Recently I met a young and enthusiastic engineer who declared that “We are already done with the reliability and maintenance management strategy, it is well developed and documented by a group in our company”
“That sounds good “ I replied, “That means that you are done with about 5% of the work”.
Somewhat disturbed he asked me what I meant. “Have you spent any time to educate, inform and implement the strategy in your plants?” I asked. The answer was “No”. That’s where the 95% of work will be spent.
I very often meet people who believe the job is done because you have developed and documented a plan but to me that is just the beginning and if the plan is not implemented and executed the effort is wasted.
I see a lot of plans and strategies but very little execution.
A reliability and maintenance management strategy cannot only remain on a “Happy Island” with the group of people who developed it.
The whole purpose of the strategy is to drive the organization to continuously improve its performance.
It takes about 5 % of the time to create it. To educate, inform, and train people who are going to execute it takes 10% of the effort, and to actually implement and execute takes about 85% of the effort.
It must be very clear and not only describe goals. It has to provide a road map that shows how to reach these goals.
It can have many different formats but the content will be very much the same between different organizations.
The effect of the implementation of the strategy must also be measurable to be powerful enough to drive improvements.
Combine with audits to measure progress or the lack thereof.
When audits are done on an annual basis it will take about three years before the organization believes that the intent of the strategy is real and not just another short-term initiative.
The implementation is not a program, it is a process with a starting point towards continuous improvement.
Many organizations spend a lot time to develop and document a reliability and maintenance strategy and not much time to implement and execute it.
It’s not uncommon for the strategy to change when a new key manager arrives. This derails progress.
Best organizations execute a well defined, documented and continuously communicated strategy. It is long term and coupled with execution of the plan.
Christer Idhammar is a world-renowned and multiple award winning Reliability and Maintenance Consultant and Guru. He is the Founder and CEO of IDCON, INC in Raleigh NC, USA; A reliability and maintenance training and consulting company to the Pulp and Paper Industry worldwide since 1972.