Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Culture of Reliability: Some Just Do Not Get it and it is Costing Them Big

Over the last few years companies continue to make the news for poor maintenance performance. We have heard from oil and gas companies that have had safety and environmental issues due to poor maintenance practices and cruise liners who have been delayed at sea due to continual maintenance issues. Some of these companies have made the news multiple times in past years with similar issues causing continual problems. At some point one has to begin to evaluate the root causes of the problem. I have reviewed much of the publicly available data and at least in two of the cases I feel very comfortable in saying that those companies do not have an asset management or reliability culture. I am not even sure they understand the concept! This lack of organizational understanding is a latent root that allows for many of the problems that have surfaced to continue. It is costing these companies millions of dollars both for the problems that have been made public as well as the ones that have been swept under the rug.
So what do they need to do?
The first step is of course to admit you have a problem and then you can assess your current state versus the best practices and understand your problem. Once you understand the gaps you can quantify the level of performance your organization needs to be successful, the work that it will take to get there, and the return on effort you will get for making the change.
Next you will need to create a reliability vision and develop the guiding principles the organization is going to use to change the way you do business. Communication and empowerment now come into play as you share with others the goals, the rules, and the boundaries so that they can then begin to attack the focus areas and gaps. This is not easy and it will be demanding on the organization as a whole as you battle to keep the focus and the drive to be successful but in the end the reward is worth the challenge and for many of these companies this challenge may be the only way that they can survive.
Does your organization have a reliability culture? For those that don't, what is it costing you? For those that have created this new culture what are you celebrating?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Confucius say: Planning and Scheduling Cause Confusion

The topic of planning and scheduling and what each one means has been a big discussion point here in China this week. The Chinese appear to have only one word that means both planning and scheduling but in reality everywhere I teach from Europe to the Middle East and all across the Americas there is confusion  on the difference so today I thought I would share planning and then scheduling as the topic of the week.

Planning is the creation of the work package including:
Job plan and steps and durations
Parts required
Special tools required
Permits required
Personal protective equipment required
Crafts or personnel types required

Scheduling is assigning the jobs to a time slot on a schedule.

The reason that this is important is that many of us measure percentage planned work for bench marking purposes and in more cases than not this number is actual the percent poorly scheduled because when you dive in you find that the jobs do not contain the planning elements mentioned above.
Many sites pursue ninety percent planned and scheduled work as a bench mark but you have only reached that number if you have at least the basic elements of a job plan for each job.
One example that I see often would be a work order that says only "remove and replace hot oil pump Time required 8 hours" this is not a plan at best it is a work request that has been scheduled without planning. It does not break down the task or suggest what parts will be needed or what permits might be required. While some might argue that all work is planned and that it is just the level of planning that is in questions I think you can see that it does not meet the intent of the metric and does not provide for the results we are trying to achieve. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Equipment Parody Video

Here is our first iBL parody video. Is your equipment in the arms of the angels?
Let us know what you think.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Guest Blog on Emails and Meeting Management

A great guest blog from George Mahoney on emails and meetings. I enjoyed and thought you might enjoy too.

It's 4:20PM and I am sitting through my fifth meeting of the day.

You notice I use the words "sitting through", as we are not really working. We are simply looking at a PowerPoint presentation that I could have read at my office in less than 5 minutes.

I look around the room and see 2 people typing away on their laptops and another 3 texting on their phones. A few years ago I would have called these people inconsiderate, but now I am secretly wishing I was doing the same thing.

Despite having answered emails before and after each of my meetings today, and during "lunch", I know more and more are collecting in my inbox. What bothers me even more is that most of them are probably coming from the same people who were smart enough to bring their laptops to THIS meeting.

I look around the room again and realize that half of the people at the table shouldn't even be at this meeting. At that moment, it becomes very clear why we have such a hard time getting anything done around here.

When I get back to my desk, I decide to check my email one last time before heading home. Even though I have over 100 new emails since lunch, I am happy to see that 25 of them are junk mail.

At least deleting those emails will make me feel like I made some progress today.

At about 6:15PM, I head to the parking garage completely exhausted and worse yet, frustrated.

I spent over 10 hours at work, but I did not accomplish a single thing.

How many times have you experienced this same thing over the past month?

In order to help break the cycle, I have provided a few tips below on how to reduce your two biggest time wasters – emails and meetings.

•    Designate specific times of the day to check and respond to emails. If you stop doing real work to check even one email, it will throw off your productivity.
•    "Unsubscribe" from junk mail. Even if deleting junk mail makes you feel good, it still wastes time and distracts you from what's important.

•    Never hold a meeting that will last over 45 minutes. If you can't get it done in that time, you are either not prepared or you are trying to cover too many topics.
•    Never invite people to a meeting who do not need to be there.
•    Set the same expectations for people who are inviting you to their meetings. Challenge the time length, ask for an agenda, and most importantly, decline the meeting if you do not feel you would add value.

Over the next two weeks, I challenge you to implement one of these rules and let me know how it turns out.

If you can think of anything that is not on my list, I would ask that you share those as well