Wednesday, December 23, 2015

You can be the CORE or you can be the OUTLIER…can you be both? by Madelaine Kenner

Madelaine is back with another great post that hits hard on how you become a leader and grow.

You can be the CORE or you can be the OUTLIER…can you be both?
You can either be one or the other…which one would you choose? Trust me, there are perks to both. Hear me out:
The vast majority of the workforce are considered the core of any organization. Core people know the roles and responsibilities and do not shy away from the status quo. They are programmed accordingly and go through the notions without so much as a blip in protocol. Doesn’t that sound…”robotic”? I think so...however they have their feet firmly on the ground and know the reality. They know the higher you rise; the less space they have to fall. They are happy with where they are at and loyal to the ones they work for. The management can always rely on them to get things done with accuracy and diligence.  They are the foundation of every organization and know without them, the company would not be able to do near as much as they do.
Then there are the outliers. These are the dreamers; they break the mold of the average Joe. They have huge ambitions and are very pride-based. Anything they set their mind to achieve, they will go for it and not hold back until they achieve it. They don’t care how much space is left at the top because they will make room; even if it means climbing over others who have helped them along the way.
However, the most prestigious of this group have learned the hard road it took to find the mid-point. These are the people who started out as the core of the organization but they wanted a change. They dug their heels in, worked the grind and followed the status quo. However, along their journey, they developed questions, comments, suggestions, etc. that, when given the right opportunity to voice them, these insights would show their true worth. They made sure they were someone others could rely on. Don’t get me wrong, these people were not perfect. They had felt the struggles, the disappointments, the failures. They rose to the top because they never stopped getting up and pushing through. They physically made their dream become their reality. They are humble because they know the growing pains. They are the ones who earned the respect of everyone who helped them along the way and have equal as much respect to give in return.
So the answer is yes, you can be both. In fact, I encourage the core to stand up and make themselves the outlier. Those are the ones I can rely on to not only teach me the core values, but also aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and help me succeed. They are the best of both worlds.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Piloting Your Way Through The Danger Zone: A Look at Learning to be a Jedi

Learning has many variables and paths that you might follow as you travel to mastery of a skill. The skill could be one of mathematics, problem solving, or even being a pilot or a Jedi. As you learn the new activity or skill you travel about the graphic above.
While this graphic is only a learning model, we can see three distinct zones that could yield interesting thoughts as one analyzes the concept of learning.
The first phase is the Beginner Zone.
Here you find yourself excited to learn and with so little knowledge of the topic that you don't even know what transferable skills or talents apply to this learning quest. With this said, you may underestimate what you know and how much there is to know on the topic. You will be fixated on acquiring knowledge and teachers to guide you.
The second phase is the Danger Zone.
As time or as expertise grows, you will transition into the danger zone. Here, some students believe they no longer need their teacher or sensei. They believe they are better and more knowledgeable than the master that trained them. You can see this zone characterized in the movie Star Wars, Attack of the Clones where Anakin Skywalker (soon to be Darth Vader) began to believe he was better than the Jedi Expert and Sensei Obi Wan. This misunderstanding cost him his hand and led him to the dark side.  We also see this Danger Zone in aviation around the 250 hour of experience mark. At this point a lot of pilots begin to feel too comfortable in the airplane. They skip checklists and tend to get a little gutsy with their personal flight limits. Sooner or later, it catches up to them and they are either scared straight or wind up as an National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report. The Federal Aviation Administration accidents statistics also support the danger found in this zone. In the work place or on the conference scene this zone is demonstrated by the "know it alls" that want the world to see that they are "experts" with out the understanding to realize what they do not know on the topic. The point is if you do not recognize this phase it could cost you your hand, your career, or your life. 
The third phase is the Expert Zone.
At some level of maturity the learner realizes that what he or she knows is only a trace of the knowledge that exist in the area of study. This "humblization" of the learner allows them to transition to the Expert Zone. In Malcolm Gladwell 2008 book "Outliers," he wrote that "ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness." Now we know that not everyone will be an virtuoso at everything by 10,000 hours but I would contend that they stand a good chance of being in the expert zone. They know many if not most of the areas of the body of knowledge (BOK) and they can see that there is so much to learn about each of those elements of that BOK. They continue to strive to learn and grow in the topic as they travel this zone.

Where are you with the items your are studying. Are you in the Danger Zone in any of your pursuits?

May the force be with you on your learning journey and be safe young Jedi. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Guest Post from Madelaine Kenner: Michelango, The Sistine Chapel and Your Next Big Project

Take a look at this photo for a second. It's quite amazing that one person created such a magnificent work of art as monumental as this famous masterpiece. So how does this pertain to change management? Think of this fresco as a physical example of the phases you are going to go through; just as Michelangelo went through his phases to painting this historical beauty, those same phases can be related to what you are going to go through with every new skill you pick up; the time spent in each phase will be entirely up to you!
     Let's start with Area 1. This initial phase happens anytime you have a new challenge up in front of you; your excitement about this new, novel idea is very high without knowing the skillset you may need to successfully master it. Michelangelo did not just walk into the Sistine Chapel and start painting just to paint. He was given an idea and figured out his big picture. However, Even though he may have mapped out the entire task and gave himself a very in depth "job plan", planning is just busy work without execution of the plan.
     Next phase is Area 2. This is the tough phase for everyone yet is the determining phase for whether you deem it worth it to continue on with the change or revert back to your own ways. This area is called the "Valley of Despair". Go back to that new skill you were initially excited about. At this point, you are starting to realize it may take a little more effort and skill than anticipated. At this point, you need to stop looking at the big picture and actually start looking into the details. If you keep looking at how far you have left to become proficient, you will get overwhelmed. Instead, focus on the details; what needs improvement, what successes you already have, what you need more of, what you need less of, etc. Those details, when taken one at a time, will allow you to swallow that doubt you may have bubbling up inside of you.
     The third phase; Area 3. This is the point where you are rising out of the depths of the "Valley of Despair". This phase is where you are starting to take hold of the new skills you are achieving. You may not be perfect at it yet, but the pieces of the puzzle are starting to show you the big picture. To revert back to the fresco, this is the point where Michelangelo was getting past his half way point; he started seeing his vision come to life and, though not completed, he sees his big picture starting to come to life with all the work and detail he is putting in. HOWEVER, your full return on investment has not completely been fulfilled...until the final stage.
     The final stage of change management is Area 4. This is where you are officially the master of this challenge. When Michelangelo brushed his last stroke and took a look at what all he accomplished, he along with everyone else saw the mastery in his craft. This phase is where not just you but everyone sees the big picture. You not only can vividly elaborate on the big picture, but you can also be the living proof that it can be accomplished.
     So think of every challenge you come across as Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel; create the excitement about the big picture, KNOW YOU WILL GET OVERWHELMED and focus on the details, learn what opportunities lie ahead and master them, then push yourself until your big picture is physically in front of you.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thankful Thinking: 7 List of Thanks

