5 management tools to apply in your maintenance management 

November 29, 2022

Maintenance managers aim to achieve a safe and efficient operation of assets. To this end, managers use several management tools that help organize and standardize processes.

Thus, ensuring that the quality of production is maintained, the incidence of unscheduled downtime is reduced, and the physical safety of workers is preserved.  

No matter how much we strategize towards asset reliability, consequently availability and good performance, we know that some unexpected failures may arise.

At this point, we will need reactive tools to assist in the search for improvement and efficiency of the maintenance processes. 

There are several management methodologies, each one of them fitting better to one type of situation. We will address the 5 most used methodologies in the industrial environment, bringing their origin and main advantages.  

The 5 Whys 

Developed within Toyota around the year 1950, the 5-Why methodology, known as the 5 Whys, can help us to thoroughly examine a failure, getting to the root of the problem in a clear way.

Not necessarily 5 whys will be listed, in some cases we will get to the cause of the problem using a greater or lesser number of whys.  

It is important to emphasize that for this methodology to be effective, all the questions listed must be answered as completely and honestly as possible.  

Fishbone Diagram 

Another tool that can be useful, helping to stratify and identify the causes of failures is the FIshbone Diagram, created in Japan by chemical engineer Karou Ishikawa. This methodology, also known as Ishikawa Diagram, contributes to a more general view of the causes of the problem through a multifactorial analysis. 

By using the Fishbone Diagram it is possible to identify the causes of failure by relating the machine, the environment, the manpower, the methods, and measures or materials. This tool allows us to evaluate if the failure occurs for a single reason or if it is derived from several factors.  

Pareto Chart

Based on the historical record, we can enrich our analysis by identifying failures, problems, symptoms or more recurrent causes. For this, we can use the Pareto Chart.

The Pareto Chart, better known as a bar chart, relates the occurrence value to the analyzed parameter and sorts the bars according to their frequency of occurrence in descending order. 

This chart is widely used, not only in maintenance, because it provides a macro view based on the history of occurrences. 


Another interesting tool is the 5W2H, which consists of 7 simple questions that will provide the basis for the development of an action plan for the failures correction. The 5W2H defines the actions that should be taken, those responsible for their execution, deadlines for completion, and priorities. 

 The 7 questions in this model are:  

What should be done? 
Why does it need to be done? 
Who should do it? 
Where will it be implemented? 
When should it be done? 
How will it be conducted? 
How much will this project cost? 

GUT Matrix 

Besides defining the causes of failures and the actions that should be taken to correct them and prevent them from reoccurring, it is important to define priorities at the time of execution. The GUT Matrix is a great tool to define these priorities. 

The use of the GUT matrix will be extremely relevant for an action plan, for example, the action plan has 20 items and we must execute all of them, but which one will we execute first? Which one has the tendency to get worse? Which one has more urgency?

Throughout this maintenance management process unexpected events will certainly arise that can disrupt planning, so set your priorities well.  

Created in the 1980s by Benjamin Tregoe and Charles Kepner, the GUT Matrix is intended to help identify priorities by assigning values to the criteria of severity, urgency, and trend.

In this methodology, values from 1 to 5 are set for the three criteria (severity, urgency, and trend), and then the results of these three criteria are multiplied. The priority of the actions is defined according to the results of the multiplication of the criteria, in descending order.  

Choose the right tools

To achieve an efficient management model, give due importance to planning and scheduling. Check the execution of actions and if there is something out of the curve, investigate, identify the causes of failure and make a feasible action plan. To follow more content about maintenance management, keep an eye on the Dynamox blog and see how the DynaPredict Solution can complement your maintenance management plan.  

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