Friday, February 21, 2020

The Lens of Reliability

During some of our recent reliability improvement implementations, I have noticed a phenomenon that I think might add some perspective and help with your implementations. I call it the "Lens of Reliability" but it could really effect any big deal change to an organization that is being made from within.
It is most obvious to me in the first 3-4 months of the improvement project. It is two ways of seeing your world. The first is from your current lens or as I will refer to it, your reactive lens. The second is the future lens or as I will refer to it the proactive lens. Why do these lenses matter? They matter because they effect your ability to create a best practice future state business processes. They matter because they effect your teams ability to see a clear future state. They matter because once you know they are there, you can call them out and deal with them and move forward more effectively.
Let me explain them in the context of a business process re-engineering session. You as the facilitator or leader are discussing that we need failure codes for all emergency work orders and a team member says "we cant do that. It will take to long to put that on all the work orders". That individual is looking through the reactive lens and they are seeing the problem from the current state. In their world they know that they have 100s of emergency work orders and they will never "get all the paper work done". We need them to look at it from the future perspective and see that if we do this, the system will reduce the number of emergency work orders through tools like root cause analysis, preventive (PM) and predictive maintenance (PdM). The data will drive the improvement and will get us to the new point where the systems supports the proactive lens. Here are some examples through each lens:

Reactive lens:
  • I need a technician standing in every area waiting on a break down
  • I need every spare part in the store room for the emergencies
  • I need to limit time collecting data so I can get all the real work done.  
Proactive lens:
  • Technicians work on planned and schedule work and don't just stand in the area waiting for a failure to happen and on top of that, more improvements and repair get completed reducing emergency and unplanned failures for the future.
  • The storeroom inventory can be lower because we identify failures early with PM and PdM giving us time to order the parts for the planned and scheduled repairs.
  • The data we collect allows us to identify reoccurring failures and eliminate, reduce or mitigate the failures reducing emergency work in the future. 
I hope this perspective helps with your implementation. When you see someone looking through the reactive lens don't be afraid to call it out, discuss it, and then determine the best path forward.  It will be hard at first but if you do not address it you will end up with sub-optimized processes and practices that do not support the future.

Choose the right lens!

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