Delay time (DT) analysis is a pragmatic mathematical concept readily embraced by engineers which has been developed as a means to model maintenance decision problems. Attention is focused upon the maintenance engineering decisions of what to do, as opposed to the logistical decisions of how to do it. This paper reviews the cumulative knowledge and experience of delay time modelling. The decision environment within which delay time (DT) models are intended as decision aids is brie¯y reviewed, and the initial development of simple DT models for a repairable component and a complex plant presented. Variations on the basic model are outlined and discussed including perfect and non-perfect inspection, steady state and non-steady state conditions, and homogeneous and non-homogeneous Poisson arrival rate of defects. Attention is given to the parameter estimation process, and both subjective and objective estimation techniques are outlined. Case sketches present practical experience in using the DT concept to model actual plant, to assess the benefits obtained, and to validate modelling and parameter assessment.