Thursday, September 21, 2023

Confusion Around Leading and Lagging Metrics


The confusion with leading and lagging metrics stems from the fact that we cannot truly make a list of metrics that fall into each category. Some people think you can but it depends on your perspective. What is leading Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to one level of the organization can be lagging KPI to another. Thats right, many metrics or KPIs are actually both leading and lagging. As an example, in the operations and maintenance world, preventative maintenance (PM) completion (which measures the percent of scheduled PM task done when scheduled) is a good example of this confusing element. If you are an operations leader you might call it a leading indicator of equipment reliability. In other words, if I am doing my PMs on time then I should expect reliable equipment. ...But if I am a Maintenace Supervisor then it is a lagging metric or KPI that shows that we did the work that was scheduled. 

As you are selecting metrics another way you can look at them is by using "Behavior and Result." Does this metric drive a behavior, or does it measure a result? My opinion is if you want to drive behavioral change you want to measure things that drive that specific change. You may find that you measure them often maybe even daily or weekly whereas results type metrics you measure monthly or less often to make sure you are getting what you want from the process. 

What are your thoughts?

Friday, August 25, 2023

Some of the confusion around FMEAs (Failure Modes Effects Analysis)

Do you struggle with FMEA or FMECAs? Here are some thoughts that might help add clarity. If you disagree please reach out and lets discuss and learn together.

Function: In the context of FMEA, a function is the intended operation or performance of an item or system, typically defined by its performance standards or specifications. Essentially, it's the reason the item exists or what it is designed to do.


Example: In the case of a car brake system, one of its functions could be "to decelerate the vehicle to a stop when the brake pedal is applied".


Functional Failure: A functional failure is the inability of a system or component to perform its intended function. It is the state where the function of the system or product is lost or diminished.


Example: Following the above example, a functional failure of the car brake system could be "the vehicle does not decelerate to a stop when the brake pedal is applied".


Failure Mode: A failure mode is the specific way in which an asset or a system fails or ceases to perform its intended function. It's the end result or manifestation of a failure.


Example: A failure mode of the car brake system could be "brake fluid leakage".
Failure Mechanism: Failure mechanism is the "how" or the process that leads to the failure mode. It's the physical, chemical, or other processes that result in failure.


Example: A failure mechanism for the car brake system, leading to the failure mode of "brake fluid leakage", could be "corrosion of the brake lines", which over time weakens the lines and allows brake fluid to escape.

Functions are applied at the asset.

Supporting or secondary functions can be at the asset level but are typically at the subsystem level.

Failure modes, effects, and RPN are assigned to the component level. 

Risk Priority number would then be driven by:

functional failure would drive the majority of Severity and Occurrence scores and failure mechanism would drive the detection score

Failure mechanisms would represent the root causes at a physical or human level and thus the corrective action or inspection task should be driven by the failure mechanism.


Failure Effects are how the failure may make itself known to a Human.


In the case that a failure mode does not drive a failure effect, then there likely is not an associated functional failure.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Seriously, It Is Time To Plan

After the latest round of speaking engagements, conferences, and workshops where I have had the opportunity to poll the audience, I’m more sure than ever that we are leaving huge opportunities untapped in manufacturing. It is time for planners to plan and schedules to be executed. Planning helps a facility from multiple angles. If you need more uptime then planning gets the required work done faster. If you need safety improvement then planned work has been shown by Ron Moore and others to be safer for those executing the work. If you need lower maintenance cost then planning reduces errors and lowers required labor and materials cost. If you believe what I have said then why does less than 6 percent of maintenance organizations ”really plan” and then execute the work? These numbers are based on recent polling at conferences and events and they were asked based on planners that break the job down into steps and provide the details required to estimate duration and get consistent execution by the maintenance workforce. I think it is a bit like going to the gym, we know it’s good for us but few of us go. What’s it worth? One power generation facility planned and scheduled their annual outage and reduced total outage time by four days while accomplishing more maintenance activities and experiencing no safety incidence. Imagine what four more days of power generation is worth during the peak season.  It is time to commit, train your planners, set expectations and attack. When we set up good job plans and then schedule them to the hour then stress levels are reduced and everyone could use less stress, right?

Monday, February 24, 2020

You Have Two Minutes: Refining Your Reliability Elevator Pitch

Have you ever been caught with only a few minutes to explain why a focus on reliability or maintenance improvement is critical to your organization and it's future? It happens very often. Your ability to explain why the leadership should care, and what you need to make it happen, is the key to moving your agenda forward. Lets look at 3 key points to nail if you want support and resources.
First, speak their language. What keeps them up at night? Is it the dollars and cents or the concern over risk? Is it getting more production out or controlling the cost on the current deliveries? Think about what you can give them with reliability that addresses their concern in their language.
 Seconded, carefully deliver a positive and practiced narrative. Watch your body language. Is it closed and confined or open and believable? Are you looking at your shoes our engaging the receiver. Are you using words like "could" "should"  and "might" or "will"  and "when"? If you don't believe it why should they?
Lastly, have a format. I like one I call "hook, story, ask!" Hook them with something they care about. Something from the first point above preferably. Then tell them a story about what is happening currently or what could happen in the future. (use emotion if you sense they are emotional receptive) and then do not forget the ask. You have to ask for their support, or resources. Be specific in your request and make it time bound if possible.
We have to sell reliability and maintenance improvement and only those of us who have seen or heard what good looks like and believe in the power can get it started. Frame it in their language and meet their needs, show them that you believe what you are saying and do not forget the "hook, story, ask!" Now go get'em tiger.