WorkThe main application for work management is Work Order Tracking, this is where most work management functionality will be found. Quick Reporting allows technicians to enter the work they have performed retrospectively, it contains a subset of the functionality in Work Order Tracking.

Work Order Tracking

Work orders exist at the Site level. Work orders can exist in a hierarchy which is referred to as a work package. There is an action available from the List tab – Create Work Package which creates a parent work order for a selected set of work orders and another action – Assign to New Parent which joins work orders as children to an existing work order. The work orders in a work order hierarchy can only belong to the same site. The work order hierarchy can be several levels deep, for example representing a work breakdown structure for a project. A work order can also have multiple tasks. Tasks are stored in the same table as work orders consequently some of the functions applied to work orders are also applicable to tasks.

The Work Order Tracking application is used throughout the lifecycle of a work order including creation, planning, approval, assignment, completion and closure. Scheduling of work can also be performed in the Work Order Tracking application but normally clients would use the Maximo Scheduler which provides a Gantt view of the work orders and after scheduling returns the schedule start and finish dates to the work orders. 

The work order has a status and a status history and a work order has a work type. An organisation can have many types of work order, even more so if they are managing many types of asset and some work types might require additional statuses. The standard statuses exist at a status level and additional synonym statuses can be configured to each level and if required made conditionally available depending on the work type. This is defined against the WOSTATUS synonym domain found in the Domains application. It is common then to find a much greater number of statuses than you will find in an out of the box installation of Maximo. It is also common to have Maximo workflow driving some of the reactive work orders through their business process especially if authorisation is needed before work can commence.

Work is performed against an asset and/or location and the work history of an asset is a view on the work orders that have been performed against that asset. A work order can reference multiple assets and/or locations. There is a table called Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs which is used when the work to be performed is the same for several assets or locations, this is commonly used for inspections, the work history of an asset uses this table. Assets and locations can also be referenced on child work orders or tasks and the work history of an asset will pick up these records as well. As assets can be removed and replaced with another asset the work history can be recorded against both the asset and the operating location where the asset resides. When creating a work order if the location has just one parent asset then it will be defaulted to the work order, otherwise you will need to select the asset after the location has been selected.

Selecting the asset or location will prompt the user if the asset or location is under warranty. Warranties are defined in the Warranty Contracts application. A check box will indicate that warranties exist and the action View Warranties will shows the assets and locations under warranty whether the asset or location is referenced on the work order or one of its tasks.

For work orders being created against a failed asset or location then when the problem code is entered a screen will open to indicate whether other open work orders exist that are similar. If it looks as if this is a duplicate then this work order can be related to the original work order and then cancelled with a memo to indicate that it is a duplicate.

Work orders can be created directly in the Work Order Tracking application but they can also be created from:

  • A location, asset or configuration item
  • A service request or other type of ticket
  • A preventive maintenance record when the frequency is due
  • A condition monitoring record when a measurement exceeds the action limits
  • Another work order as in a follow-up work order or an additional child work order or from another class of work order for example a change or release
  • On receipt of an asset that has been purchased
  • A background escalation that is monitoring an event, for example an SLA
  • A workflow process that executes an action to create a work order
  • External systems or mobile applications

The data that the work order initially contains can vary depending on how the work order was created. There are a set of crossover domains which can copy additional fields from the source object to the work order when the work order is created. From the Domains application search for 2wo in the domain field, for example TICKET2WO controls the fields copied from a service request when a work order is created from it.

A work order can be classified and if the classification has attributes then these will be seen in the Specifications tab. A task can also be classified and a task specification formed. Classifications and Specifications are used in inspections, audits and surveys where the attributes may represent a question or some details that need to be collected as part of a survey. The Work Order Tracking application by default does not display the task specification you need to navigate to the Activities and Tasks application from the Reference WO field to see the attribute values.

Maximo allows you to perform work at a site that is different from the site of the primary asset or location on the work order. This is achieved using a repair facility and is typically used for mobile assets, trains, boats and aeroplanes. It is also possible to perform work on assets and locations that exist in other sites through the use of the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table window, or to plan the movement of assets to/from other sites as part of the work order.

Work order costs

The work order carries costs and cost transactions occur when labor, materials, services and tools are used. The estimate is defined from these transactions on the Plans tab. The estimates are frozen when the work order is approved and then the actual transactions are recorded through various applications but viewable or enterable on the Actuals tab. The costs on the work order are summarised and the action View Costs shows the totals for hours and costs both for the work order and the work package (the work order and its descendant work orders).

