Managing maintenance programmes

While production and service operations tend to be less efficient than project construction, maintenance operations are typically less efficient than either. This is partly because successful maintenance provides no visible result, and so can seem dispensable. Maintenance and rehabilitation programmes depend on continuing budgetary support, but are often neglected in favor of new projects. Large, dispersed maintenance programmes are particularly hard to supervise and control from the center. Experience with highway maintenance illustrates three ways of responding to these difficulties: (a) Force account operations (whereby government departments carry out maintenance themselves) can counter the lack of a profit motive with improved training and personal reward systems; (b) Contracting to private companies. This can reduce the management load on highway departments and increase cost-effectiveness; (c) Using local communities to maintain local roads. Dependence on machines and transport is reduced to an absolute minimum, as is administration once the system is established. However, as with all labour-intensive methods, the demands on management are heavy while the system is being set up, and technical assistance is often required.
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production