Department coordination and communication

  • 9 September 2021
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In a previous post, I discussed organizational stakeholders versus shareholders and the strategic roles required in creating the ideal asset management team ⤵  


From here, I focused on the ideal make-up of the reliability team - providing a list of the possible roles at the table and duties for this group in this post ⤵ 


Next, let’s focus on the key responsibilities of the Operations and Maintenance groups to facilitate department coordination and communication.



  1. Initiate work order requests whenever functional failure is evident, or in the case of a system defect.

  2. Specify whether this work is emergency, urgent or can be properly planned/schedule (i.e., routine). 

  3. Operations should support scheduled PM activities that require scheduled downtime.

  4. Operations leadership should sit with maintenance and identify assets that need occasional refit/overhaul/upgrade and identify planning window.

  5. Operations should support permitting activities and lock-out, tag-out requests.

  6. Operations should provide thorough shift turnover notes – electronically.

  7. Operation shift supervisors should participate in weekly schedule review meetings.

  8. Operators performing rounds should be trained in identifying likely failure modes.

  9. Operators should be trained in performing basic PM, e.g., autonomous maintenance whereby operators monitor equipment, make adjustments and perform minor maintenance tasks. This includes cleaning, lubricating and inspecting. Autonomous maintenance means getting the machine to a "like new" standard of clean and keeping it there.

  10. Operations should support defect elimination teams.

  11. Operations should support Reliability Action Team meetings for review of chronic failures and RCAs.

  12. Operations should support asset criticality and RCM analysis reviews.

  13. Operations should periodically review procedures and validate proper operation of assets.

  14. The operations manager might have a list of bad actors on his whiteboard which require special attention if/when a work order is written against them. Maintenance manager should be aware of these.



  1. Execute emergent work in a timely manner, as per service level agreements.

  2. Provide gatekeeper (or similar) role that reviews all incoming work; dispatch work as needed; assign priority value to routine work for scheduling purposes; enter lead craft and rough estimate.

  3. Maintenance staff, such as planner/schedulers, gatekeeper and business analyst shall manage the backlog as to size and growth.

  4. Maintenance staff should support weekly schedule review meeting, chronic failures, and RCAs.

  5. Maintenance technicians should provide accurate and timely updates to the CMMS including work order feedback.

  6. Maintenance leadership should ensure precision maintenance skills.

  7. Maintenance supervisors should provide accurate craft availabilities, including planned absences.

  8. Maintenance supervisors should support the CMMS auto-generated weekly maintenance schedule.

  9. Maintenance supervisors should create daily plan/schedule which draws from the weekly but also includes emergent work.


Does this align with how duties are shared between the Operations and Maintenance departments at your organization? Is it helpful to have these responsibilities segmented by department like this for reference? Share your experience or ask any questions in the replies below ⤵️ 

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