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!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Software Got You Stuck? Do Not Let RCA Applications Hold Up Your Root Cause Efforts

Let us be clear, root cause analysis is a way of thinking not a software application yet their are sites that are spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours learning software instead of solving problems. Software is not inherently bad but you don't need a sports car to learn to drive.
If you are getting started with your RCA efforts and software is part of your plan then be aware of these potential problems:
Software can limit team involvement: Facilitator is head down in the computer rather than up truly facilitating responses from the team.
Software can slow the flow of ideas especially if it is slow to create or move causes and links: time required to create or edit means other are waiting and forgetting points and causes.
Software can complicate reporting: The simplest and most effective reporting for most sites is the A3 style RCA report which will be the topic of the next blog post.
Computers create barriers between facilitators and the RCA team. If you have to collect the information directly to the software then you should consider a facilitator and a recorder or scribe.
If you can problem solve without the software or by capturing the information after the analysis then here are a few tips and benefits of a software free RCA.
Use sticky notes and a big blank wall or a white board. (3M's Super Sticky PostIt Notes work well)
This allows good group involvement by allowing them to write and share or verbally share and you capture the causes.This gives you two streams of causes in two different communication styles. If two people share the same or similar cause than you stack them and both participants know they were heard. This can be key to good facilitation.
With sticky notes you can start by understanding the sequence of events and include any time stamped data from PLCs, cameras etc. and then once you identify key event, or forcing functions as they are sometimes known, you can transition to fault and logic tree with ease. This will provide a better understanding of the systemic and latent causes of the key event.
With the very hands nature of the sticky method you can move and reorganize causal chains quickly and as you discover new causes they can be added with ease and with out huge disruptions to the flow of ideas. When you are done you simply take a quick picture of the analysis via the ubiquitous cell phone and paste this into your chosen report format.  These can then be shared with others electronically.
The point of today's post is not that software is bad. It is simply that it is not required to get started and make substantial improvements in your facility. Many of our student save hundreds of thousands of dollars for their sites using nothing more than the sticky notes and a sound root cause methodology. Once root cause becomes part of your business culture then you can capture, catalog, and share more effectively with the help of software but don't let it hold you back from the start.