Julian Canlas
Julian Canlas

Founder of the SEO content marketing agency, Embarque.
julian@embarque.io @jic94

Planned & Unplanned Maintenance Guide, Examples & Template

Software services are expected to run non-stop: they require servers, networks, and even air conditioning units in reliable condition to meet your customers’ expectations. That’s why a maintenance system is key to saving time and money while increasing the quality of service of your business.

Proper maintenance activity can prevent downtimes and the expenses attached to them. According to Ponemon Institute’s report, $9,000 is lost for every minute of downtime for larger businesses and $137-$427 per minute for small businesses. Naturally, every business is different, and downtime costs vary. However, the bottom line is that the proper maintenance strategy can prevent business disturbances.

Whatever online business you are running, unexpected outages are always a possibility. To monitor issues before customers notice them and keep users happy, it’s essential to have a status page to focus on resolving the urgent problems at hand. At Instatus, you get a beautiful status page that saves you time and money while building trust with your customers.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Planned Maintenance: Definition, Benefits, Types & Template
  • Unplanned Maintenance: Definition, Benefits & Types
  • Unplanned vs. Unscheduled Maintenance

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Planned Maintenance: Definition, Benefits, Types & Template

Definition

So you might ask, what is planned maintenance? A planned maintenance system minimizes downtime and ensures quick recoveries even after breakdowns. Simply put, scheduling regular inspections of your systems and spotting issues beforehand could lead to a prevention strategy to avoid emergencies.

The goal of planned maintenance is to map the issues of assets and possible costs to fix them. In other words, for planned maintenance to work, engineers need to know in advance what tools, tasks, and time frameworks will be needed to solve potential problems. For example, there might be a need for extra personnel, software, or equipment.

Benefits

Regardless of your business’s size, a plan maintenance schedule is the best strategy to reduce the cost of parts and cut out fees. Specifically, its benefits include:

  • Proper budget planning. Predicting costs is a vast vantage point that can save your business from unplanned expenses that could create budget disruptions.
  • Decreased downtime. The most important benefit is that planned maintenance foresees future assets’ issues for technicians to be able to resolve them before they result in unhappy customers and loss of money.
  • Reduce of maintenance costs. Knowing the maintenance costs in advance can prevent companies from spending even more budget on expedited deliveries to replace equipment parts.
  • Time & resources efficiency. Every business must have a roadmap with time frameworks and resources needed to resolve issues. Having that in advance can solve unexpected problems much faster.
  • Productivity. Less breakdown equals less loss of time and money. Keeping your team aligned for possible downtimes is key for fast and coordinated reactions.
  • Assets longevity. Maintaining your assets properly without the rush of having your systems down increases their life span and prolongs the need for asset replacement.
  • Workplace safety. To avoid equipment failures in manufacturing and industrial settings, it’s important to ensure that assets are operating in optimal conditions for those working nearby.
  • Better company culture. Frequent assets’ downtimes give the impression of an unstable company where employees experience stress, frustration, and lack of motivation. Conversely, good working assets create contentment for all.

Types

Although planned maintenance doesn’t have to be fancy, there are several types of maintenance to improve your systems:

  1. Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance revolves around preventive actions based on manufacturers’ suggestions for optimal usage and upkeep of assets. The goal is to prevent reaching a point where assets are entirely broken, and now huge costs are required to fix them. This maintenance type is mainly used for assets with high financial value or critical operational functions.

For example, a server is a company’s lifeblood that allows computers to run smoothly and function without issues. Imagine what would happen if your server failed. Production would go down, and huge amounts of money would be lost. Preventive maintenance focuses on keeping a server in its optimal function with regular monitoring, updates, and issue resolutions. Servers that work properly last longer and require less frequent replacements.

  1. Planned Unscheduled Maintenance

Another type of planned maintenance is the unscheduled one. Although there’s already a specific plan for assets’ failures, upkeep is purposefully delayed. You might think, why would you delay upkeep when you spot issues? Well, the answer is quite simple. Sometimes, it costs more to fix an issue beforehand than after the breakdown.

In other words, your team knows the problem and knows how to fix it, but doesn’t just yet. They expect at some point the breakdown and are ready to restore the asset quickly but won’t spend the extra money for preventive maintenance or can’t just yet foresee when the maintenance will be necessary. For example, you might spot an air conditioning unit’s battery running low. You already know the problem and how to fix it with a spare battery. However, you won’t fix it just yet, because you don’t know when exactly the old battery will run out.

