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.