As we start the Thanksgiving week I could not help but think about the softer side of reliability. We focus so much on the technical issues and tools that drive reliability so let us focus on the people again. So many of the task that ensure reliability and profitability are thankless and often overlooked. This week I would challenge each of you to make a list of seven people that make your reliability possible. Once you identify your seven think about what would make their day better. It may be a few kind words, a pat on the back, a note left on their desk, or the purchase of a cup of coffee at break. Make sure they know how they help through out the year and specifically why you are thankful. The why is crucial because a general thank you just does not carry as much power. 
As I think back to my days at ExxonMobil I remember a maintenance technicians who took the time to teach others, and an operator that was interested in learning the equipment and the best setup techniques, and a parts clerk who really demonstrated pride in keeping the parts defect free. Don't forget the others like the janitorial staff that make it a pleasant environment to work in and the security team that helps get your contractors through the gate each day.
We at Eruditio would like to thank all of the people that have been a part of our first two years. You all have made it awesome and we are indebted to you for your trust and support.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Predictive Maintenance, Preventive Medicine and How Are You Feeling? Guest Post by Allen Canaday

Many procedures doctors are able to perform today are almost miraculous.  Science and technology have advanced at such a rapid pace over the last few decades.  Through integration of these new technologies with existing medical science, doctors are developing new procedures and medicines, when combined, allow for early intervention and even prevention of some diseases.  Culturally, preventive medicine has improved quality of life, provides greater longevity and lowers overall medical costs.
Much of the science and technology utilized in the medical profession has also found a home in the maintenance and reliability profession.  Today we have a myriad of proven technological tools available to diagnose asset health problems. Everything from ultrasonic and vibration to infrared and oil analysis,  these tools, when corrected applied, enable asset problems to be identified early on the failure curve, before the increasing costs of repair and potential catastrophic failure occurs.  Maintenance has evolved.  Maintenance is now the integration of science, technology, and training. 
Preventive medicine is firmly ingrained in our culture.  It works. Our confidence level is high and the experts tell us it is slowing the rate of costs increases for medical care.  It’s not uncommon to hear co-workers compare their “numbers”, it’s almost like a competition!  However, predictive maintenance is not nearly as culturally ingrained in the maintenance and reliability profession. Even though the science and technologies are proven many sites skip their appointment and miss the benefits. 
So why are the preventive/predictive technologies not advancing in maintenance and reliability profession at a more rapid pace?  Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.
Many companies can’t advance these technologies quickly enough while others continue to miss out on this competitive advantage.  If you are not utilizing the latest technologies in your facility start your business case now, before both yours’ and your assets’ health begin to diminish.
By the way, how have you been feeling?  It may be time for you and your maintenance strategies to have a check-up.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday the 13th: Luck is Not Leadership

A plan beats luck everyday! You will want to evaluate and mitigate risk for the day and beyond. Here are 3 points to consider instead of your luck this Friday the 13th:
If you are looking to be an effective leader you should always be looking at the risk to your tribe. What should be happening? What might prevent that from happening? What can you do to mitigate or eliminate that potential issues or threats in advance? If you start here you can improve the situation for your tribe by avoiding the most dire of situation that may be developing during your big bad Friday the 13th.
Secondly, focus on what you can control. Some issues you can't change even if you have identified them in advance. For example some of your tribe will exit for various reasons. While you can work to mitigate this it will never be eliminated due to the necessities of age, business, and personal need. Focus on building processes to ease the transition of tribe members into and out of the tribe. Clear processes will help the whole tribe feel better about roles and expectations.
Lastly, you control your attitude and through that you steer the tribes.
Your choices about attitude model the expectations for the tribe and if you make the right choices here you can mitigate many of the risk identified previously. Why not be an "encourager" in lieu of a "discourager." If you decide that Friday the 13 is an unlucky day of misery then it will be, of course your other choice is to make this a first class Friday. It can be a day where while everything may not go perfect our reactions to it will be.

Happy first class Friday the 13th to you and your tribe!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Managing: You Might Be Doing It Wrong.

Madelaine Kenner is back with another great post to keep you thinking. 
Let me ask you a question; what is the difference between someone who manages and someone who leads? Some would say that they are the same. “A manager is in charge of leading the team.” That is a valid statement, yet we have all had that manager that will delegate all jobs until there is none left for them and finish by saying, “I’ll be in my office if you need anything.” The better question for me to ask would be what is the difference between a manager and a leader?
A manager is simply a title. A manager is someone who, on paper, has the credentials and knowledge of the material to head the operation. The title “Manager” puts that person ahead of everyone else; both with the most accountability and the most value. They are the ones who, in times of success, will have the most recognition. Tell me, is that how a team is supposed to work? What makes a leader is what is not on paper.
My thoughts are simply this; in order to be a great manager, you must be a great leader. In order to be a great leader, you must be a good follower for you must be able to trust in the hands of those around you when you yourself get lost. A true leader will not only delegate the tasks at hand, but is also not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work with you to get it done. A leader does not belittle their team and “talk down” to them; they make sure that everyone is up to the same speed. They work with the mindset of “I am only as strong as my weakest team mate.”, so they push anyone who is struggling. The most important thing that separates a manager from a leader; a leader is not afraid to admit their faults and weaknesses. They utilize their team members’ strengths to keep propelling the team forward! They aren’t out for their own glory…their team’s glory is enough for them.
So which one do you want to have working with you? Better yet, why should you have to choose? In order to be the best manager, you have to be a great leader. The results, in the end, will be more fruitful and rewarding.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Back To The Future ... But Stuck In The Past

Click here to see an inspiring message from Doc Brown himself: The future has finally arrived
Here are some thoughts on the matter from our lead coach Brandon Weil:

Well folks we made it (despite what the Mayans had to say about the matter), today is the day that Marty McFly and “Doc” Brown traveled to the future, October 21st 2015. As I sat in traffic this morning, on my way to work and unleashed a fury of 4 letter expletives, I also cursed the movie for the broken promise of delivering on those flying cars by now (although with the way people drive around here maybe a bunch of flying death machines would only lead to fiery shrapnel raining from the skies during rush hour).
While it’s easy to focus on all the things that haven’t come to pass as of yet, it’s incredible to look at all the things that have. Futuristic headsets? Just look at the Oculus VR headset or Microsoft Hololens. Video Conferencing? Skype and Apple’s Facetime enable remote face-to-face conversations and is a favorite of many grandparents and families that aren’t in close proximity.
Things that seemed like pure science fiction are now integrated into many aspects of our everyday life. As I look back at all of the advancements in technology I still get the feeling that maintenance and reliability programs as a whole are more than a few steps behind. It’s not to say that there haven’t been advancements in reliability related technology, there certainly has, the issue seems to be with our adoption rate and integration of these technologies to advance our programs.

