A Study On The Impact Of Maintenance Management Systems On Maintenance Condition Of Built Facilities At Public Universities In Kenya
The state of building maintenance in Kenyan public institutions has stimulated a lot of research and studies that seek to answer the questions of why built facilities in the institutions continue to be in poor maintenance condition. Past studies and research work on this study agree on one fundamental issue; that the status quo cannot remain and thus the need to find solutions to the perennial problem facing our public institutions. A number of factors have been attributed to the current maintenance condition of Kenyan public universities by these studies but few studies have critically examined the maintenance management systems to establish whether their ineffectiveness have led to the poor maintenance condition of built facilities in the universities. In view of the above, this study was designed to 'critically examine and evaluate the maintenance management-system in selected public universities to identify the inherent shortcoming of the systems that may have resulted in the poor maintenance condition and make recommendations towards the adoption of effective and efficient systems that would address the maintenance problem evident in Kenyan public universities. Currently there are seven public universities in Kenya namely: University of Nairobi (Nairobi), Kenyatta University (Nairobi), Moi University (Eldoret), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Juja), Egerton University (Njoro), Maseno University (Maseno) and Masinde Muliro University (Kakamega). The case study approach adopted in this study has been proved to be the most appropriate for evaluation of systems and especially in management systems research. Two public universities; University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University were the-two case studies for this study. The two universities are the pioneer public universities in Kenya and arguably with the largest and highly diversified built asset portfolios. Primary data was collected from structured questionnaires, interviews, observations and actual condition survey of sampled buildings. Photographs of the buildings surveyed are annexed in Appendix VI. The researcher employed both purposeful and random sampling methods to select these buildings. In the condition survey of nine building elements of 30 buildings the mean condition rating index was 3.76 implying that most buildings are in need of minor to serious repairs. The Maintenance Management System in the two universities was the unit of analysis. When compared best practice criteria on maintenance management systems, the systems evaluated fell short of most of the criteria. The universities are also yet to adopt computerized maintenance management systems. It was also established that the universities do not have in place an elaborate and documented condition assessment system which is the bedrock of an effective maintenance management system. The study also established that the universities do not set building condition standards for their buildings. It is challenging for maintenance managers effectively manage or prioritise maintenance works without an elaborate system for setting building condition standards. There was lack of consistent and periodic condition assessment of their built facilities. The overall conclusion from the study was that the appropriateness of a maintenance management system in Kenyan public universities has a significant effect on the level of maintenance condition of buildings. The study is significant as it makes recommendation to universities in addressing the shortcomings of the maintenance management systems. This will go a long way in addressing the maintenance problem in Kenyan public universities.