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Permits in Support of Work Orders...How to Plan and Execute Work Efficiently and Safely

Technical Blog Post


Permits in Support of Work Orders...How to Plan and Execute Work Efficiently and Safely


(OK, it's a clunky title, but I'm trying to be clear. Permit to Work, Work Permits, and variations of these words have meanings that depend on the industry and the region using them.)

In this blog I'll describe how the Permits application in Maximo for Nuclear Power supports performing work safely through effective planning, execution, and control of the permit process in a work management framework. I hope you'll read on, even if you are not in a nuclear utility line of business.

All businesses today have pressures to cut costs and must deal with the loss of skilled workers. The typical nuclear work management process -- highly coordinated long range planning and scheduling in a complex and ultra-safety conscious environment -- meets the needs of businesses in all types of increasingly regulated industries. And so, many "non-nuclear" companies have chosen to use Maximo for Nuclear Power as well as other "nuclear" applications to support their needs.


Differences between the Permits application and other permit processes
The Permits application in Maximo for Nuclear power is different from some other permitting processes:
  • It is different from a clearance or lock-out/tag-out permit. These permits are handled by a separate Maximo module. You can read more about lock-outs and tag-outs in another blog entry: Integrated Operational Management (
  • It is not a general work permit process. Work management in the nuclear environment is characterized by weeks of planning, coordination, communication, and approvals. This process culminates in a precise schedule that typically authorizes permission to work. In other work management approaches, these processes are driven by the permit-to-work process.
Why Change?
At a minimum,  a permit is just a "piece of paper" establishing requirements and compliance to an administrative process that is meant to ensure regulatory or legal compliance. In almost all cases, protecting personnel,equipment or the environment is the driving force. Many permits involve materials, manpower, training, and coordination to establish the permit itself. These aspects of the permit process can be as complex as the work the permits support. Equipment such as scaffolding, environments that are confined, and excavation requirements, to name a few aspects, themselves require first in/last-out management, as well as materials, manpower, and tight scheduling just as much as the work they support. Preventive maintenance requires the same permits. In your world, how many databases are used and how many people with special skills and processing are involved with making the processes work? Are they operating together or as disconnected islands?

How do your current systems and processes manage permits in the following areas?
  • Document need
  • Schedule execution and coordinate usage
  • Plan specific requirements
  • Setup job site and establish baseline conditions
  • Approve initial permit parameters
  • Approve permit
  • Control users of  permitor monitor permit requirements and conditions
  • Terminate permit use
  • Authorize demobilization
  • Demobilize
  • Update permit information, close permit, update permit job plans
The permits features in Maximo for Nuclear Power provides a consolidated system and approach, full integration, and simple-to-complex resource and schedule capabilities to support your permit process. You can set up repeatable and customizable permit templates to address all these requirements.

Permits are based on the powerful Maximo framework .
They can stand alone or be fully integrated with Work Orders. The Maximo Permit engine makes extensive use of  Job Plans, Classifications, and Impact Plans thereby allowing complete design flexibility. Think about one of your permit processes: Analyze your permit from request to closure and create a Permit Job Plan whose tasks mimic the key steps, statuses and resources in that process. Then, create a classification structure for that permit type with detailed classifications and specifications for each task that requires user input or data recording. Assign those classification to the Job Plans and Tasks. That permit's program administrator or other authority approves the Permit Job Plan. That's it!
With this process you have a permit that can generated manually or automatically. And once a permit is created, it has both its own status and a relationship status to the work it supports. Each permit process owner can administer the permit "requests" and existing permit relationships. Using the full process, permits requests and existing permits can be seen on the Impact Plan tab of the work order. Impact plans permits can be auto-generated and related to the work orders during PM WOGEN process through the use of templates. For more about impact planning features, check out this blog (
Managing permits with Maximo for Nuclear Power is the SMARTER way to ensure work is safely and efficiently performed.

You can read more about permits and about the other capabilities of our Nuclear Power Industry Solution here (

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