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How My Passion and CMMSradio Help Maintenance & Reliability Professionals

Basic fundamentals – just like maintenance and reliability – play a crucial role in how you communicate value across teams.Greg Christensen and CMMSradio are Communicating with FINESSE!
Basic fundamentals – just like maintenance and reliability – play a crucial role in how you communicate value across teams.

Communicating the value of a CMMS is something our guest experts tackle countless times and from various perspectives throughout their careers. Customers who seek out a CMMS have the exact same experiences in that the perspectives are that of maintenance and leadership; in a way, we speak different languages. There's even more to this when we consider the overall industry, company type, and organizational culture. Obviously, it's nuanced but there are some general concepts that may help get you on the right path toward communicating the value of your/a CMMS.


Let’s Agree on the Scenario

I've taken a very general and anecdotal approach to this article as a starting point for this ongoing topic. Let's agree that our scenario, for this article, is building support for finding and implementing a CMMS platform in your organization. We'll need a few assumptions (yes, we all know those are not great LOL), like we have completed an analysis of our maintenance processes, discovered a set of problems, and that a CMMS is the best solution for that problem. Notice that communicating the value already started if you've gotten this far; however, is it the right value.


First, Let’s Consider What the Front Lines Need

Maintenance cares about how they're moving through their daily world and simply wants to do great work – the less disruption to their process, the better, which means they must be empowered and somewhat autonomous in their day-to-day. That requires trust and communication is a BIG part of trust in both our teammates, our leadership, and within oneself. To build trust through communication we need to be direct, yet mindful, about the why and the impacts with transparency. A risky concept.

 Maintenance must communicate why they need this, why they want this, and what it will do – Most of all, they must do so in a way that is meaningful to leadership (think finance). So maintenance has a need, a case for the root cause and solution, and must tie a value to that for the business – for leadership. This often boils down to measuring the impact (the current state) and the desired outcome (future state) in the form of ROI. The KPIs and Metrics for leadership tend to boil down to dollars and cents (and sense).


Leadership Must Be Engaged

Similarly, leadership must communicate why they're implementing a CMMS while making sure they have included the frontline workforce (the doers) in the initial phases of selection. The same root cause of the problem may require an alternate definition for maintenance buy-in because the impact, ROI, etc., will surely be understood differently.

It is not just about money on the frontline. The maintenance team wants to be efficient and optimized for the performance of what they already love to do. They want proper resources and time to do the highest quality of work. Leadership loses visibility to these human factors at times (they're moving fast), so a go-and-see approach helps.


Communicating the Value

The overarching theme here is we MUST connect maintenance to the business and the business MUST be connected to maintenance operations.


Here’s a short list of things to do when building your respective case for the value of a CMMS.

  1. Define the problem you have with plenty of support – qualitative and quantitative!

  2. Educate leadership on where this shows in your day-to-day and theirs (the impacts)!

  3. Leadership must do the same and convert the money, metrics, and KPIs to meaningful impact for the maintenance team!

  4. We need internal champions and stakeholder representation from all parts (not sides)!

  5. Slow down and do this right – Haste makes waste and this stage is about the foundation upon which you build your CMMS (and reliability) program.


My Passion for the Basic Fundamentals

Basic fundamentals – just like maintenance and reliability – play a crucial role in how you communicate value across teams and how we can blend the perspectives of both leadership and maintenance operations is why we are doing what we are doing! We need to dig deeper into this and it's a common topic on CMMSradio - It tends to come up in each episode. Tune in to get all of those insights from our amazing guests!!


"We must, above all, learn how to have influence if we are to effect these outcomes of gaining support and communicating value. Influence requires a focus on the other when it comes to getting the outcomes we want. In fact, it is the lack of influence in relationship dynamics that causes power struggles. Not only must we learn the language of the other (person, people, departments, etc.), we must understand and allow them to have influence thus we may then influence the outcomes. There's much more to the concept and idea of having or developing influence. Take it on face value, until we explore this topic more deeply in future articles, that true influence is about the other and will get you on your journey. Power struggles will do quite the opposite for you, your team, and your organization." - Greg Christensen



Greg Christensen hosts the insightful CMMSradio. Back in 2003, Greg co-founded a CMMS SaaS company and has been immersed in the CMMS space ever since. After their acquisition in 2018, Greg has worked extensively in the facilities management space, consulting with clients during their CMMS journey, leaning on his 3+ decades in CMMS, facilities management, maintenance management, and the like. 

Relentlessly pursuing the "elusive win-win," the podcast helps companies and people navigate their CMMS journey with expert guests, inspiring monologues, and a no-nonsense approach that is real, raw, and relatable. If you have a CMMS project and want some insights - Connect with Greg and follow CMMSradio on your favorite podcasting medium. He's passionate about the space - ALL of it - and loves to help solve problems. Follow #CMMSradio and connect with Greg on LinkedIn to schedule a call if you need help with a CMMS project.


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