The Task at hand is not 'Just' the task at hand

Posted by Dale Chirico on June 27, 2017


Recently, Cohesive Solutions completed a very successful Maximo for Utilities (T&D) implementation for a major power company in the Midwest. Over the course of two plus years we went through an exhaustive list of activities to bring this project to fruition. These steps included; integrating Maximo with nine systems (130+ Integration points), seven major conversions, six major and 12 mid level processes consumed from various legacy applications. We evolved a full gamut of Work, Asset, GIS and Supply Chain processes, all following the IPSEC model and sunset four major applications. When all was said and done, there were 1,100+ desktop and mobile end users in ONE system. During these intricate steps, I noted the relevance of Prerequisites. 

Maximo Prerequisites (created from: The Work Order T&D Prerequisites Tab, the Prerequisites/Tasks T&D application or the Job Plan T&D application) are powerful tools and should not be overlooked when gathering client requirements and recommending best practices. Prerequisites are essential, peripheral activities required to perform work safely, completely, and with the proper authority. Coupled with WorkFlow, Prerequisites can restrict the progression of a WO until they are completed.

Prerequisites utilize statuses just like a WO. Milestone statuses, which are equal to WO statuses, can be applied to a Prerequisite. For example, when a Prerequisite with a Milestone status = APPR is applied against a WO, the WO status cannot be advanced to APPR without the Prerequisite first being moved to COMP (or CAN, if permitted by rule). Again, this prevents the WO Status from advancing prior to essential work being completed. This functionality can be used for any WO status, even synonyms.

In the Utility industry (and elsewhere for that matter) Prerequisites can be used to ensure required WO predecessor activities take place associated with for example:

Obtaining permits for adherence to regulatory requirements
  • FAA
  • DOT
  • Fish & Wildlife
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • City Inspections
  • County Inspections
  • One Call
  • Customer Contribution Received
  • Repair Complete
  • Insurance Payment Received
  • 3rd Party Payment Received
  • Customer Contract Executed
  • As Built Design
  • As Built Review
  • GIS Review
  • Switching Required – Operations Notified
  • Job Site Ready
  • Trim Trees
  • Stake Site
  • Easement Required
  • Customer Load Information Received

Prerequisites can also be made to work in unison with an external system such as a scheduling tool. For example, there could be a WO status called DISPATCH. If a certain Prerequisite (Locate, with a Milestone Status of DISPATCH) has not been completed, an integration could set the “Freeze from Dispatch” flag in the scheduling tool. Once all Prerequisites with a milestone of DISPATCH (there can be more than one per WO) are moved to the COMP status, then another transaction can be transmitted to the scheduling tool to unset the “Freeze from Dispatch” flag, allowing the work to be scheduled.


Job Plans are the normal vehicle by which a Prerequisite appears on a WO, but they can be added directly on to the WOs Work Plan. With some minor configuration, Job Plans can have Mandatory (automatically copied to the WO when the Job Plan is invoked) and Optional (exist on the Job Plan, but not automatically copied to the WO. Can be added Ad-hoc by a Designer or Supervisor) Prerequisites on them. Additionally, Prerequisites such as Locates and Permits, which have predetermined lead times and active durations, can be configured to automatically preset the Target Start Date. In these cases, WorkFlow can be designed to look for non-complete Prerequisites with expired Locates or Permits on them and not allow the status of the WO to progress without supervisory approval (bypassed/override) or the introduction of new/extended certification.

Prerequisites can be Owner or Owner Group specific. Start Center Result Set queries can be created for the purpose of displaying Prerequisites assigned to the logged in User.

In business, the task at hand is not just the task at hand. Those tasks can contain an array of dependent distractions, taking away from the primary focus – Get the job done, in a timely manner and on or below budget! Prerequisites provide a means to systematically get past the distractions and truly focus on THE task at hand.

Stay tuned for more firsthand experiences and upgrade tips in our upcoming blogs, or consider our upcoming training class this September for hands on help.


Topics: Maximo, Maximo Fundamentals, Prerequisites, Maximo Training

Written by Dale Chirico

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