Using the figure to the right we can trace the origin of many existing PM and Reliability Programs, however, the trouble is that many existing programs are still stuck somewhere between the green and blue sections (or even as far back as the orange!). There are so many existing technologies that we ought to be leveraging, but in all honesty, are basically just tinkering with or have deployed on a very limited basis including vibration analysis, oil analysis, infrared, ultrasound, motor circuit analysis, and laser alignment, just to name a few. We need to take a hard look at our existing programs and ask ourselves, "Is there a PdM technology that I could be using to find the failure earlier on the P-F curve and minimize the introduction of defects from invasive inspections? Is there a technology I should be leveraging such as laser alignment that will extend the time between when I install/repair the equipment and when the first noticeable defect is detected? Am I certifying defects found with technologies have been properly corrected with the same technologies after repairs are completed?" If you are deploying these technologies what percentage of your assets are currently on a route and have no identifiable defects? It used to be that cost was the entry barrier for many of these technologies but, with advancements and price drops, it’s costing you money NOT to fully embrace them.
To the future!
We’ve harped enough on the present, but what about the future? What does this look like? With emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality, there are some real opportunities to take things like job plans and reliability education to the next level. We’re not too far off from the scene in Back to the Future 2 where “Jaws 19” comes out of the screen and eats Marty. Imagine learning about the inside of a motor when a 3D animated image pops out of a 2D card right on your smart phone. Think this is something from the future? Think again (see image below). Imagine scanning a component on an asset and seeing an overlay of critical job plan steps appear and guide the technician to improve the consistency of how the job is executed....This can be done! Imagine single point lessons on various reliability topics that pop out of an image and can be accessed on demand to refresh concepts or share with others…It’s here!
Change the present, shape the Future!
While I'm still holding out for that sweet hoverboard, I haven't lost sight of what's available today. My fear is that the M and R community will continue to lag behind with the adoption of technology while we ought to be on the cutting edge. It’s very clear that we’re under-utilizing existing technologies and are not embracing new ones quickly enough. With a large influx of Millennial age workers entering the M and R field that grew up and thrive on technology, it would be foolhardy to ignore the power of both existing and emerging opportunities. Don't wait until 2045 to implement things available in 2015.

Now hurry up with that flying car!

 Here is a quick look at Eruditio's Augmented Reliability taken from an iPhone.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Unsustainable Improvement Strategy: Three ways to ensure you fail.

Over more than ten years of consulting and training globally, I have watched a lot of companies spend an incredible amount of money to go after an organizational change in a very unsustainable way. Today's post will list three of the most frustrating and ineffective ways to make unsustainable change. Don't set out with failure as a goal or a likely destination.

Problem #1: Asking consultants to do it all for them. "But it easy to let the "experts" do it"
There are many consultants who will be more than willing to come in and do all of the heavy lifting. Consultants want as many billable hours as possible and taking it all on provides for their goal. Many of them do not drive sustainability, in fact, if it doesn't get sustained then they can come back again in a few years and sell more billable hours to right the ship. Now don't get me wrong, there may be times where you require a hired gun to knock out some elements because of resource constraints, however this should be used with caution and not applied to processes that require much organizational buy-in and change. We know organizational change is hard but it is no different than going to the gym... you can't let someone else lift the weight for you.

Problem #2: Not developing the solution from within. "Why would I develop it when I can just copy someone else?"
There is study after study that shows that the solution is most effective when it is developed from within. Without this ownership of the solution the organization struggles to implement and sustain. Are you suffering from the same issues the site that created the solution was? For example, a long distance runner does not use the same workout plan as a power lifter. Do you have the same culture? Are you at the same maturity, with the same performance gaps? You would not wear a tutu to a tractor pull just because somebody said you needed some clothes. So, don't put on someone else's solution just because it covers some of your important parts. In the end, a solution may share features or best practices but should be developed as part of a journey of self-discovery.

Problem #3: Not learning how to do it themselves. "Just give me the overview, I've got people for that"
If someone else develops it, and someone else implements it, then you don't get the education that is required to sustain it. The overview taught as the implementers are on the way out the door will be completely ineffective. During studies of how adults learn, it has been proven that retention of the material increases substantially when the content is directly applicable to the task at hand. If all of the heavy lifting has been done, then you as a learner have little reason to retain the content that is being delivered to you. Especially, if it is in the form of a 372 power point slide presentation that the guy in the front of the room is reading so he can go on to his next big gig. The best way is to ensure your organization is capable of sustaining the change is through a process where you learn best practices, apply those practices in your facility within the boundaries of processes you develop with the help of others in the organization. It is a bonus, if you can take that journey with a trusted adviser or coach that challenges the decisions you make but does not do it for you. Think of this as a personal trainer. They guide you down a path to success but they do not try to lift the weight for you.

In the end, we want to lift the weight for ourselves (organizational implementation), develop a work out plan that is based on our gaps and goals (facilitated self-discovery of the path and processes) , and work with a trainer to learn what to do and when to do it to get maximum results (learn by doing with coaching). If you implement with these three potential goals, then you will be one step closer to creating a sustainable habit and dodging an incredible improvement fail.

Friday, September 18, 2015

You Need to Stop Jumping to Conclusions... Oh Me Too. Here are 5 Tips.

Why do we jump to conclusions?
  • Many times it requires no personal change...perfect.
  • "It is what I know from my past" 
  • It is a convenient answer that quickly explains away a problem. 
  • In most cases it is also easier than taking time to understand the details and facts.
What drives this behavior?
Jumping to conclusions seemingly avoids or prevents the appearance of ignorance, and can squelch the emotional reactions of others."Don't get worked up, I already know what's wrong here and am working on it."
What can you do to stop yourself from jumping to conclusions?
  1. Take time to listen and understand.
  2. Collect and analyze the facts from multiple sources.
  3. Set a goal to try and prove yourself wrong instead of working so hard to prove to others that you are right; especially, if you have a preconceived notion.
  4. True analysis of all of the facts is key. If they are indeed facts and not assumptions then, by definition, they all have to support your conclusion. If they do not, then you are missing some detail or your assumptions might be in the way of the truth.
  5. Use root cause analysis tools to help in viewing the facts and their relationships. Some of the Transitional RCA tools can be found here.
In the end, if you take time required and practice the restraint required not to jump to conclusions and really understand the situation you will not find yourself trying to defend a conclusion that you should never have leaped to to start with.

