Thursday, August 8, 2013

Four -isms That Might Be Killing Your Reliability

Lets talk today about the four -isms that may be running around in your plant and limiting your ability to improve up-time, quality and reliability.  The first step is to recognize that they exist and then we can determine a plan to mitigate or eliminate it. Below I have given you the four as well as a sound bite and possible mitigation strategies. It is best if you can prevent them from rearing their ugly heads through good risk and communication planning but today we will look at a reactive response.

Negativism: The disposition to project the worst case scenario.
Sounds like: "This CMMS is horrible it takes 16 screen to do what I could do in one in the old system."
Mitigation: Focus on the positive and don't let meeting become bashing sessions. Celebrate the little successes or steps from your project plans.

Criticism: The disposition to be preoccupied with incomplete or imperfect.
Sounds like: "This new process is not good enough to roll out. Let's continue to work on it."
Mitigation: Create a pilot area where it is OK to fail and trial the processes there with a mind for continuous improvement. These safe zones clear the way and the fear of failure and allow for progress not paralysis.

Skepticism: The disposition to always question but never commit.
Sounds like: "I'm not sure we have enough data to show that this will work. Let's collect more.or That will never work here. We are too different. "
Mitigation: Show case studies from similar sites that have succeeded. We call them "real world examples" in our training. Visit sites or invite sites to visit you once they have had success. Let you negative folks mix with their positive ones.

Cynicism: The disposition to view every human enterprise as selfishly motivated.
Sounds like: "Maintenance just wants us to do autonomous maintenance so we can do their work for them"
Mitigation: Communicate fully the intent of the initiative and how it affects each individual. Cynicism loves to attack the ill informed.

What are you doing in your site to address the -isms?


  1. I agree and tend to try to add value with every engagement or discussion. Something not a lot to add, yet if I do find issues a-- at least try to find solutions or options for going forward.

    Where I work - enjoy the morning coffee, smile and enjoy the work and colleagues. Something to learn and contribute every day.

    While working on paper for an upcoming conference, explored the effect of being positive has on one's career. Posted a short essay on the topic, Positive and Networked on the fmsreliability site.



  2. I agree that these 4 "isms" can be a major hurdle to achieving a successful PdM program and in turn a high level of reliability in a facility. "Cynicism loves to attack the ill informed" Be sure to use all the available training and support available to your group to help mitigate this type of negative pushback. Being well informed and trained can be key to a successful reliability program and a more positive work environment.

  3. In our drive towards accomplishment, we may find that "-isms" actually define genuine problems. In other words, they are useful tools.
    However, we are taught that, "attitude is everything" - so we naturally look for behavioral, or psychological, "countermeasures" to overcome what are essentially attitude problems.

    Attitude matters, but we must eventually push past "feely" internalization and get down to brass tacks. To do this, do something different.

    1. ACKNOWLEDGE the concerns that are driving the "-isms."
    Dont try to sweep them off with positivities or tricky strokes of the pen. Instead, ask WHY THEY EXIST and WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM?

    2. FORM PLANS to overcome the shortcomings once identified
    Once they are in the open, you can pull their teeth. somne will be BIG, some minor. Ways to counter them will develop; opportunities for improvement will appear

    3. APPLY TIMELINES to completion
    Prioritization only happens when you see what is before you. Once you follow the first two steps, you can know the WHEN part of your goal.

    Using the Trinity can get you out of the "feely" world of "-isms" sooner, and move you closer to where you need to be.