Work orders can be costed against a General Ledger code. The work order itself has a GL account which may be partially derived from the location and asset or set from the Preventive Maintenance record. This GL Account is used as a default on the actual labor, material, service and tool transactions. Some GL segments may be entered automatically, for example, a segment may be derived from the material commodity code. Other segments may need to be manually entered using the GL account navigator which shows you the code values for each segment of the GL. Actual transactions have both a Debit and Credit GL but the credit side is normally fully completed through various default control accounts. Maximo also supports integration from a project ledger to records viewed in the Cost Management application and which can be entered on to the work order. Financial transactions can also be posted against a financial period.

Work order costs are rolled up to the assets through an asset report called Maintenance Cost Rollup which updates the asset’s YTD Cost and Total Cost fields.

Planning work

Planning of work is mostly performed from the Plans tab of Work Order Tracking application. For repeatable work a Job Plan should be created and when this is applied to the work order it creates a work plan.

The work plan can be entered manually and can consist of:

  • Child work orders
  • Tasks – similar to work orders and stored in the same table. Can be classified, can be associated with a particular location or asset, has ownership (owner group or owner), has target, schedule, actual and constraint start and finish dates, can be related to other tasks through precedence logic, can have status automatically changed by completion of preceding tasks (flow control) and can be the record where a measurement is entered.
  • Planned Labor – the requirements for craft or crew types and the quantity and duration (in hours) needed to fulfil a specific task or all aspects of the work order. For specialist work a specific person (labor) or crew can be entered. If the labor or crew are not required for the whole duration of the work order then tasks can help to split the work and precedence logic used to determine the period in the duration of the work order when those resources will be needed.
  • Planned Materials – the requirements for storeroom or purchased materials needed to fulfil a specific task or the work order. Materials can be selected from a catalogue of stocked or non-stocked items or just described. A purchase requisition can be automatically raised to fulfil the direct issue items, items that are not held in a storeroom and which will pass directly to the work order when they are received. Hard and soft storeroom reservations can be made or the user can allow the Maximo system to decide depending on urgency (Automatic). A soft reservation is one which is not subject to a timeframe, it is not a firm request to the storeroom like a hard reservation. 
  • Planned Services – the requirements for external services to be provided by a vendor and fulfilled via a purchase order or contract. Services can be associated with a specific task or the work order. Services can be selected from a catalogue referred to as standard services and created in the Service Items application, or just described. A purchase requisition can be automatically raised to fulfil the request.
  • Planned Tools – the requirements for tools or plant to be provided for a specific task or the work order. Tools are always catalogued and have an associated tool item. Tools can be held in a tool storeroom and a reservation (hard or soft) can be made. Tools may be assets but you cannot request or reserve a specific asset, although you could reference the asset on a task.

There are more actions that may be required when planning work:

  • The ownership of the work order may be defined to a person (owner) or a person group (owner group) using the actions – Select Owner or Take Ownership.
  • The work priority may be set or calculated based on the work order priority and asset/location priority.
  • If there is a large site or there are field based workers then a service address may be derived from the asset or location and if necessary adjusted. An address can be entered manually. The Map tab is used to show the position of the work, a map point may already exist having been derived from the service address. If not, the Find Location button will find the map position from the provided address. The map point can then be adjusted to deliver more accuracy to the field worker.
  • Child work orders, tasks or entries in the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table can be created by using the action Apply Route. This action is most often used with spot inspections, inspections performed outside of the periodic frequency.
  • The action Apply SLA is used with reactive work orders by clients who are providing services to internal or external customers. When one (or multiple) SLAs are applied to a work order the Target Start and Target Finish dates will be calculated based on the response and resolution commitments defined on the matching SLAs. 
  • A safety plan may be entered or the Safety Plan tab used to enter the hazards and hazardous materials that may be encountered at the operating location or those associated with the assets to be worked on. The precautions to be taken to mitigate the hazards will be added automatically but additional precautions can be entered. Lockout and Tagout rules can also be defined. There may be other hazards associated with assets or locations in the locality where the work will take place, hazards associated with safety related assets. If these have been defined the action Select Safety Hazards will display them and allow them to be applied to the work order so that those hazards can also be avoided by taking precautions.

After the work order has been approved direct issue material and service items will need to be purchased. The reorder routines in Inventory and Service Items applications will turn the requests made in the planned materials and services tabs into purchase requisitions or purchase orders. The status of the work order is changed to WMATL – waiting for materials. The status of purchased items can be checked using the action View PO information. Stocked and non-stocked material availability can be checked from fields on the main Work Order tab including the material status for all work orders in the work package. If the planner wishes to proceed with the work order through to execution while some materials are still waiting delivery then the action Change Work Order options can be used. This might be acceptable if the material is not critical or the material can be sourced separately.

Assigning work

Work orders have assignments which are generated from the work plan labor entries. If a work order requires a quantity of two electricians then two assignment records will be created. Additional assignment records can be created but they will not be linked to the planned labor entries, similarly if a generated assignment record is changed the change will not be reflected back to the planned labor record.

