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.