These two important fields in your asset management system are easily misunderstood or considered interchangeable. Many of our clients ask, “Aren’t they the same?”


They have different origins and uses.

Here are some insights into criticality and priority:

Origin:Functional Location Master Data Notification and Workorder transactional data
Use: Identify the importance of that business function (or equipment) to the business's overall objectives. Identify the urgency or importance of the workorder when compared to others.
Can it be linked to the business Risk Tools? Yes, that's good practice Yes, that's good practice
  • Drive RCA and engineering program prioritisation
  • Guide maintenance strategy selection
  • Guide spare parts holding strategies
  • Guide Work Order ranking
  • and more
  • Drive the business response to work on the plant (call-ins, overtime, expediting of parts, etc.)
  • Set guidelines around the reporting and tracking of workorders etc.
  • Drive a risk-based approach to unplanned and forced equipment outages
  • Facilitate good planning and scheduling practices
  • and more


Consider a heat exchanger called HX1. HX1 has no redundancy. When it’s out of service, the whole plant is down.

The Criticality of HX1 to the business would be high. Let’s say an “A” on a scale of A – E.

Workorder 1 on HX1

A label on HX1 is faded but still readable. We decide to replace the label before it becomes unreadable.

The workorder would have a low “Priority.” Based on the business risk, it may be a 4 on a scale of 1 – 5.

This work would be planned, scheduled, and executed promptly but efficiently.

Workorder 2 on HX1

HX1 developed a blockage and isn’t functioning as designed. A plant shutdown is required to remove the blockage. This has a significant impact on production.

The workorder for repairing HX1 would have a “Priority” of 1, triggering urgent attention and an unplanned plant shutdown.

Make It Your Priority

At Rizing, we help managers of high capital-value assets improve business performance by getting better value from their fixed and IT assets.

If we can help you further understand criticality and priority, or anything else asset management-related, make it your priority to contact us or me directly at