Lets go solve the world's problem one fact at a time!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

You Can Not Cost Cut Your Way To Prosperity. Guest Post: Allen Canaday

We are excited to welcome Allen Canaday, formerly the Planning and Scheduling Manager from the North American Maintenance Excellence Award wining Mount Holly Aluminum Smelter. Allen will be sharing his hard earned reliability knowledge with the students of Eruditio and The Institute at Patriots Point and with all our blog readers with his guest post. Welcome Allen!

  "Did you know many of today’s manufacturing companies are experiencing unprecedented pressures on a positive bottom-line performance?  This is especially true for U.S. based commodity businesses.  Many of these businesses succumb to the thought process of costs cutting their way to prosperity and all too often the repair and maintenance budget becomes the target for reductions.  Such action may provide short-term costs benefits but will never be sustainable.  Eventually, we, the Maintenance & Reliability professionals, must teach businesses to adopt a new approach to this old problem.  As practitioners we must drive continuous improvement, not only in our processes, but in our leadership development for supervisors, advanced skills training for the crafts, reliability engineers and maintenance planners and schedulers.  Building effective, sustainable processes and passionately managing these processes to the smallest detail will deliver sustainable results to the bottom line through improved asset availability."

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"The Lost Art of a Smile" Guest Post from Madelaine Kenner

Madelaine Kenner who is part of the awesome team here at Eruditio shares with us her thoughts on making a real difference and how simple it can be. Enjoy!
"My grandmother had this saying about storms that really stuck with me. She used to always tell me, “If there is enough blue in the sky to patch a Dutchman’s britches, then it will clear up.” I used to think it was a silly saying until I thought of it in another light; everyday connections with people. Let me ask you this; when a storm is coming…do you ever see just one little dark cloud? I highly doubt it. It can start out as one cloud and quickly evolve into a whole sky of dark in the blink of an eye. However, after a whole day of rain, isn’t it nice to see the sun peak out from behind those clouds…a silver lining you could say?
The Human Race is a social species. We value connection with others. Here’s an example; say you are on the way to work. You pass by people every day at work, right? So why not smile? It’s the simplest form of communication and yet has come to almost be a lost art. But here’s the thing…IT TAKES VERY LITTLE EFFORT! Just like that little blue patch in the sky, a simple smile and glance can turn someone’s whole day around. They may not talk about it to anyone and you may not say a word to each other, but it can be that one thing that turns their whole day around. Now let’s put the shoe on the other foot; can you recall ever having a bad day? What was a simple remedy to having a bad day? Maybe it was your friend telling you a funny joke, or a coworker giving you the “cheer up, buttercup” talk you needed. Or, it could just be that one little smile that you catch from a stranger as you exchange passing glances that give you that little burst of positivity you need to get through your day.
So my question to you is this…would you rather be that dark cloud on the horizon? Or, would you rather be that little blue patch of sky in everyone’s sky? No words, just smiles; the positivity will radiate from you and spread to everyone else. Who knows…maybe you will even make an acquaintance on your mundane commute that could make your routine a little more entertaining and worthwhile. So dust off that smile and keep it in your back pocket; you never know if someone might need their britches patched up. "

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reliability Engineering: Glorious Work or Laborious Work?

When you think of reliability engineering, especially in manufacturing, does your mind conjure up images of the glorious work of a Reliability Rockstar or the laborious work of the forgotten few? I think we all wish, at least sometimes, our day included marching as the Grand Marshall in the Uptime Parade followed by an afternoon writing your acceptance speech for the CMRP of the Year Award; but that really just is not the case. While becoming a reliability engineer or reliability technician is a very rewarding career, it takes a lot of hard work and does not come with a lot of trumpets and fanfare. Let's face it, if you do your job perfectly, then nothing happens... the equipment just runs, the plant just produces, and technicians and craftsmen just execute planned and scheduled work. It is calm; firefighting is at a minimum. Life is dare we say boring. So how do you get here? You have to start with the basics and facilitate your site completing tasks like building hierarchy, collecting name plate data and then determining asset criticality. This is definitely laborious work, but it has to be done and done right. This information is the foundation on which all future reliability engineering work will build. How can you collect meaningful Mean Time Between Failure data if you don't have a hierarchy or know what assets are where? Next, you need to take the hierarchy and criticality and use that to identify high risk areas and equipment. Then, begin to create asset management plans that are based on the actual failure modes not the bloated OEM PM documentation. You can do this by using anyone of the Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) methodologies or even just a failure modes effects analysis (FMEA). Again, this is laborious and even a bit tedious, but this has to be done and you might as well be the one to get it rolling. Once we know how the equipment fails, we can now apply the more glorious tools of Predictive Maintenance (PdM). But, if you jump here first without the other steps, you will find yourself an under achiever at best and a money wasting good for nothing gadget guy at worst. Once you get to this stage, you now ready to think about many of the more advanced rock star statistics tools, loss elimination, and RAM modeling. All of these work best when you have good solid data collected to the hierarchy within your Enterprise Asset Management Systems (EAM) and a process that demonstrates stability. With this level of focus and data, you can make the fine adjustments needed to really help the assets perform at rock star levels; then you can practice your glorious parade wave.    

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Technical Subject Matter Expert Facilitating Your RCA? Stop It.

What is the number one thing that all technical subject matter experts possess besides large amounts of knowledge?
Opinions... followed by years of past history and possibly preconceived notions.
What makes them great as contributing RCA team members for problem solving, can be kryptonite to them as facilitators. Their history and expertise leads to three possible problems when they lead or facilitate an investigation:
1. They take the team down a road to their favorite conclusion that may or may not be based on all the facts discovered.
2. They are so respected as SMEs that no one will challenge their thinking or ideas with new ones.
3. They can be blind to facts that don't fit their paradigms.
Some offer an opinion from the leaders chair and then it is a race to prove that they are right. Don't get me wrong, there are extraordinary folks out there but, in general, most SMEs struggle with these problems when asked to facilitate an RCA. So why put them in this situation. Let a leader lead and an SME provide knowledge in a facilitated manner.
A good facilitator tries to create an environment where everyone on the team is providing ideas and input. They are not ignoring any of the facts even if they are inconvenient and they are working to drive the team to consider all the possibilities and solutions. Not every problem will be solved with an answer from the past, so facilitation becomes important to draw out these new, more effective solutions.
My experience says to separate the roles and have others from different parts of the organization facilitate. Then you can instantly watch your root cause analysis teams drive more failures from your site at a lower total cost of implementation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Simple Demonstration of How Business Process Re-Engineering Really Works

