Practical application of the Decision Making Grid (DMG)

Nafisah Aslam‐Zainudeen (First Capital Connect, London, UK)
Ashraf Labib (Portsmouth Business School (PBS), University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering

ISSN: 1355-2511

Publication date: 31 May 2011



The purpose of this paper is to explore the applicability of the Decision Making Grid (DMG) and its usefulness, in practice, in the maintenance of rolling stock in the railway industry. The Class 319 fleet operated by First Capital Connect (FCC) is used to demonstrate the application of the DMG.


The level of use of the data recorded in the CMMS, in the decision making process for reviewing, and updating the maintenance policy, was established through discussions with senior management at FCC. Available decision support systems were then researched, with emphasis on the DMG concept. The advantages of using the DMG and its application in the real world using data for the Class 319 fleet were then explored and are discussed in this paper.


This paper discusses the value in applying the DMG concept in the decision‐making process for prioritising systems and the work that should be done to ensure the maintenance policy takes into account the performance of the units of rolling stock against the most important criteria for FCC. Through the research carried out, it was established that the existing CMMS already records the data required for the application of the DMG, although in itself, the CMMS does not have any decision support capabilities.


Although a number of different CMMSs are used in the railway industry, few or none of these are capable of providing decision support for maintenance. This paper explores the use of the DMG concept to demonstrate the use of data recorded in the CMMS to develop a more effective maintenance policy and to determine exactly which maintenance activities need to be carried out in order to remedy the worst performing systems in terms of the most important criteria as identified by the business.



Aslam‐Zainudeen, N. and Labib, A. (2011), "Practical application of the Decision Making Grid (DMG)", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 138-149.

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