So what is maintenance ready backlog, and why do I need 2-4 weeks of it?
You need this amount for a few reasons:
First you want to be able to use these "ready to work" jobs to build your schedule each week. You need at least two weeks selection for operations and maintenance to choose from to be able to create a fully planned schedule that takes into account available equipment downtime and manpower. Your goal is to keep unplanned jobs and jobs without the parts on hand off of the schedule. By doing this you will lower maintenance cost and minimize schedule breaks. If you get below the two week mark you will start to see that you just do not have enough work orders to adequately utilize all of your crafts or the available scheduled downtime and many site are then tempted to pull in unplanned jobs and try to rush the parts and the planning.
Second, You don't need to exceed four weeks because you do not want to have excess inventory and tools tied up in the ready backlog.
To manage this level there needs to be constant communication between
the Maintenance Manager, who controls the amount of craft hour available
for work completion, and the Planner/Scheduler. If the Maintenance Manager were to approve extra hours of overtime for a few weeks then that will consume the ready backlog at an accelerated pace. The planner would then have to step up the production of job packages or face the possibility that they could run out of ready backlog and have to work on unplanned work.
If you can maintain the level in the band you will find that it allows for a much more effective and effective overall maintenance process. This equals lower maintenance cost for the same or higher levels of reliability.