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Leadership, Legacy, and Longevity: Starting A Maintenance Reliability Journey


Michael Guns discusses leadership, legacy, and longevity of maintenance and reliability in Part 1.

Maintenance, many times, is done "right now" as opposed to planning out for a more advantageous result. Questions about maintenance and reliability come up frequently in all organizations. There are always assets that break down due to lack of maintenance, design, or just from age. They are only as good as their intended design and if not properly reviewed, maintained, and monitored these assets will break down and fail before they were expected to. What can be done to mitigate this from happening and become proactive? Here are three key points for your Reliability Journey.

Leadership

Leadership is by definition "inspiring a group or organization to one common goal", (Uptime Elements Dictionary, Gulati, 54). Can you be inspired or motivated by those who don't know what it is that maintenance does? How can you get them to see the benefits of a reliable infrastructure? The answers are YES and by managing up and becoming a reliability leader and champion for your group. Some leaders are hard-nosed, similar to the Drill Sargent in the movie "Full Metal Jacket". Always barking orders and screaming. Others have a more subdued approach and try to cultivate a trust with their employee. Both have the same task and meaning but have different outcomes. This is neither right nor wrong, just different. Colin Powell stated, at an EnerNoc Conference on April 6, 2016, "Experience and knowledge are only tools in motivation. Understanding your group's needs and hurdles become the keys to leading." In maintenance and reliability leadership this is pertinent.

Leadership can foster motivation in the workforce by understanding hurdles.
Leadership can foster motivation in the workforce by understanding hurdles.

You need to understand your workforce, the challenges that they have, and how to overcome them. Maintaining a building full of equipment takes a lot of time and effort. It takes material. It has untimely shutdowns. Leadership can foster motivation in the workforce by understanding these hurdles. They can provide the means for the workforce to complete tasks with tools, a CMMS System, iPads, funding, and a gambit of other things. Understanding that and applying it makes completing the work more efficient.


Management needs to understand those needs and apply them where it is most needed. Reliability Leaders should manage up and show them the importance of a strong maintenance program which in turn will drive the workforce to excel. There are many benefits of a reliable plant or building, one being cost savings. These savings could spur leadership to provide those things that make the program strong. Ultimately leading your group to a more sustainable future.

Legacy

Simply responding to breakdowns continuously, fixing them and moving on doesn't get to the root of the problem.
Simply responding to breakdowns continuously, fixing them and moving on doesn't get to the root of the problem.

How many times has everyone heard, "That’s how we've always done it!"? Doesn't that statement just make you cringe? Simply responding to breakdowns continuously, fixing them and moving on doesn't get to the root of the problem. It will not fix it either. This type of behavior is not sustainable for a good program. Many in the reliability world will see this and recognize it immediately. However, not all in the maintenance world do. Overtime, loss of production, and failures all attribute to higher costs. They also contribute to the reactive nature of maintenance and why assets fail. Legacy and culture sometimes derail a program from even starting.


A maintenance program should have a reactive aspect to it. You will never eliminate it completely, but you can mitigate it by creating a reliability habit throughout your organization. The goal is to get to a proactive or even strategic mindset. Reactive maintenance is costly. Your time is valuable. Being Proactive about how your assets are maintained and when will dramatically reduce the need for being reactive and rushing to the next fire.

sets you on the path of proactive identification of your assets.
Data sets you on the path of proactive identification of your assets.

Take a snapshot of your organization. What are your facilities like? Old, rundown, or are they ok. Are you prioritizing your spaces or assets? Having someone tell you that their space is more important than another's because you did theirs first doesn't foster a good vibe in the organization. Priorities backed up by data creates a reliable culture and gives you something to call back to when this arises. It also sets you on the path of proactive identification of your assets thus, leading you toward your ultimate goals. The old path would not have these tools for success. Keep your culture moving forward by providing leadership for the long haul.

Longevity

Goal-oriented, Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) practices provide a more sustainable future for organizations. It provides a path to move toward. It shows your leadership what tools you need to be successful. Your organization should have an AIM. Get your assets under control. Provide the best possible situation for your crews to maintain the equipment that serves your buildings. Show where the needs are and keep them running smoothly and efficiently. Manufacturer-recommended guidelines and design create a path to the longevity of your assets. Engineering buildings to these specifications or standards provide the reliability centered structure that is key to long life spans of assets, keeping your costs down.

Reliability in your organization is attainable.
Reliability in your organization is attainable.

Continuous improvement throughout your organization should also be reviewed for longevity. If you are creating and fostering a defect elimination strategy, providing a learning program for your managers and technicians and "managing UP" to your leadership, reliability in your organization is attainable. Longevity will be attainable. Your assets will perform better and stronger for their recommended life cycle. Buildings will be efficient. Your leadership will see their bottom lines progressing to a more sustainable outcome. You will have succeeded in your goals.


Conclusion

Planning is just one part of the journey. Providing your organization with reliable and functional equipment will keep your institution at the forefront of maintainability. Move into a proactive and strategic mindset and set your organization up for success.


Move into a proactive and strategic mindset and set your organization up for success.
Move into a proactive and strategic mindset and set your organization up for success.

Do not forget the Legacy of how you got in your reactive mess. Use your Leadership to gain the needed tools for a reliability based Longevity for the future of your organization. Benefit from knowing that your striving for "Best Know Practices " mentality. The path of the future only needs to begin.



References

Gulati, Ramesh. “Uptime Elements Dictionary for Reliability Leaders and Asset Managers.” Reliabilityweb.com (2017-2019).

O’Hanlon, Terrance, et al. “Uptime Elements Body of Knowledge.” Reliabilityweb.com (2017-2019).



 

Michael Guns is a Senior Maximo Consultant for JFC & Associates. He is responsible for implementation and development of IBM Maximo and EAM processes for a robust maintenance and reliability portfolio. He is an advocate for the maintenance and reliability community by extending learning opportunities to align those strategies to fit different business models and implement them. He has been utilizing Maximo for 10 years.


Previously Guns served as Associate Director of Maintenance Strategy & Planning for the University of Delaware from 2013-2021. Prior to that, he worked as Division Manager for Solar for Wanex Electrical Services in New Castle, De between 2009-2013. He also owns and operates Electranet Enterprises, an Electrical/Data Communications and Maintenance Information company, where he has provided reviews and services for local companies since 2004.


Guns has earned the following credentials:

Master Electrician's license for Delaware in 2002 and Maryland in 2006.

Certified Reliability Leader certification - 2019

Certified Educational Facilities Professional - 2020

Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional in 2021

IBM Certified Deployment Professional - Maximo Asset Management v7.6 Functional Analyst – 2022

Maximoworld 2021 Award – Best Work Execution Management w/ Prometheus Group

Previously held NABCEP certification for Solar Installation from 2009-2013.


Michael Guns can be reached at 302.358.9381 or mguns@jfc-associates.com.

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