So I noticed recently that my personal morning routine had some waste in the process. If I could remove this waste I could sleep longer and still make it to work on time. That was enough motivation to get me started. I was going to re-engineer my morning process. I studied the current or "as is" process and found that the time waste was only just over a minute. But, when you think about the fact that this waste was part of a daily routine the minutes added up to 6 hours of waste in my life every year. I saw this as 6 more hours of sleep annually. I found that to be an amazing discovery so I set off to remove the issues from the process. As part of my current process I shaved prior to brushing my teeth. The problem with this was that I had to wait for the water to warm up before shaving. Cold water causes an off quality shave and is a safety issue with a blade. This delay also included a waste of natural resources namely off temperature water.  By remapping my morning process to include brushing my teeth while the water warmed up and before I shaved, I made use of the off quality (cold) water and did not have the associated idle time. While I brushed my teeth the water would warm for the shave. I tested and verified that the new process was effective and made it my target or "to be" process. Now I only had to ingrain the change into my lifestyle. Change management and visual reminders were important because at 6 AM I am not always at the top of my game. I found myself falling back into the old way without the reinforcing elements. Over time it became the way of doing my morning and the reinforcing systems were no longer as important and could be relaxed or removed. The changed state was now the new current state.
If you think about your processes at home or your business processes at work, you travel through this same re-engineering process. First you look at the "as is" process and identify what does not work. You find a motivator for the effort required. Then you re-engineer and remove the non-value added steps creating the "to be" process. Next you put in place reinforcing systems like metrics and that drives the change in behavior to get the value from the new process.

That is Business Process Re-engineering simplified!

Monday, August 3, 2015

10 Quotes That Could Mean Your Maintenance Program is Not Quite Best Practice

The following are ten quotes I have heard over the years that might not speak well of your maintenance and reliability efforts or the culture that has been created. The question is have you heard any of these in your facility? What did you do?

"I don't need a vibration analyzer, I use a screw driver and my ear."
"Prebreak is a thing. You can not go to break with dirty hands"
"The way we do it now is obviously the best way... Obviously, or we would not do it that way."
"A hammer is a precision maintenance tool and a knife is an acceptable screwdriver"
"Grease is grease and oil is oil"
"Is this an interruption? My break clock restarts with any interruptions"
"My maintenance jobs expand and contract to fit the job estimates. Tell me how long you want it to take"
"Our maintenance guys come in pairs and sometimes coveys regardless of the size and scope of the job"
"Our maintenance guys know the best gossip because we send them back and forth over and over for parts and tools and they see and talk with everyone."
"Yea we have predictive maintenance tools they are on the shelf in the office" under a coating of dust.

Please share you favorites below in the comments... Do not be shy we know the quote came from another plant not the one you work in now.

If you want to change the culture of your facility check out these post by clicking here!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Five questions you have to answer before your next change initiative.

We all are part of change initiatives and interestingly the majority of them fail to deliver the results expected or projected. When we look back at the ones that failed to deliver, we find many that were destined to fail from the beginning because of the way the change was unveiled and communicated to the affected individuals. Below are five question that are crucial to answer upfront, repeatedly, and through multiple medias. I will demonstrate the questions using a hypothetical Enterprise Asset Management System (EAM) or Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) implementation as the example and share a few elements that satisfy a portion of the questions.  
1. Why are we doing this? 
 Example: Tell them about the transparency the new EAM provides.  You might also share the fact that it is connected with all of the other management systems from procurement and human resources and it allows the business to be better managed by tearing down the walls between these departments. In the end it will make the business more efficient and will help us to surpass our competitors. 
2. What does this look like?
Example: Show them the master project plan for the EAM roll out with the dates and areas of focus. Allow them to drill down into the plan so they can see the details where it is of interest. This will help with the next question. 
3. How will it affect me? or What's in it for me?
Example: Show them how the new system will change their current role. Hopefully you can show them areas where the new system is easier and better for them. This can be done with the work flow process maps or the RASI or RACI documents that were created during the blueprinting phase of the EAM implementation.  If RASI or RACI is a new acronym check out this post here.
4. What do you expect from me?
Example: This is where you can take them through specifically the "R's" or Responsibilities relating to their role. These are shown in the RASI documents. These responsibilities are what is required for the process to work effectively and it shows what you need for them to do specifically to meet the needs of the change.
5. What can I expect from you?
Example: This is where you might share the "R's" that you own and what you will also provide from an "A" or accountability standpoint.
These examples only begin to scratch the surface of the information that you need to provide but should give you some context for each question. Please take the time to plan out how you are going to communicate each of these points out to all the different groups that will be affected by the change.
 If you have other questions that we should consider please add them in the comments below. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The What Is Series: What is Blended Learning?

Blended Learning is a phrase that we are starting to hear more and more about both in university and corporate training environments. Let us look at what it is. Wikipedia defines it here as combining both traditional face to face instructor led training and computer based e-learning in order to create opportunities for improved student data collection and customization of instruction and assessment. This allows the instructor to better cater to the individual students needs and desires.
We at Eruditio take it a step further and create an advanced form of blended learning using our Applied Learning Process where we combine multiple medias including:
  • Face to face instruction
  • Live action and computer animated video
  • Interactive 3D environments
  • Real world examples
  • Traditional e-learning
  • One on one virtual coaching
  • Augmented reality 
  • Gamification
  • Project based learning
This lead to a superior student experience, higher material retention and a documented return on investment for the training efforts.  You can see a few testimonials from both students and corporate leaders here. They will share with you how this type of education has changed learning and culture in their facilities. Please reach out to me if you want to discuss how we might create packaged and custom Blended Learning for your site or company.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Five Things That Could Be Killing Your Training Efforts

Here are the five areas where I see huge mistakes made that kill even the best designed and delivered training programs.
The first huge mistake stems from a lack of supervisor understanding. We take the time to train the individuals but no one explains the concepts to the supervisor and managers. If he or she does not have an understanding of the content how can we expect them to ask the right questions or provide the right support? Take the time to either put them through the training or develop a short course to get them up to speed on what they need to know to make it effective.
The second big mistake is caused by “leaders” who don’t train because in their words “if I train them they will leave.” That means every day they stay they continue to do their job ineffectively or even worse continue to introduce additional failures due to ignorance.
The third big mistake is that the “leaders” do not create a learning environment where learning is expected and encouraged. The pace of change continues to increase and because of that we have to create continuous learning environments. If not the changes in technology will pass us by leaving us in the dust of our competitors.
The forth big mistake is the sites where they do not reinforce or refresh training on a regular basis. Some suggest that your job specific training needs to be refreshed at least every other year. I prefer a continuous process as referenced above but this still leaves us with something to think about. This can be done with single point lessons, elearning modules, and videos as well as tool box topics and traditional face to face review.
The fifth big mistake I see is the sites that just check the box on training without identifying required skill needs. They spend training dollars on the people who ask first not on the ones who need it the most. The sites don’t evaluate the skills needed and the levels of proficiency that exist. Without this step how would you know where to spend your training dollars?
Are any of these five things killing your training?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Wish My Boss Were Here For This Training!

