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Four Step Maintenance Planning Model

Maintenance planning identifies and links maintenance needs to maintenance work that addresses those needs. Planning is required to make the best possible use of human and financial resources.

One of the key features of a maintenance plan is the annual maintenance work plan. The work plan identifies planned maintenance work for a full year. It is especially useful because it shows the big picture and allows individual maintenance work to be grouped according to work of similar nature.

The work plan is prepared each year to define and balance the workload associated with maintenance work. It also identifies peak work periods, when it may not be possible to balance the maintenance workload and where additional funding or labour is required.

The work plan should focus on reasonable expectations and realistic goals. It is used to develop budgets for each maintenance activity that should be completed during the upcoming year.

Like all plans, the maintenance plan is subject to change throughout the year as new circumstances develop. Such circumstances can include changes in revenues, changes in estimated costs for different activities and unanticipated maintenance issues.


Step 1 — Gathering Information

Be sure to have all of the information required to complete the plan. Be sure that the information is accurate. If historical data is not available and projections are being used, be sure that they are realistic. Some examples of the information that should be gathered are:

  • community goals,
  • copies of related reports (e.g. unit condition reports),
  • annual plans, and
  • operating budgets.

Plan to involve everyone in the team (e.g. Housing Committee Member, staff, technical services, Finance Officer, Band Council, etc.) throughout the four-step planning process. Information should also be gathered by conducting inspections. There are a number of different inspections that should be taking place regularly including

  • annual inspections,
  • Physical Condition Reviews,
  • move-in and move-out inspections.

Step 2 — Developing the Maintenance Plans

There are two types of plans that need to be developed — an annual; maintenance work plan and a long term maintenance plan. An annual maintenance work plan describes in detail what you propose to do in the next 12 months. The annual work plan should clearly identify the priorities, work items, time frames and the human and financial resources required.

A long term maintenance plan focuses on what should happen over the next three to five years. This describes, at a high level, the work that will be accomplished.

When analyzing the information you have gathered and developing both plans, consider the following points:

  • What are the priorities that have been identified by your community?
  • Are there enough human and financial resources to deliver the service?
  • When can work be completed?
  • Are there program restrictions that need to be considered?
  • Are there areas of concern that have been identified during inspections?

When writing both plans, answer the 5 Ws:

  • Why is this task necessary, does it respond to the goals?
  • What tasks will be completed over the next 12 months (action plan)?
  • Who will be responsible for completing each task?
  • When will each task be completed by?
  • Where will the human and financial resources come from?

Step 3 — Approving the Plan

Seek and obtain support for the plan, and ensure that it is approved by the proper authorities.

When seeking approval of the plan, consider doing the following:

  • formally submitting the written plan for approval,
  • following up with a presentation that describes the benefits of following the plan,
  • being prepared to answer questions and respond to concerns, and
  • keeping a record of the decisions made regarding the plan.

Once the plan is approved, prepare to implement the plan by:

  • communicating the high-level details of the plan to the Housing Committee, Band members and tenants; and,
  • developing a Question and Answer information sheet for Chief and Council, Housing Committee Members and staff to use when handling inquiries.

Step 4 — Reviewing and Making Adjustments

The best plans are those that are reviewed on a regular basis (at least once every three months).

As part of regular review process includes:

  • Reviewing progress with team members (is everything on track),
  • Conducting regular inspections of all units (annual, move-in and move-out)
  • Reviewing building inventory.

These are regular parts that are needed to conduct maintenance. This requires some balancing between availability of equipment on an “as needed” requirement vs. carrying inventory.

  • Updating the plan as tasks are completed, (includes moving completed tasks to their next scheduled date)
  • Identifying the problem and reassigning resources, if necessary, for tasks that are behind schedule,
  • Preparing regular progress reports and making them available to the community, and
  • Celebrating and sharing successes.

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