Definition: Break-in jobs

What are break-in jobs?

Break-in jobs is a term used for identifying maintenance jobs that are added to a schedule without proper lead time allowed for planning and scheduling. In most cases it completely by-passes the work order process. If you don’t know what work orders meaning, it is quite simply a way for an organization to track each job from the time maintenance work is requested until it’s completed. It can be on paper or electronically through a CMMS system.

Break-in Jobs are often incorrectly identified as a synonym to break downs, or true emergency work. In our experience, break-in jobs are often NOT true emergencies, instead they are often EMOTIONAL emergencies.

Meaning that someone push a job that could wait till tomorrow, or next week, onto the schedule and therefore not allowing time for proper planning and scheduling of the job. Sounds familiar?

An actual example: Operations manager for an area put priority one (1=emergency) on all work orders.

When asking him why, the answer is simple, “otherwise the work will not be done”. The maintenance manager from the same area says he picks the work orders he feels are important to him since all have an emergency rating anyway. A common, and typical example of a malfunctioning usage of the priority system.

How does IDCON define  break-in jobs?

“Work that changes a set schedule after an agreed upon cut-off time. Break in job are either:

  1. break-downs
  2. emotional add-on work”

The following are Current Best Practice deadlines for each scheduling category:

  • Daily schedule: 20 h before start of job
  • Weekly schedule: 72 h before start of week.
  • Shutdown/ Turnaround: 1 weeks before start of shutdown if the shutdown is shorter than 16 hours.
  • 4 weeks before start of shutdown if the shutdown is longer than 16 hours.

More resources:

Maintenance Management Training Resources

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Torbjörn Idhammar

President & CEO, IDCON Inc. Reliability and Maintenance Consultant

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