Feature Article - October 2005
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One Stone at a Time

Tips for building your proactive maintenance plan

By Kelli Anderson

In the zone

Even more remarkable is Miamisburg's approach to assigning tasks. Whereas most facilities operate with specialized crews that do a single task throughout one or more facilities, Miamisburg crews have a more holistic approach.

"With zone maintenance, one crew stays in one park and does everything," McLaughlin explains. "They get credit for doing it all. It helps with ownership and eliminates travel time between parks. We've moved away from specialized crews. It also helps with cross-training and skill levels."

According to McLaughlin, having one crew do all tasks (except ones requiring specialty training like pools and HVAC, of course) has eliminated the tunnel vision some staffers can develop when doing a job. It is not uncommon for crews to pick up a piece of litter while on their way to mow. Because they begin to see a park as "their park," they are more involved in making it a source of pride.

Resources to the Rescue

Finding resources to take you through the transformation process of reactive to proactive maintenance just got easier. Converts to the proactive philosophy and teachers of its practices offer several sources to help you on your way:

  • Look at other accredited agencies and network with them.
  • Consider using maintenance-management systems software, especially those that can integrate their product with spatial data attributes.
  • Hire a consultant.
  • Attend some maintenance-management schools, such as:

Pacific Southwest Maintenance Management School

Pacific Northwest Park and Recreation Resource Management School

International City/County Management Association

Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers

Professional Grounds Management Society

American Public Works Association