Making reliability a process, not a project

“Strategic planning helps determine the direction and scope of an organization over the long term, matching its resources to its changing environment and, in particular, its markets, customers and clients, so as to meet stakeholder expectations.” Johnson and Scholes, 1993

Strategic planning is a process to lay out the steps required to achieve a desired future state. It’s always important to “begin with the end in mind” as Stephen Covey says.

Having worked in various industries and been involved directly with conducting assessments, one of the main key contributors to programs and initiatives losing their direction has been the lack of understanding of the goals or a clearly developed future state. Trying to develop a successful plan without really understanding where you are going is an exercise in futility. It becomes a laborious and time-consuming process which usually results in the program losing traction and a definite lack of buy-in and adoption by the organization.

Within maintenance and reliability, it is common for companies to make resources, manpower and finances available to determine criticality, maintenance strategies, optimize spares or work out the predicted availability of a system but there is no clear end game other than complete the proposed activity or project. 

During reliability and asset management assessments this is also true. It is common to find that the company’s goals have not been clearly communicated down or, in some cases, the goals are not achievable because the business does not clearly understand its current state and consequently sets unrealistic targets.

Setting any program in perpetuity requires mechanisms and processes to support it along with each department and each person understanding what is required from them in the process.

One such process is the management of asset maintenance strategies. Once your maintenance strategies have been developed, implemented, and then executed through the work management process there must be a process in place to manage those strategies throughout the assets’ useful lives.

An Asset Strategy Management (ASM) Assessment can be conducted to understand:

  • What is the current state and;
  • What gap exists to the desired future state.

Having ASM as part of the plan to achieve your goals for effective asset management is critical in the long-term success of any maintenance and reliability program. ASM is an essential process which drives the reliability function and ensures that equipment reliability and performance improvement are part of the business-as-usual processes. ASM ensures that the best strategies are deployed to all assets, all the time, constantly matching the reliability strategies to the operational context and requirements.

A strong reliability culture isn’t built overnight. The first step is developing a strategic plan that will strike the right balance between processes, technology, and people, all working together towards a well-defined goal. If you need help defining your current state and mapping out a well-defined future state as part of a reliability improvement initiative, we can assess your reliability program and make recommendations for the best path forward.

Take the Asset Strategy Management Maturity Assessment

Take this 12-question ASM maturity assessment to see where you stand and receive a report with recommended next steps.

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