Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Talent Management is Time Management

Guest Post this week from Darrin Wikoff
Excerpts from his book Centered On Excellence:
Time is a precious commodity and managed via a balance of people and technology.  Investing unevenly will restrict your organizations ability to manage time, in affect causing time to manage you.  As you begin to guide your organization through the improvement process, efficiency will no doubt be a leading driver.  “Time is of the essence” is the infamous line sounding from line supervisors and managers in every business.  Time is the constant when trying to measure efficiency – how much can we produce within a specific period of time.  Your organization can chose to increase the number of machines in order to increase efficiency, or you can invest in people and empower them with the knowledge and skills necessary to become more efficient in how they operate the business process.  So many organizations take time for granted and fail to realize that skilled people have the greatest impact on what we do with our time.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Your Master Plan Meets My Needs! Let me tell you how.

Master planning our change initiatives is not always our favorite part of a new project but today I am going to show you why it is crucial to success when people are involved. You can forget this blog if your project does not affect people... which is approximately nearly never.
So the master plan or project plan is simple a list of task that need to be done to complete the project and reach the goals identified at the times required. To the left I have shown a performance change curve that I plan to use to show you how important it is to have this master plan and keep it up to date with progress and completion information. If you want to learn more about the curve click here. The basics are as follows:
  1. Area I on the graphic is the area where people are excited about the "new" change and they typically produce a positive change in performance due to the Hawthorne Effect. Think of it as "What is important to my boss is important to me" so they get energized and do more. Those affected by this new change will need to know what the change is and how it is going to affect them. In this area the plan provides many of the answers around what this project is, what I need to do, and how it will affect me.  
  2. Area II is the region that is the least fun. It is a valley of frustration and can be characterized as overwhelming. At this point you are trying to create and do the new way while still working with and in the old system. Everyday below the curve represents lost return on investment opportunity but this phase is a necessary part of the change process. At this point the affected people need the project broken down into small bite sized steps that are less overwhelming. A good project plan provides these small task and the sequence to keep them moving forward. 
  3. Area III is where you return to the original level of performance but have not seen the real return on investment because of the time below the initial performance line.In this area the affected individual needs to be able to see concrete examples of their progress since the project is doubtfully generating large economic returns. Here we go back to our master plan and look at and celebrate all the small task that have been completed. The plan should have many completed items at this point and those become the results needed to drive the individual forward. 
  4. Area IV is the area where you meet your performance goals and the return on investment really begins to build. At this point the master plan becomes a trophy of sorts. It shows what we have accomplished and can be used to show others how to follow in your path. This meets the needs of a person in this phase of change.
  5. Area V is all about sustaining your progress and there the completed master plan highlights the areas that were big changes for the organization and need constant reinforcement through leadership and measurements. It also can be used by a person in this phase of the change to build an audit of sorts to sustain the change.
Five areas and Five ways to use the master plan to make your next project more successful. Good luck!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Change is Hard Period... Here Are Five Way To Make It Easier.

So as I look back on 2013 it was a year of extreme change for me. It may have been the same for you. I had more change then any other part of my life. Some was work and some was personal but it all can feel nearly the same if the situation is right. So how do we deal with all of that change? How do we help our ourselves, our peers, our employees, or our bosses deal with the change that is inevitable in 2014. Here are five things that helped me and I hope they can help you too.

  • Don't change just to change  (Need help evaluating change click here.) Have a reason, a plan, and a goal. Change is not always good but if you have put in the thought and are ready to move forward or if it has been forced on you then you must work to create a plan to deal with the change and identify where you want to be at various points moving forward in time. These may be metrics or concrete locations or even just feelings that you want to have but know what you want and by when. Document it. This plan brings structure to what can be a really unstructured time. It also meets your needs as you move through the phases of the change process. Next identify what you have to do to make those things happen. Many of the activities take time. For example affected people don't change over night. Plan for that dwell time. This will make the plan more realistic and attainable.
  • Identify for what might go wrong during the change and then prepare and plan for it. If you can communicate what might happen and that there is a proactive plan for addressing it. This can provide comfort the organization. I have a risk planning tool here that might help.
  • Find support. Friends in the business or personal world that have been through it.  What ever "it" is. They can provide advice or just listen when the change is tough. They bring good cheer and they bring a different perspective. I could not have made it through the year without these people to help me along the way.Thank you to each of you! If you are looking for others who can relate to the types of challenges we face in reliability then you might try attendee conferences like SMRP, IMC, and MARCON.
  • Consider employing an expert. If you are trail blazing and no one in your network has been through the change don't be afraid to hire or team with an expert. These people with the experience are invaluable. They can cut time off of the change adoption process or demonstrate easier ways to get the same final results.
  • Understand the psychology of change. It helps you know what to expect and when. I have put together a quick search for psychology of change in posts that you can find here. You will want to scroll down through the various blogs post that will be shown on the page and find the best one for you.
These are the first 5 things that really help me this year but I would welcome you to add to this list below via comments.
Thank you for reading and here's to an awesome 2014! Cheers

Friday, January 10, 2014

And Then There Was A Standard: ISO publishes ISO 55000, ISO 55001, and 55002 for Asset Management

News: And Then There Was A Standard: ISO publishes ISO 55000, ISO 55001, and 55002 for Asset Management
The  new standard addresses asset management, its principles and terminology, and the expected benefits from adopting asset management and can be applied to all types of assets and by all types and sizes of organizations.

