Focus on Reliability

Jeff Shiver, CMRP

Recent Posts by Jeff Shiver, CMRP:

Creating Partnerships


One of the biggest challenges that I find most organizations struggling with is the creation of real partnerships with shared common goals as opposed to competing objectives. Most organizations function with the illusion of partnerships. A better term to use and one that most would recognize is "silos".  

When you hear maintenance people making comments like “I never have the materials, information, or time to do my job right.”, you should question if real partnerships exist. The same goes when an operator comments that “Maintenance never responds when we call" or In the last three hour changeover, maintenance was nowhere to be found. Why did they not use that time to do so PM's and corrective work?". 

Recognize that as Maintenance and Operations, together you control total roughly two-thirds to three-quarters of the site population. While a site leadership team exists to implement corporate strategy and other items, Maintenance and Operations need to partner to talk about how you run the day-to-day operations of the plant.

Create a team, meeting twice a month with Maintenance and Operations stakeholders. That gives each of you an opportunity to educate each other on each function's wants and needs as related to best practices. Engage people at the lowest levels on the plant floor to get buy-in. This is one more approach to end the blame game and move the total site reliability forward.

The One-Two Punch

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Realize that leading people is a contact sport. I recently participated in a podcast and was asked a question on how the company name of People and Processes came to be. Across multiple sites, I either directly or indirectly reported to an engineer that ultimately became a plant manager. Ken was very much a people person, and over the years, I learned a tremendous amount from him. He taught me the value of leading others and seeing things from their perspective. Ken used a phase called “ways of working” related to the business processes and roles. When things did not go as planned, he always went back to the process, the way of working. The business name fit the solutions that we provide. It is about the people and the processes.

Back to the contact sport statement, I visit organizations almost every week that struggle with the basics. While business processes may exist, people aren’t leveraging them for a lot of different reasons. It’s not uncommon to find duplication of efforts. It seems every day is a new day as the struggles repeat themselves. Most sites don’t audit their processes to see what is not working and to determine improvements. Getting your processes right is the first step, the first impact. To do that, you need to involve people as they buy-in to what they help create.

The second punch is defining your people’s roles and responsibilities. These duties come from business processes. When determining the roles, there are specific spans of control or ratios. For example, a planner scheduler may plan for 20-30 technicians depending on the maturity of the processes in action. These roles, combined with the spans of control, determine the organizational structure.

Once you get people in the roles, don’t forget the training aspect. Funny how some people believe that if you train people, they might leave. I always like to counter with “what if they stay?”. Coaching people in their role is the next logical step in their development, beginning about thirty days after the initial training. It typically takes two to three coaching sessions to demonstrate a level of competency. In our coaching activities, we have developed competency evaluation forms for each position, and we review those with the people being coached. I find that most people are eager to improve their knowledge and abilities. Each coaching visit enables the opportunity for increased understanding and more importantly, ownership and pride. Accountability brings clarity.

Don’t allow every day to be a new day. Employ the one-two punch to bring that clarity.

Need help? All of these concepts and much more are integrated into our award-winning Maintenance and Reliability for Managers 4-Part Series. Get started soon, either at a public course or bring it onsite.

Feed Your Mind to Drive Creativity

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When I visit organizations, I often ask people what they are doing with respect to continuous improvement.  Depending on the organization and the level of the person I ask, the answers vary widely.  Since the idea of continuous improvement has long been pushed for managers and others as buzz words, they are quick to provide the answer they think I want to hear.  Smiling, they are smug in thinking they have pulled the wool over my eyes only to be confronted with more probing questions.  The deeper the questions, the more truthful the answers become.

8 Reasons Why Employees Don't Ask for Training

Do you find yourself wondering why your employees haven't taken the initiative and approached you for additional training? Well, they must not want the extra training, right? Wrong! Sometimes, employees do want training, but they just don't ask. Here's why:

Topics: Advanced Maintenance Management CMMS/ EAM Training Maintenance and Reliability Leadership and Supervision maintenance skills maintenance skills training Maintenance training

What Structure Works Best When it Comes to Work Management?

How many technicians per planner-scheduler? Should we focus on system ownership, or business goals? Find out this and more with our video, and register for our class here!

Topics: Planning and Scheduling Advanced Maintenance Management CMMS/ EAM Training Maintenance Planning Scheduling Maintenance and Reliability Leadership and Supervision maintenance skills maintenance skills training Maintenance training maintenance

Advancing the Crafts

For many organizations, finding qualified maintenance technicians is a real challenge. While not a new problem, it is becoming much more pronounced depending on their level of pay and geographical location. More companies are looking internally with the intent of developing their own workforce to take on new responsibilities.

Topics: Training

Don't Get Stuck. Start here!

Maintenance and Reliability for Managers Jeff ShiverOrganizations typically fall into one of three categories. Reactive, emerging proactive, and proactive. Then we have those organizations that were proactive but have fallen back into the reactive cycle of despair. The statistic of over 60% of all organizations being reactive in their maintenance processes probably doesn’t surprise many of you, especially if you live in that environment.

Topics: Assessment Benchmarking Gap Analysis

Six Steps to build the Maintenance Schedule

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Struggling to put together a complete weekly schedule? It may surprise you, but you’re not alone.  Although the processes of work execution (preventive and predictive programs, planning, scheduling, coordination, storeroom and production partnerships) are foundational, many groups struggle to put it all together well. Without this foundation, more advanced concepts fizzle out quickly. Frustration ensues. There are many pieces that need to align to complete the entire work execution puzzle. To start, let's focus on developing the weekly maintenance schedule. There are some basic steps that you should address to move things forward.

Topics: Maintenance Management Maintenance Planning Scheduling

Focus on Reliability | Reactive Maintenance | The Human Cost

In the industrial world, the corporate and site leadership is focused on creating shareholder value and profit. They accomplish this by managing people, the human capital within the organization. These concepts are by-products of the MBA curriculum  taught at many business schools. But are we missing something?

Topics: Maintenance Management

Focus on Reliability | Best Practices | Continuous Improvement


Another guest post from Trent Phillips.

Topics: Maintenance Management Training Organization Leadership and Supervision