Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Is Your Maintenance Organization Centralized Or Decentralized?
If I were to discover an organization that was very reactive and lacked reliability maturity I would recommend a centralized maintenance structure where all of the maintenance organization reports up through a mature maintenance and reliability leader. Reason: if you are trying to improve reliability you need a strong central leader to drive the message early on and then build a coalition that moves the understanding out into the organization and ingrains it into the culture. As the organization reaches a higher level of maturity where operations understands the guiding principles of reliability that will help the organization to continue to improve then we can look at decentralization.
If you make the move to decentralized maintenance too early then you risk the craftsmen being stationed by operations next to a machine "to stand guard". Of course they would do this to facilitate faster reacting to failures and reduction of their set up and down time. What we want to occur instead is for those crafts to identify and eliminate the failure modes and prevent re-occurrence through root cause analysis, improved craft skills, precision maintenance and other tools not just learn to react faster.
What are your thoughts?