The maintenance and reliability landscape is littered with failed improvement projects. Some of the causes include insufficient funding, lack of buy-in by the participants, resistance from the employees and lack of sponsorship. Sometimes the project is started with great enthusiasm by management, but because results don’t become apparent quickly, the project ends prematurely. Typically the organization settles back into where it’s comfortable with limited changes or improvements. That is… until the next flavor of the month comes along.
The end goal for most reliability-focused organizations is to increase equipment availability in the most effective ways and at the lowest cost, thereby contributing to improved production and higher profit. Due to the complexity of maintenance and reliability, it can be difficult to select the areas where improvement would be most impactful. This is when a navigational tool can come in handy.
One of the most practical tools for improvement of reliability and maintenance is an assessment. The assessment measures the organization’s current state through conformance and performance evaluations. By comparing the organization performance against logical and specific measures, strengths and weaknesses become apparent. Leadership can then use facts instead of assumptions or speculation to drive and motivate improvement initiatives.
When correctly conducted, the assessment can pinpoint specific areas that consistently trip up progress in an organization. By focusing on these areas, improvement efforts and dollars are spent in the right places.
The end goal is to create an improvement mindset within the organization. Follow-up assessments will highlight improvements already accomplished and fuel future improvements. Nothing motivates success like the proof of past success.