Assignment records are fulfilled by assigning available labor that satisfies the craft requirement or available crew that belongs to the same crew type. The choice of labor or crew will determine the shift when the work will be performed and using the buttons provided will allow you to see the number of hours the labor or crew has remaining as part of their shift.

There are other applications for managing assignments, Assignment Manager and Graphical Assignment which is part of the Maximo Scheduler add-on product. Assignments can be rescheduled on multiple work orders from the List tab by selecting the action Reschedule/Unassign Assignments.

Some clients assign work by using the Lead or Crew fields in the Responsibilities section on the work order record. This is because they have not invested the time to create job plans with the craft and crew type requirements or because they do not plan the resources needed to perform work. They cannot do capacity planning or resource based scheduling and they find it difficult to balance the work load of a resource to their available hours. Planning of work is a discipline which some companies have not invested in or have left to being handled via a spreadsheet.

Completing work

The Actuals tab looks similar to the Plans tab in that it shows the child work orders and tasks and has sub-tabs for labor, materials, services and tools. 

  • The tasks can be recorded as complete and measurement values and observations made. 
  • Actual labor can be reported, this is the person (labor) that worked on the task or work order, when they started, when they finished and the hours incurred. Time can be recorded at premium pay rates. Time can be recorded for vendor personnel who may provide labor under a labor rate contract. Time can also be recorded for members of a crew.
  • Actual materials may have already been recorded as part of an inventory issue from a storeroom or through receipt of direct issue items. Additional actual material transactions can be created in this tab including a return of quantity of items already received. Some items being issued may be considered as consumables, others as assets in which case the asset number of the asset will need to be recorded.
  • Actual services are viewable but they cannot be entered directly. Actual services are generally received against a Purchase Order but they can also be recorded through an Invoice. An invoice need not have a related PO but may reference a contract. Some types of standard services may require the spreading of their costs over other PO lines, for example freight charges.
  • Actual tools are recorded when there is a charge for tool usage or there is a need to identify the actual tool asset that was used on the work order. This might be because the tool asset is calibrated or the tool asset is reserved and needs to be returned to stores on completion of the work order. The actual tool record may have been created through issuing the tool from the tool storeroom using the Stocked Tools application.

In addition to completing the time and costs for the work order on the Actuals tab there are a number of other work features that might be applicable:

  • The Specifications tab is used to record additional information relevant to the work classification. The attribute rows may be supported by a domain of values to enable consistent data collection. Inspectors tend to use this tab to respond to a set of questions.
  • The Failure Reporting tab is used when there has been an asset failure. The failure class is normally derived from either the asset or location and the technician enters failure codes at the problem, cause and remedy level.
  • The action Enter Meter Readings allows the user to enter meter reading for all three types of meter, gauge, continuous or characteristic and for meters associated with the primary asset or location. Meter readings can also be entered from the details menu of an asset or location field in the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table window.
  • Work log entries may be created from the Log tab. A note may be made client viewable so that the person who originally raised a service request or incident can be informed of progress. The log notes made on a work order are seen in the originating applications like Service Request.
  • The action Create Communication may be used to create an email. This may be free text or may use a previously defined communication template. The recipients may be people, groups of people defined through a person group or roles which are defined to resolve to a person or person group, for example a role that points to the owner group field on the work order. From this Maximo resolves all the email addresses. An email address can also be entered. The email can contain attachments, for example photos. When the email has been sent it will be visible in the Communication Log tab under the Log tab.
  • There may be a need to create follow-up work. The action Create Work Order is used and this copies some fields to the new work order. From the Related Records tab there will be a record in the Related Work Orders table window and from here you can navigate to the new work order and set fields as necessary. From the Related Records tab you can relate the work order to other work orders or tickets as necessary, for example, the cause of the work order may have been as a result of a previous repair.
  • The action Report Downtime is used to change the Is Running state of the primary asset or to report on a previous downtime event. A downtime code can be used to indicate the reason for downtime and an indicator of whether the downtime period was during operational or non-operational time.
  • As part of the work order there may be a need to move or swap one or more assets at the operating location. The Move/Swap/Modify action allows these moves to be planned and then executed. The asset or location specification changes can also be planned and executed, similarly changes to the users and custodians of the asset or location.
  • During completion of the work order there may be document attachments, most commonly photos, but also certificates, spreadsheets, etc.

For emergency work (work type EM) a failure prompt or a downtime prompt may appear automatically when the user tries to move the status of the work order to complete.