I hear the title quote "I wish my boss were here for this training" or "My boss needs to hear this" after almost ever training session we do. Sometimes it is a leadership or communication class other times it is reliability or manufacturing improvement sessions but the response is nearly the same every time.
I take this quote to  mean at least two things:
  • first the student agrees with the content (which is nice) 
  • second they wish their boss either did agree or was more supportive of the concepts put forth.
So what can we do as students to build support and understanding with our boss?
The perfect solution would be to of course have the boss join you in the training but this is not always possible.
The second best solution is to have the training provider deliver a condensed but powerful "executive workshop" before the general training. In this session the trainer would provide key elements, key benefits, critical risk to implementation of the concepts, and key questions to reinforce the training with the larger participant group among other things.
But, what if you can not make either one of these things happen? How can you up-skill your boss? Below are 3 ideas that you can play around with to help get your boss on board and supporting the training which will drive a larger return on the training dollars you are spending.
First, if you can't convey the training in terms that connect with the concerns of your manager then you have already lost. Ask yourself "if I were them what would keep me up at night?" Does the training session or concepts taught mitigate that concern or at the very least reduce the risk in that area? If so lets use those points to begin the conversation.
Second can you convey the key points of the training, building off of the managers concerns, in approximately 2 minutes (think elevator speech). Key here is do you know it well enough to confidently articulate it in their terms concisely enough to get their interest before they get distracted?
Third tell them what you need. Tell your boss what is required for the training to be successful. Don't just focus on the resources that you need. Tell your boss what you want to be held to task on or asked about regularly. This takes trust but, you know what you need to do to make the training successful in changing the behavior of the organization. You also know the parts that will be hard for you and where you might need a little extra motivation or help to keep things moving.
There are other tools like A3 charters and Single Point Lesson that can help as well but we can save those for another post or a conversation.
I hope this helps you to help "your boss to hear" during your next training session. Just remember you have to sell it with confidence and passion while meeting the bosses needs and reducing any potential career risk to them that might be associated with what you need them to support.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Does reliability have to cost a fortune? Guest Post By Chris Wozniak

Business to business, industry to industry, a great deal of effort (and money) is spent on trying to find the “silver bullet” or “next best thing” when it comes to reliability.  The goal is to produce game-changing results in record time . . . or at least a time faster than your closest competitor.  I submit that there are two components to success: 1) the content (money) piece; and, 2) the people (priceless) piece.
    Most businesses find a way to fund the content piece.  In fact, that’s probably the most readily addressed portion of a reliability program.  Funding predictive technologies, computerized maintenance management systems, training solutions, and subject-matter experts/consultants - these decisions come easier than most, since we have the ability to determine (or, at least, estimate) the return on investment.  But . . . even if you or your business “knows” the right answer, folks still need to execute the strategy.  Over the next few posts, my goal is to present a few key characteristics to unlocking the potential of your personnel – at minimal cost.
    I ask you this question (to start): what do you expect of your supervisors?  Drilling down, do you expect them to be at every meeting, and rapidly answer every email, or do you expect them to be actively interacting on the shop floor?  If you do expect them to spend the majority of their time outside of the cubicle, what does that interaction look like?  Are they deeply involved in maintenance actions, or rabidly chasing down urgently needed parts?  If you expect them to be office-centric, how do they maintain a finger on the pulse of the shop floor?  Are those communication paths formalized and reliable?
    Taking an introspective look at how our front line supervisors spend their time is an important first step.  And the best part is . . . it costs nothing.  We’re taking a look at processes already in place – good, bad, or indifferent.  Depending on our findings, though, what should our supervisors be doing?  Every business has its own challenges . . . but the presumption is that our supervisors (regardless of industry) earned their positions based on certain elements of technical prowess, experience, and people skills.  Our expectation should be that they bring these talents to bear on the shop floor by mentoring and overseeing . . . not by becoming distracted with administration or allowing themselves to become deeply and personally involved in any distinct maintenance action.  As standards and expectations are set at the strategic level, we need to recognize that we get what we inspect, not what we expect, at the tactical level.  Whatever it takes, we need to ensure they maintain the overarching, birds-eye view of their respective work centers.  If they are getting sucked into maintenance actions, we have to figure out why.  Are their crafts trained well enough to function independently? Is the mentorship/apprenticeship learning progression functioning correctly? Are job plans sufficiently developed and detailed appropriately?    
    Bad things happen when “parental supervision” is lost.  When supervisors leave their (sometimes) uncomfortable position of being the man-in-charge to become the most experienced craftsman on the job, a dangerous void of leadership forms.  The big picture can be lost; thereby jeopardizing personnel and equipment safety, and opening the door for additional maintenance-induced defects.  Understanding the demands on our supervisors, and enabling them to maintain the higher level perspective, doesn’t require a massive capital investment . . . in fact, it costs nearly nothing.  But it does require a change in expectation, and a threshold for pain as we may have to operate outside of normal comfort zones.    
C.D. Wozniak
Cell: (330) 685-5796

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Understanding And Complying With ISO 55001: Part 3 in a 3 Part Series

Planning Part 3 in a 3 part series by Darrin Wikoff

Asset Management Plans are documents that translate the Asset Management Policy into actions or tasks, including resource requirements and timelines, for a specific asset in order to mitigate identified risks and achieve the stated value and stakeholder defined objectives. Section 6 – Planning – of ISO 55001 lists the requirements associated with defining asset management objectives and, planning to achieve the asset management objectives.
When defining your asset management objectives, the focus should be on four equal but unique business categories, Finance, Customers, Community and Employees, relative to your stakeholder requirements.  Objectives should be balanced in order to drive performance improvement in two equal directions, the financial health of the business and overall image of the business.
 Financial growth is based on the organization’s ability to reduce the cost of operating through focused improvements in overhead, maintenance and material costs. Financial growth is also reliant on the business’s ability to improve capacity through higher levels of availability, production rate and quality. These capacity improvements must be balanced by customer demand.
 Image growth, on the other hand, is based on the organization’s ability to develop intellectual capital within its own business through training, strength-based organizational structures and performance management, and the business’s ability to expand its license to operate within the community based on environmental, health and safety performance.
Demonstrate that risk-based methodologies are used when planning the design, implementation, operation, support and improvement of the asset management system.  Risk refers to stakeholder requirements and the impact that the asset management system has on these objectives, such as resource utilization and cost.
Demonstrate that each and every business function within the asset management system has specific and verifiable asset management objectives that align to the overall Strategic Asset Management Plan and stakeholder objectives.
Demonstrate that each asset management plan is derived from a risk-based methodology and specifies the type of task needing to be performed, the individual skill or competency required to complete the task, the frequency at which the task will be performed and the method of determining if a completed task complies with the intended outcomes.
Demonstrate that financial risks considered during the design and implementation of asset management plans include life cycle costs and residual risks at the end of the life cycle period.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Understanding And Complying With ISO 55001: Part 2 in a 3 Part Series

Leadership Part 2 in a 3 part series by Darrin Wikoff

The Asset Management System translates organizational objectives, relative to value, into technical and financial decisions by way of:
-    Policies,
-    Plans,
-    Processes,
-    Organizational structures, and
-    Resources.

