What is the Maintenance Backlog?

The maintenance backlog is a time indicator that represents all the maintenance work required that has not yet been completed.


Usually measured in working days or weeks, the maintenance backlog quantifies the time needed to perform pending maintenance actions. The maintenance backlog is composed of preventive or corrective maintenance, quality inspections, or any activity necessary for the proper functioning of assets.


The appropriate level of the backlog should be determined by maintenance planning and control workflow.


Although a certain level of maintenance backlog is inevitable, neglected tasks inevitably lead to more breakdowns and asset downtime.


The maintenance backlog provides a list of tasks to be carried out over a specified period. A certain backlog is generally acceptable, otherwise, it may indicate excessive work. The idea is not to eliminate the backlog but to manage it effectively.


Failures require immediate unplanned maintenance activities that then disrupt scheduled activities. These schedule disruptions accumulate more overdue tasks, which can become a vicious circle.


How to calculate the Maintenance Backlog?


As a time indicator, the result of the calculation of the backlog must be determined in hours, minutes, days, weeks, or months.


This calculation is based on the sum of the man-hour values of all planned, pending, and completed tasks; divided by the total value of the available man-hours.


Only the production time of each employee must be taken into account since he does not perform the tasks 100% of the time. Therefore, before calculating the backlog, it is necessary to measure the productivity of the team.


Concerning the calculation of the backlog, it is essential to define how they should be measured. It is critical to agree with the team and stakeholders on what constitutes the backlog in maintenance work. In other words, differentiate tasks (which is preventive and corrective maintenance) and allocate the work accordingly so that the workforce is used effectively in the management of this backlog.


The global average of the backlog is 2 weeks, taking into account work performed every week. On the other hand, for businesses that work without a weekly interruption, they have an average around 3 to 4 weeks.


What are the advantages of this indicator?


The calculation of this maintenance indicator allows controlling the productivity of the team, as well as measuring the cause of delays.


In addition to measuring the performance and productivity of the team, this indicator makes the information clearer and more accessible to the team, so that they can understand where they need to improve.


Backlog on high and low-risk assets


Delays in maintaining high-risk assets may put the organization at risk due to equipment failures, non-compliance with legal requirements on fire and safety, high asset replacement costs, and production losses.


Low-risk assets may tolerate longer maintenance delays, while high-risk assets bear shorter maintenance delays.


Maintenance backlog and CMMS software


It is difficult to calculate and control the backlog without the support of maintenance management software such as Valuekeep.


This intelligent maintenance management system allows maintenance managers to track what is pending and when it is due, giving them complete visibility in the asset’s backlog and failures.

Find out how Valuekeep can help you monitor all maintenance and backlog work to increase the availability and reliability of your assets.

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