In a perfect world, there would only be one kind of maintenance. It would all be “already done.” But in the real world, there are many kinds, and facility and maintenance managers need to understand the often small differences to carefully set up workflows and balance workloads.

So, what is scheduled maintenance, how is it different from other types of maintenance, and how can you use it to maximize uptime?

What is scheduled maintenance?

Just like all other forms of maintenance, the goal here is to avoid expensive, unexpected repairs by catching small issues before they have a chance to develop into large problems. You want to find and fix things when you’re still safely up high on the P-F curve.

But what sets scheduled maintenance apart is that you have assigned the work to a specific team or tech, and you have decided on a deadline. It doesn’t really matter what type of work you’re scheduling. It can be an inspection, adjustment, or planned shutdown. It can be a one-off task or recurring.

It might be easier to remember scheduled maintenance in terms of the “Two T’s”: techs and a time.

How is scheduled maintenance different from planned maintenance?

An easy way to remember the difference is that planned maintenance takes more planning. That might sound a bit simplistic, but it has the benefit of also being true. So, with planned maintenance, the focus is on anticipation. You’re looking for ways to accurately predict problems and get out ahead of them. You’re putting together lists of things to do and materials to use for each of the inspections and tasks you’ve identified as critical to avoiding the predicted problems. Not only are you setting up things to do, you’re also trying to find ways to reliably judge how well you’re doing, with maintenance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Planned maintenance is a big category, and inside it there’s predictive, corrective-based, and preventive maintenance.

You can think of scheduled maintenance as what planned maintenance eventually becomes. Once you have all the planning done, you add the Two T’s, techs and a time, to get an actual schedule.

What is scheduled maintenance critical percent (SMCP)?

Once you have deadlines, though, pretty soon you also have missed ones. No matter how perfectly you schedule your inspections and tasks, there’s always the risk of unexpected failures bumping you off track.

And once you do have the time and resources to go back and play some quick catch-up, it can be hard to know which ones to tackle first. Should you do them in order of relative lateness? So, start with the work that’s the most behind? Or, should you be looking instead at some measure of criticality? Does it make sense to start with an older work order to change a light bulb instead of one connected to a critical piece of equipment?

You can use scheduled maintenance critical percent (SMCP) to prioritize your list of overdue recurring work.

Example SMCP calculation

Here’s how you do it:

Take the number of days overdue and add it to the number of days between the PMs. Then divide that number by the number of days between PMs. Take that number and multiply it by 100.

So, let’s say you add lubrication every 30 days, and you’re five days late. On the same asset, you change out a belt every 90 days, and you’re three days late. Which gets priority?

The first one is at 117%, while the second is only at 103%. So, first you add the lubricant and then later you change the belt.

How can a CMMS help with scheduled maintenance?

Scheduled maintenance is key to avoiding costly unscheduled downtime. It pays to get it right, and the right computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) solution can help at every step of the process.

Scheduling maintenance

First, modern CMMS solutions make it easier to schedule work. Instead of trying to keep accurate records on paper or spreadsheets, all your data lives in one central database, where it’s safe, secure, and accessible from anywhere. With the built-in calendar view, you can quickly see what the team already has on its plate and add in recurring PMs with just a few clicks.

Assigning work orders

Once the schedule is inside the software, you can assign work and notify techs from anywhere. With old-fashioned systems, you’re stuck waiting for techs to come by the office to pick up new assignments. But with a CMMS, they can get real-time alerts on any Internet-connected device.

Tracking maintenance

CMMS solutions make it easier to capture good data. But they also make it easier to take that data and leverage it into reports packed with insights into your operations. With a few clicks, you know how many PMs the team is closing out as well as what they missed.

And from there, you can start using the scheduled maintenance critical percent (SMCP) to decide how you want to tackle any work that’s overdue.

Next steps

Hippo’s here to help you get the solution that works best for you, from answering your questions about everything related to maintenance to helping you book a live software demo.


There are many different types of maintenance, and facility and maintenance managers need to know the sometimes subtle differences to properly set up workflows and balance workloads. Scheduled maintenance is different than other types specifically because it includes who is going to do the work and when they need to finish. One way to remember it is with the “Two T’s”: techs and a time. Like other forms of maintenance, the goal is to find and fix small issues before they have a chance to grow into expensive problems. Because scheduled maintenance includes deadlines, it also includes missed deadlines, and it can be difficult to properly prioritize missed work. The maintenance can use scheduled maintenance critical percent (SMCP) to calculate which work to do first. It’s a fairly straightforward calculation that includes the number of days late and the length of the existing preventive maintenance cycle.

About The Author

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan has been covering asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions since joining Hippo CMMS. Prior to that, he wrote for textbooks and video games.
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