Asset Management Policies formally express “Top Management’s” intentions and direction within an organization as governing principles or guidelines by which the asset management system should be administered. Top Management refers to those individuals or roles that have the power to delegate authority and provide the necessary resources within the management system.
Asset Management Plans are documents that translate policy into actions or tasks, including resource requirements and timelines, for a specific asset in order to achieve the stated value and organizational objectives.
After establishing the organizational context for asset management, ISO 55001 defines the Leadership requirements. Leadership and culture are determining factors when considering the organization’s ability to administer the asset management system and achieve the organizational objectives, relative to value. Leadership activities include, but are not limited to:
-    Defining roles, responsibilities and authorities,
-    Allocating resources,
-    Ensuring stakeholders are aware, competent and empowered, and
-    Aligning the asset management system with stakeholder requirements.

Demonstrate by way of formal meeting agendas and communication schedules the means by which Top Management integrates the asset management system with other management systems within the organization.
Demonstrate through documented processes that Top Management is required to participate in setting policies and making decisions that impact asset management objectives. A documented Asset Management Policy should exist that is formally endorsed or authorized by Top Management.  This policy should be governed and administered similar to other organizational policies.  The policy includes core asset management principles, role descriptions, decision making frameworks, risk management frameworks and governance structures, including the date and frequency of a formal policy review.
Demonstrate that the necessary level of responsibility and authority has been assigned to the asset management system.  Responsibility refers to the accountability of an individual for a specific outcome, and authority refers to the legitimacy of an individual to manage or govern within a function of the asset management system. The Asset Management Policy should include an organizational chart and "RASI" or "RACI" that clearly illustrates which individuals are responsible and have the authority for each function within the asset management system.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Understanding And Complying With ISO 55001: Part 1 in a 3 Part Series

Context of the Organization (Part one of three) by Darrin Wikoff

Asset Management provides assurance that assets will fulfill their required purpose relative to the stated value defined by the business’ stakeholders.  Therefore, asset management can be defined as the coordinated activity of an organization to protect, optimize or realize value from assets during the period of accountability. Methods of assuring value include:
-    Balancing cost,
-    Controlling risk, and
-    Monitoring performance of both assets and the asset management system.

The first set of asset management system requirements communicated by ISO 55001 deals with the manner in which Asset Managers have defined the “stated value” of assets and the relationship of the system architecture to other decision making, governance and management systems utilized by the business’ stakeholders. These requirements are defined in Section 4 – Context of the Organization.
Demonstrate that your organization has considered internal and external risk factors that have the potential to influence business outcomes when determining the objectives of your asset management system.  Internal risk refers to gaps in internal processes, and external risk refers to political, economic, regulatory or other factors beyond the local organization's control.
Demonstrate that your organization has identified both the stakeholder and their requirements when determining asset management objectives, and provide evidence that the stakeholder is integrated in decision making processes.  Stakeholders may be external to the organization, including government agencies, shareholders and customers.
Demonstrate that the identification of "Assets" within the asset management system is consistent with the Asset Management Policy and other management systems, if applicable. “Assets” exist within an organization to provide value to the organization and its stakeholders. Assets, by this definition are:
-    Any item that has a potential value within an organization,
-    Any item that has an actual value to an organization,
-    A group of items that has a potential or actual value, regardless of the individual item value (e.g. Asset System),
-    A group of items that have a common characteristic that translates into value, regardless of the individual item value (e.g. Asset Type).

Value is defined by the organization that has accountability for the asset during a specific period within the asset life cycle. Value can be:
-    Tangible or intangible,
-    Financial or non-financial,
-    Equity or liability (gains or losses), and
-    Risk or benefit.

Both value and the period of asset accountability may change throughout the asset life cycle, which begins at asset creation and ends when the asset no longer has value to any single organization.
Document within the Strategic Asset Management Plan those assets that are or will be governed by the asset management system, and the rational for determining applicability and scope relative to stakeholder expectations.  Demonstrate the link between asset management decisions and other management systems, if applicable.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Six Steps for Learning New Passions

I don't know about you but I find that I really enjoy learning new things and therefor I put myself in situations to do it a lot. Based on that, I have collected a few points from my experiences and placed them carefully in this blog for safe keeping. You may find them interesting to consider both when teaching and when learning new things.
First, watch the passionate and become them... They have put in the time and also their passion can be contagious. If you want to to truly excel at the new activity you need their passion so spend time with them. My advice: Don't try to learn from those that are not excited about what they teach.
Second , break it down into little steps and goals that build into the excellence you seek. You can't come out of the gate playing Beethoven's 5th, first you must play Chopsticks. The small simple steps create the feeling of progress and lessen the overwhelming nature of your end goal.
Third, if you have found the passion, built the little steps and goals into your learning plan then you are ready to apply what Malcom Gladwell calls the "10,000 Hour Rule" in his book Outliers. But... if you did not catch the passion from the passionate then this part can be trying if not insurmountable. Mr Gladwell shares that to truly excel at an item of interest you will need to practice the task for 10,000 hours. Direct application of the learning is key. This is my struggle as there is never quite enough hours in the day for all the application practice that needs to happen.
Fourth, your learning plan needs the element of time. You have to devote and schedule the time so that it becomes part of your daily ritual. If not, the urgent distractions will always displace your new passion especially as you find yourself  in the valley of frustration mentioned in this blog on behavior change through master planning. The learning plan and the master plan are quite similar and the points mentioned there transfer nicely.
Fifth, you have to keep the passionate surrounding you as coaches and mentors. you will face challenges and road blocks and you will need a fresh shot of their channeled enthusiasm and knowledge if you want to get unstuck. Besides most journeys are best with friends.
The sixth item that has helped me to learn new things is simple repetition. I create reminder cards and stickers and put them where I see them everyday. I also use learning aid to keep me fresh on task that I don't do as often. The act of creating this learning aids that shoes the basic steps and details required adds as much value as seeing them repeatedly posted around your world.
In closing I want to again point to the importance of passion in learning. My believe is that education without passion is fake and of limited value.
My hope is that these thoughts help you as you prepare to follow your passion and that you enjoy the journey it provides!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

