A work order is a formal (digital or paper) document detailing authorized maintenance work. Depending on the sort of business, industry, and facility being managed, maintenance can receive work requests from various customers and employees. In addition, work orders contain information regarding the task to be performed, such as the location, skills required, and tools required.

What Is a Work Order’s Purpose?

A work order’s key purpose is to offer specific information about scheduled maintenance chores. Additionally, the documents act as official authorizations to service equipment. Regularly, maintenance personnel initiate work requests after detecting defective parts during routine inspections. After identifying an issue at a facility, users, customers, and other stakeholders can make a work request.

Maintenance managers create a work order and allocate it to an available technician upon receiving such a request. The better ones include fields for predicting labor costs, replacement components, other pertinent charges, and historical information on asset care.

Types of Work Orders

Similarly to job requests, there are distinct classifications for work orders. Here are some examples of categories for work orders:


A test or sequence of tests designed to validate the functionality or performance of assets, components, or systems.

Preventive Maintenance (PM)

This encompasses everything from routine cleaning to lubrication as specified by manufacturers, policies, or performance.


Includes efforts to prevent loss of life or costly goods. Depending on the severity and urgency, a work order may not be generated prior to addressing an emergency on occasion.


A work order for electrical services might range from the maintenance of an existing device to the installation of new cabling, lighting, and power supply.


Activities that safeguard personnel from danger or injury include repairing facilities to prevent trips and falls and cleaning up chemicals to prevent exposure to hazardous substances.

Special Project

This comprises installing new assets designed to boost production and/or efficiency, modernize operations, or replace obsolete assets.

Work Order Management Process

Typically, the work order management process begins with a maintenance manager approving a work order and forwarding the request to a technician. The work order form conveys maintenance over a six-step life cycle.

Task Identification: Identify the tasks required to remedy a maintenance problem.

Work Order Creation: To authorize maintenance chores, create a work order by completing a work order request form.

Work Order Approval: Maintenance management assesses if there is a real need before approving a work order.

Priority Assignment: Work orders are evaluated based on their urgency, the current backlog, and the team’s availability.

Distribution and Execution: Approved and prioritized work orders are printed and provided to technicians for execution.

Result Documentation: Employees accurately and promptly record what occurred.

After all, services have been given, and the task is complete, the work order can be closed.


Work orders can assist maintenance staff in simplifying their duties efficiently and effectively. Well-planned work allocations boost the effectiveness of PM systems and decrease the requirement for reactive maintenance. They let maintenance staff set responsibilities, track tasks, document information, and streamline workflows. In addition, they are an excellent source of an asset’s maintenance history and give valuable information for making maintenance decisions. Organizations that utilize current CMMS solutions (computerized maintenance management system) for their work orders have higher productivity KPIs than those that continue to use paper records.