The standard should be available here in the coming days.!
You can check back to this page for additional information or follow the update feed on Twitter @iso55ooo

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The 10 Traits of High Maintenance Manufacturing Organizations:

Seeing the recent Forbes Article on The (Unlucky) 13 Traits of High Maintenance People it made me think. What are the traits of a high maintenance manufacturing organization or facilities?

So let’s look at 10 of the 13 categories from the article but in the context of manufacturing and reliability.

1 -They have urgent “needs.” To a high maintenance sites, everything is urgent. All the repairs and upgrades to their assets are done without proper planning or the lead time to properly source parts economically. They don’t use predictive technology to identify equipment problems in advance.
The 5 second solution: Set criteria for work that makes it clear what is an emergency repair and what should be planned and scheduled for the future. Emergent repairs can cost as much as 5 times as much to execute. Use predictive maintenance technologies like vibration analysis, ultrasound, etc. to help identify failures before they happen and proactively plan the repair. There is a great post here on some of the benefits of predictive maintenance.

2 – They have a sense of entitlement. Everyone deserves to be treated with equal respect. The high maintenance facility will expect more. They request more work in process inventory allocation, larger maintenance budgets, more staff and higher capital allotments.
The 5 second solution :  Create benchmarks metrics that accurately represent the organizations or facilities and allow them to take a journey of self-discovery. This will enable them to challenge their own levels of entitlement, especially as they try to explain their variances.

3 – They could be self-sufficient. But they’re not. They constantly look to corporate for support and funds to improve the site and they blame their situation on the fact that they are not receiving the support they "need".
The 5 second solution: Build a plan to self-fund your improvement process. Many sites are able to start their improvements early in the fiscal year and generate the financial returns to offset the expenses prior to year end. The well thought out plan is the key to this success.

4 – They cling to stories of facility wrongs from the past. The high maintenance sites have a difficult time moving past real or imagined corporate wrongs. These may include corporate enforced reduction in force efforts, budget cuts, or failed past corporate initiatives. 
The 5 second solution: As a leader, you do individuals locked into the “blame game” a favor by not playing into the negativity dialogue. “I’m sorry that happened. But you’re here now, things are different, and we have work to do.”

5 – They talk. Continuously. The high maintenance site thrives on attention. They have a continual need for others to hear what they have done. While discussion best practice sharing and brainstorming is necessary and healthy, these sites prefer to talk about what they have done not what they are going to do. They are not necessarily interested in improving; only showing what they have improved.
The 5 second solution: Finish every discussion and presentation with a challenge. "What are you going to do better and different to improve within the next year?"

6 – They are seldom satisfied. High maintenance sites will find the flaws in every situation. Even when they’ve been given extra care and attention, they will invariably find something wrong with the solution or service they’ve received. For example when they receive an opportunity to produce a new product they will only focus on how hard it will be with their existing equipment and resort to an additional capital request.
The 5 second solution: Make it clear that everyone understands nothing is perfect but that the site has the knowledge and skills to solve the problem and if and only if they can’t solve it should they return to corporate for additional support.

7 – They are high-strung. Not all high-strung organizations are high maintenance. But the organization with excessive needs will be persistently vocal and anxious about the things they require. They are the squeaky wheel in search of grease.
The 5 second solution: Again – it’s a dependency you shouldn’t encourage or feed.

8 – They live in a state of perpetual drama. If you are around a high maintenance site for an time at all, you will observe frequent periods chaos and turmoil. Every small inconvenience or mistake becomes a crisis.
The 5 Second solution: Take the time to list the common items that create their drama. Help them to create proactive plans for how each of these failures or issues is going to be dealt with.

9 – They handle money poorly. Regardless of the economy or circumstance, high maintenance sites continue to spend recklessly on inventory and parts. They use overtime like it is free. They don't think of the business cases behind the decisions they make.
The 5 second solution: Instill business case thinking using A3 documents or some other tool and ensure that they think from a life cycle costing perspective.

10 – They resent authority are often critical of other sites. It is extremely difficult for these individuals to respect corporate authority or to see the bigger picture. They focus only on their site and do not go out of their way to work to benefit the company as a whole.
The 5 second solution: Generally, in a case like this, there is direct intervention required. Remind the site that the business is like the body and one highly effective arm on body that is in a coma is useless.

By now you may be detecting a pattern of traits. Responsibility lies with the organization to create and reinforce a positive culture. Do you have a working environment that allows bad behaviors to take hold and fester? Do you actively feed and reward the positive behaviors? Do you set a good example yourself?