4 Simple Steps to Start Creating a Learning Culture in Your Organization

Is training a drudgery endured once or twice a year or is it a part of daily life enjoyed by all? Many companies and sites are missing the boat by not having a culture of continuous learning. One where new knowledge is constantly entering the "collective" and finding its way into use. If you can create this culture then you will keep your organization competitive while improving morale according to multiple recently studies.
Here are five easy ways to start your site on a pathway to lifelong education.
1. Trade publications offer a lot of great examples of other organizations success and best practices for no cost other than the time to read. If you are in the manufacturing and asset management world your site should be getting magazines like Plant Engineering, Plant Services, Solutions, Uptime, and others. It is not enough to just sign up for a free subscription. Set up magazine swaps and route around articles that you think are particularly relevant to the site. Have different people present a quick overview of one article per week in your morning meeting. Make the transfer of knowledge an important part of your traditional report out meetings.
2. Websites and blogs like can also supplement your magazine articles. If your organization is more comfortable with online resources than print you can increase your learning with tools like Twitter and LinkedIn as they serve up a lot of great content as well. Be aware however that forwarding a link in an email can sometimes lower the chances it will be consumed by your target audience. After all they did not just receive that email, it came with 38 others. Because of that you may want to share verbally as well as possibly print it in order to get the attention of your group. This really depends on the culture your site has developed.
3. Videos and YouTube are exploding with information, industry specific newscast, and how to videos. If you have not done so just take a look at this search on YouTube for Asset Management. These videos can be used to kick off meetings, they can be looped in break rooms or just sent as a link. There are also videos on demand like the ones we host here that can provide general awareness or a refresher of content right when you need it and when it matters to you most. 
4. Books are the last category and while very old school the classic book club approach can really help the organization grow by holding students accountable to read and then discuss with the group. The discussion really improves retention of the material and understanding. If you can tie the content to something that is happening in the facility, increasing the relevance, then it will be a slam dunk.
I have used all of these in organizations at one time or another and it is pretty exciting to see the organization brighten as it embraces lifelong learning.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Are You Forgetting Your Hard Earned Lessons? Could it cost you the war with your competitors?

This video shows what would have to be called a best practice in the world of archery, and for that matter war, that was forgotten and lost over time. Lars Andersen has rediscovered the technique through careful study and practice.  An archer with this skill set, as you will see, could devastate the competition and possibly change the outcome of both battles and wars. Take a look and then think about what practices your company has discovered through the years at the floor level and else where that have been lost due to turnover of employees, poor documentation, poor processes and lack of focus. With the departure of the baby boomer generation we are facing the equivalent of a mass exodus of skilled archers. Time is of the essence to capture their skills and knowledge and create training plans to leverage this knowledge to enlighten future employees. It would be great to capture it from the people but you might also need to go after it else where.
Key areas that might contain existing knowledge could be:
  • Technical knowledge could be contained in your drawings, plans, purchasing records, maintenance craftsman's little black books and Computerized Maintenance Management System
  • Operational process knowledge could be contained in log books, data historians, recipes, operators little black books
  • Business processes knowledge might be found in those dusty manual up on the shelf in your office or old "as is and to be" documents scattered here and there on servers and shelves.
Once you have the knowledge it is useless if you can not find a way to transfer it. It would be like finding the picture of the archer and putting it in your desk drawer. The power is the conversion of history to application through training and communication.
You might choose to use e-learning, face to face training, video, coaching, simulations, project based application, and blended approaches that focus on the learning objectives that are taken away from your best practice documentation. We suggest you look at what you are doing today, what you would like to do different in the future and then determine what skills, knowledge and abilities that you need to communicate to facilitate the cultural change that you are looking for. Through this process you can keep the archers shooting fast and strait and win the war with the competition.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

6 Question About Your Reliability Vision That You Need To Answer.

Is your reliability vision driving you forward or is it just something you hang on the wall or put on the back of your business card?
Here are six questions you might use to bring your vision to the forefront and driving effective change in your organization.
1. First have you created a reliability or asset management vision? Is it clear, concise, memorable, and easily explained to anyone in the organization?
2. Have you and your leadership team practiced communicating the vision in your own words? Ensure that even though you convey the vision in different words that the organizations hears the same message.
3. Have you shared it with the whole organization and with multiple medias? Share it through video, text like brochures and emails, two way conversation, and training to all parts of the site.
4. Did your check for understanding? Two way communication is key when it comes to ensuring that what was said was heard and interpreted correctly. Ask questions. Listen intently.
5. Have you empowered others to act toward the vision with a plan and deadlines for completion?
It is critical to have a master plan to learn more about it click here
6. Did you celebrate your success? As the organization completes steps in the plan and moves closer to the vision, celebrate those completed steps. Use them to create a pull in the organization for the elements of the vision. This will make getting to that vision much easier and efficient.
These are 6 questions that many miss and hopefully you can use this as a checklist prior to or during your improvement project.

Friday, January 23, 2015

5 Thoughts That Can Drive Success with Reliability Centered Maintenance and Equipment Maintenance Plans

1.   You can not do RCM on every asset or all at once. Break it down into manageable chunks of your asset list based on risk to the business. Create a plan. Consider a tiered process for building maintenance strategies based on asset criticality. 
One example might be:
  • Top critical asset use Full blown RCM Analysis
  • Upper mid criticality assets use Failure Modes Effects Analysis (FMEA) or its simplified version SFMEA to identify failure modes based on operating context
  • Middle to lower criticality use failure mode libraries or database tools
2.    Once you understand your common failure modes from RCM or FMEA, focus on mapping the Predictive Maintenance (PdM) technologies currently deployed at your site to the failure modes exhibited. This will reduce the number of Preventive maintenance (PM) task required and the total cost of the asset management plan. PdM normally takes less time, does not induce failures, and allows for the equipment to be running as opposed to invasive PM activities which require equipment shutdowns and can induce infant mortality.

3.    Schedule a standing meeting to tackle one RCM or section of an RCM or FMEA per week per group. It should be on your maintenance schedule and be as sacred to those scheduled to attend as your PM work. Create a project plan based the number of teams, the process you are using and the number of resource hours you have based on the weekly meetings.

4.   In all but your most safety, environmental, and production critical assets, the plans developed don't have to be perfect. Get them close and use continuous improvement techniques to refine the RCM and the asset management plan over time. This will allow you to implementing sooner and generating results faster. It also removes you from the world of analysis paralysis.
5. Stay focused and stay the course. It takes time. Reward your teams success. Support them and remove barriers to their sucess. 
I wish you luck as you tackle RCM and lower your risk and cost!