Scheduled Maintenance Template

After you execute planned maintenance, you want to create a scheduled maintenance template where you’ll map the necessary workflows, tasks, and resources to face a breakdown. A maintenance plan could be simple or extremely thorough, depending on a company’s maintenance program. Nevertheless, a complete template should include:

  • Assets: You want to document as many details as possible for your assets, such as serial numbers, location, vendors, service history, purchase date. Online tools like AssetPanda and Invati IT Asset Management can help you organize and keep track of your assets to escape the piles of paperwork or the usual spreadsheets.
  • Tasks: Ideally, you want to list both preventive and planned unscheduled tasks that your team will take on in case of breakdown.
  • Instructions. After listing the tasks, you want to write down step-by-step instructions on how to execute them.
  • Schedule: Time frameworks are the A-Z for both technicians and workers to plan the company’s strategy and keep customers happy.
  • Personnel: Each maintenance activity requires specific skills. Make sure you match them with the right technician specialties to speed up the process.
  • Third-Parties: 19% of companies outsource maintenance to third parties. You want to ensure that you overview outsourced specialists and hiring processes for each asset.
  • Miscellaneous: Last but not least, many small things can make or break planned maintenance. Therefore, you need to create a checklist of all the things you can’t include in the above categories.

Again, a status page tool like Instatus can help you finetune your maintenance schedule plan and reveal surprising patterns in your time and spendings. The more service data your status page provides, the faster your team will respond to downtimes.

Unplanned Maintenance: Definition, Benefits & Types

Definition

Unplanned maintenance comes down to unexpected breakdowns that were not foreseen due to a lack of formal strategy and proper inspections beforehand. Whenever assets break down, teams follow a reactive pattern to fix them.

Benefits

You might wonder, then why opt for unplanned maintenance in the first place? There are certain benefits of unplanned maintenance for a balanced management strategy. In certain situations, this type of maintenance is necessary, such as:

  • When there’s an intention to replace an asset because it reached the end of its life span
  • When equipment is not repairable, or its location doesn’t allow room for repairs
  • When equipment is not that essential to operations and can be easily repaired without high costs

Types

There are essentially 3 types of unplanned maintenance:

  1. Reactive Maintenance.

As the term hints, reactive maintenance is the immediate reaction to an asset’s failure without prior formal guidelines or properly allocated time and budget. So, let’s say that the unexpected happens and a crucial application stops responding. Engineers will stop their daily tasks and devote all their time and energy to fixing the issue without having a plan or clear instructions for facing the breakdown. Naturally, this ceases production and escalates into a massive loss of income and unplanned outages.

  1. Corrective Maintenance.

Corrective maintenance focuses on fixing minor or major asset failures, for example, restoring a website that is down or maintaining a software service that is running low. It usually fixes issues that businesses failed to plan for, although there’s scheduled maintenance. So, for example, a company’s core software regularly undergoes preventive planned maintenance. However, at some point, a worker notices malfunctions, bugs, or failures that they forward to the engineering department, which is now responsible for resolving the situation before the next scheduled maintenance.

  1. Opportunistic Maintenance.

Finally, opportunistic maintenance occurs when another failure is discovered and taken care of during an asset's preventive maintenance. For example, if an engineer is performing preventive maintenance on an asset and notices there’s a malfunctioning part, they’ll take the time to maintain it as well to avoid more extensive future breakdowns. Since this maintenance was not planned, we call this maintenance type opportunistic.

Unplanned vs. Unscheduled Maintenance

Although the terms unplanned and unscheduled maintenance are used interchangeably, they have quite a few key differences. First, unplanned maintenance counts for totally unexpected maintenance. There’s been no prior plan for budget, time, personnel, or guidelines to fix an asset. However, unscheduled maintenance has a clear plan for possible asset failures, but it's not scheduled for a specific time or assigned to third-party contractors.

Unscheduled maintenance can be planned, but not the other way around. For example, an engineer knows that software needs regular updates with the latest features. However, they won’t schedule the maintenance yet, until the updates are released. So, there’s a plan in place, but it’s yet to be executed.

Takeaway

Businesses usually combine the planned and unplanned maintenance models for a balanced maintenance strategy. However, for a more concise strategy, companies need to pay attention to the planned maintenance model, which they can control by focusing on preventive actions to avoid losing money and causing customer dissatisfaction.

A beautiful status page where you can actively or passively monitor your network and solve issues before customers spot them can be your best ally to an efficient maintenance strategy. Start your Instatus free trial today!

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