similarly, if several areas of your budget are running over, you might look to offset the high costs with an investment in training or software. Let’s say that administrative tasks are costing you much more than you expected. Purchasing software to automate some of these tasks might help you bring down administrative spending across the entire year and into the future.

9. A template to build your maintenance schedule

Download your maintenance schedule template

What is this template?

This maintenance schedule template helps you answer some important parts of your maintenance program and your team’s day:

  • Who’s working and for how long?
  • What needs to get done and how long it it’s going to take
  • What happened in a day and what that means for the rest of the week/month

This template doesn’t just help you assign work. It also allows you track what work was completed and gives you an opportunity to jot down ideas for improving similar work in the future. One of the most valuable aspects of this maintenance schedule template is that it splits up work by priority and maintenance type. This allows your team to get to work faster and gives them basic guidance for what to prioritize if they hit road bumps in their day.

Maintenance schedule template

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How to use this template

There’s a lot of data you can pull from this maintenance schedule template to help you justify a raise in your maintenance budget. One of the best pieces of information comes in the form of the backlog hours you track every day. If the number of hours you have available with your current workforce is consistently lower than and the number of hours you need to complete all your tasks, it helps you build a strong argument for hiring an extra person on your team.

You can also use historical data from your schedule to determine if a specific maintenance process is broken. For example, if a routine maintenance task is always taking more time than expected, there might be a reason for that, such as parts being too hard to find, or instructions being hard to understand. The data from your schedule can point you in the right directions so you can find and fix these broken processes.

10. A template for pitching your next big maintenance project

Download your pitch deck template

What is this template?

You’re full of ideas on how to improve your maintenance program. Some of those ideas are small, like tracking an extra metric or two. Other ideas are big, like implementing new software or completely reorganizing your inventory purchasing process. But all of them require two ingredients: Buy-in from those above you and the budget to match.

Getting money and support for your maintenance projects is not an easy task. Maintenance is often seen as a cost center or a necessary evil. So investing in it is not always appealing to business leaders. This template will help you fight back against this perception. It’s a framework you can use to create a presentation that will convince your boss (and their boss) that your project is worth putting time and money into. It helps you outline the following elements of a successful pitch:

  • The problem and its costs
  • The solution and its benefits
  • How your project aligns with business goals
  • Proof of concept for your project
  • A project plan
  • Risks and ways to mitigate them
  • Project costs and return on investment
  • Immediate next steps
Pitch deck

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How to use this template

This template works best when it’s fueled by numbers and context. For example, when explaining the problem, try to quantify it and explain what that number means in the bigger picture. Instead of stopping at explaining the issue as having too much unplanned downtime, here are some next steps you can take:

  • Show how much downtime you’re experiencing
  • Compare your downtime numbers to your competitors or industry benchmarks
  • Highlight how much downtime has grown year over year
  • Describe how much each hour of downtime costs and what percentage this is of your maintenance budget
  • Uncover how much production time you’re losing because of downtime and what this means for the company’s bottom line

Using numbers to describe the scale and severity of the problem and telling the story of how the problem affects you and your team (ie. I’ve had to come in on Sunday evenings almost every week), is a winning combination.

This same pitch can also be slightly tweaked and used to get buy-in for change from across the organization, including your peers and your team.

Get more tips for convincing your boss (and their boss) to invest in maintenance software

11. A template for conducting an effective root cause analysis

Download your RCA template

What is this template?

A root cause analysis is a critical tool for limiting asset failure and keeping equipment as healthy as possible for as long as possible. But RCAs often fall into the trap of other best practices—you know you should do them, but you just don’t have the time in your day. This root cause analysis template gives you a starting point for your RCAs so you can cut down on the amount of time you spend on your analysis.

This template follows the basic root cause analysis process of the 5 Whys. The template is set up to help you ask and answer a series of questions until you arrive at the root of the failure. It then gives you sections to outline the solution and a plan to implement that solution.

Root cause analysis template

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How to use this template

There’s not always one solution to an issue. That’s why it’s important to narrow your RCA investigation to one pathway or series of questions. One way to keep bias and assumptions to a minimum is to include a diverse group of people in this process. That doesn’t mean a large group—just a group of people who may have different perspectives on the problem, cause, and solution. Try giving a version of this template to several people and having them fill it out separately to avoid groupthink. Meet up to discuss the different approaches and determine which one makes the most sense for the situation.

12. A template for a failure mode and effects analysis

Download your FMEA template

What is this template?

Equipment failure is inevitable. It’s just a question of when and what to do when it does happen. Both those questions can be answered with the failure mode and effects analysis template. This template guides you through the steps of building an FMEA for your assets. This includes measuring the severity and likelihood of failure, how easy it is to detect a potential failure, and what should be done to prevent or respond to failure. In short, it’s your game plan for maintaining critical assets and preparing for breakdowns when they happen.

Effective root cause analysis template

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How to use this template

An FMEA is a valuable tool for creating emergency measures to deal with breakdowns on critical equipment.

Start by looking at failures that have the biggest impact and happen most often. From this list, pick out failure modes that are hard to detect. You’ll have a group of failure modes that are hard to spot and cause a big mess. Build an emergency response plan for these breakdowns.

Your emergency response plan should include any information that reduces response and repair times, including:

  • Kitting parts to reduce time spent retrieving spares and personal protective equipment
  • Creating a detailed task list or troubleshooting tips
  • Attaching diagrams, manuals, photos, and other visual aids to work orders
  • Outlining a list of technicians or contractors that can complete the repair
  • Establishing a way to communicate with technicians quickly, like CMMS software

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