Closing work

The work order is closed through a status change and at this point will enter history. A history work order is still available to be searched but most queries and lookups will exclude historic work orders. The work order is in a read-only state. The administrator can still edit the work order by using the Edit History Work Order action but there are some restrictions. Normally a work order would not be set to CLOSE status until all costs had been recorded including invoices received and paid through any integration with an external system. Some organizations automatically close the work order using a background escalation 3, 4 or 6 months after the work order was completed.

Quick Reporting

The Quick Reporting application is for retrospectively entering work that has already been completed or for quickly creating a work order that will be immediately dispatched. The default status is In Progress.

Work Orders created in Quick Reporting application can:

  • Have tasks or entries in the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table window. They can be added to a parent work order, but there is no table window to show child work orders. A Route can be applied to create the tasks or entries in the Multiple Assets, Locations and CIs table window.
  • Have a classification and a specification.
  • Reference an asset and/or location and be associated with a repair facility where the work will be carried out.
  • Perform the same functions as the Work Order Tracking application referenced above under Completing Work.
    • Enter actual labor, actual materials and actual tools. There is no actual services because services are associated with planned work that is purchased or contracted.
    • Enter a failure report
    • Enter meter readings for asset and location meters
    • Create work log records. 
    • Create an email communication and view the communication log.
    • Create follow-up work
    • Report asset downtime
    • Move/Swap an asset or modify asset and location specification details or users and custodians of the assets or locations
  • The work order can be completed and closed and the failure prompt and downtime report prompt will be requested during completion if the work order has work type of EM (emergency).

Assignment Manager

The Assignment Manager application has a split screen showing work order assignments in the top half and available labor or crews in the bottom half. It is used when clients have entered planned labor or crews on their work orders as this creates the assignment records with the craft-skill levels or crew types that need to be fulfilled on the work order or task. The work assignment has a status of Waiting for Assignment, Assigned, Started, Interrupted or Completed.

The Work List shows the work orders or tasks defined by a query. Records can be coloured, by default this is based on the calculated priority attribute with values between 0 and 9. The Labor List and Crew List supports a Labor or Crew query and can be coloured based on the percentage allocation attribute. The Labor List and Crew List shows the amount of hours remaining to be assigned for each day of the work week. There is a button to show the current assignments of the labor or crew and a button to modify their availability. Labor and Crews therefore require a calendar and shift in order to be able to use the Assignment Manager application.

The Assignment Manager application supports both the planning of the next week’s work or the dispatching of work to labor or crews as it arrives for the supervisor to assign the work. You can either work from the Work List matching the labor or crews to the work assignments, or the other way around working from the Labor List or Crew List to fill the workload for the week by finding matching work order assignments that are waiting to be assigned. There is no drag and drop capability. 

A similar application – Graphical Assignment which is part of the Maximo Scheduler add-on product shows a Gantt chart of work assignments with the available labor and crews and this supports drag and drop.

Labor Reporting

In many cases actual labor hours, particularly for internal labor, will be reported against a work order using Work Order Tracking or Quick Reporting applications. The Labor Reporting application is used if people need to account for their time for the whole week in particular where some work hours are not referenced against a work order. Another use case is for the recording and approval of hours by vendors where a paper timesheet may have been received.

Labor Reporting is a simple application, it has no tabs. Actual time is recorded for a Labor record, the craft is defaulted from the labor and this provides the internal cost rate per hour to be charged to the GL Account, Location, Asset or Work Order. Overtime rates (Premium Pay Rates) are supported. If time is booked to a non-work type, sickness, annual holiday, etc, then a GL Account will be needed.

There are alternate ways of entering time, by work order, by ticket, by crew, by labor or by contract/vendor. In each case the action displays a dialog box designed specifically for this type of data entry. Approval of the time entry may be auto-approved or it may require an approval step. This is likely to be the case for external labor booked against a Labor Rate Contract. Once approved the time booked can be used to prepare an invoice ready to be matched to the receipt of the physical invoice from the vendor.

The Labor Reporting application also supports the recording of Attendance Time.

Work View

The Work View application was created so that an owner or members of an owner group have a single application where both tickets and work orders are displayed. It is not an application where data can be inserted, updated or deleted it is for viewing only. The most likely way that the data from the WorkView application is used is on a Result Set portlet added to a users Start Centre. When the user views the records they can navigate to the originating application; Service Request, Work Order Tracking, Activities and Tasks, etc. If they use the button in the portlet’s header to view all records they are taken to the Work View application which also allows navigation to the appropriate application depending on the record class.

The records are created automatically in the WORKVIEW table whenever a ticket or work order record is created. When the originating work order or ticket is updated then the attributes in the WORKVIEW table are also updated. Maximo allows you to extend the tables with additional columns through configuration and fields in the WORKORDER or TICKET tables or related tables can be added to the WORKVIEW table and this data will be kept synchronised by adding those columns to two crossover domains, one for tickets and one for work orders.