AKWIRE for Maximo User Group

Inspiring Enterprise Reliability Best Practices by Defining Roles and Processes

by Mariah Patterson on March 16, 2017

Implementations are tricky things. An extraordinary amount of time and effort is heaped on an enterprise maintenance program implementation, never mind the level of expectations that accompany such a change in an organization.

Despite the time that goes into planning these implementations, though, the majority of implementations are not successful. Historically, as much as 70 percent of such implementation initiatives fail. Why does this happen?

Jeff-Shiver-Maximo.jpgThis statistic represents a major challenge in the Planning and Scheduling world, but the bleak outcome does not have to be a reality. Consultancies such as People and Processes are working hard to change the landscape of implementation failure by helping companies identify best practices, align roles and achieve tangible results within those organizations.

Jeff Shiver, CEO and co-founder of People and Processes, explained his company’s outlook on this issue. “When you talk about change and you talk about equipment availability in general, everybody points fingers at maintenance,” he said. “They say, ‘Okay, all the problems with the equipment reliability are related to poor maintenance practices.’

The #1 tool for enterprise reliability

“The reality is everybody in the manufacturing organization—engineering, production, sales and marketing, management, purchasing—all those people own a portion of the asset reliability.”

For example, he said, one basic question in maintenance is: how does a company schedule maintenance work?

“That's part of the work execution process. And when we look at work execution, there are some particular components in there. How do we establish our PM (Preventive Maintenance) and PdM (Predictive Maintenance) program?  From these inspections, we find equipment in the process of failure. These corrective actions require varying levels of planning.

“Generally, planned work requires materials and you've got to involve the storeroom. Once we have the parts and resources to accomplish the work, we have to schedule it. You've got to get access to the equipment itself, so that's production planning. You need to get them to let the equipment go so you can actually maintain it instead of running it to failure all the time. While run-to-failure is a legitimate strategy, it is not when there are safety, environmental, or operational consequences.

“At the end of the day, the business needs to make money. We understand that, but at the same time, when you push the button, you want the equipment to go and to run at a rate for the duration we need it to run. Because downtime costs are expensive.

“It's all about the people and it's all about the processes,” he added. “The number one tool for reliability is standardized work. And that's a process.”

One such process is in effectively gathering information to improve one’s understanding of enterprise maintenance. Among Jeff’s recommended reads for those interested in the subject:

  1. Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Handbook” by Doc Palmer.
  2. “Maintenance Planning And Scheduling Coordination” by Don Nyman & Joel Levitt.
  3. Tying multiple concepts together, he also suggested reading “Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices” by Ramesh Gulati.

Additionally, Jeff has written a book detailing the kitting process, a method used to ensure necessary parts are available when planned maintenance orders are executed. The book is called “Kitting in Maintenance Made Simple” and was co-authored with Daniel DeWald.

Scuba diving to a career change

Both people and processes are components that Jeff is passionate about. Beginning his career as a controls engineer, his career path took him to Mars, Inc. where he began working his way through various jobs, from a reliability technician to a maintenance manager and then an operations manager.

While in this position, he was one of three people from manufacturing to attend a leadership development course within the organization. “I went to the leadership training and basically realized that where my career was going was not necessarily where I wanted to go.”

A short time later, with the conflict between his career path and his heart on his mind, he went on a scuba diving trip to Cozumel.

“Instead of spending a whole lot of time scuba diving, I spent a whole lot of time by the pool thinking through things.” Examining the pros and the cons of staying with Mars, at the end of the day, he decided the right path for him was to leave the company.

The genesis of People and Processes

In the meantime, several peers had invited him to join their consulting group if he decided not to stay with Mars. “I took a leap of faith and said that I was going to do that for a couple years,” he recalled.

However, there were a lot of changes within that group, and he found he would be expected to replace two others that had been fired. Jeff said, “I rolled out of the company and that very week, started People and Processes with some of those guys.”

Now, Jeff and his team members travel across the US and globally to help manufacturing facilities improve their processes. “We work all across the industries,” he said. “It could be a subway system, a university, or a manufacturing plant.”

Regardless of where People and Processes are working, they bring in a very clear perspective and ideas that set them apart from other consultants.

For example, some other agencies believe that the important thing when coming into an organization is to redefine the culture. “You may not want to change the culture,” he said.

“It takes years and years to build a corporate culture or a plant culture. At the end of the day, the focus really has to not be on a change in the culture but changing the work behaviors.”

Jeff-Shiver, CMRP at a Conference

The work behavior – role connection

One way they change work behaviors is to implement specific roles and the associated practices. “’What do we want this Planner Scheduler to do? Well, we want him or her to do this work in this way.’ The same thing for an operator. ‘How do we want someone to operate a piece of equipment?’ That way, when things fail, we can go back and understand why it failed.

“If everybody goes and does it their own way and the equipment fails, what method or approach do we fix?”

People and Processes were brought in, for example, to help a sawmill that was about to go out of business. “They were losing close to $75,000 a month, so it was very expensive to continue operations and they're heading into the building downturn that happened several years ago.

“Some people needed to leave, others just weren't the right fit for the role they were in.

“We found that the maintenance technicians there were working 90-plus hours a week. You can only do that for so long. You get burned out and that's when you start making mistakes.”

With an estimated 70% of equipment failures being self-induced and 40% of that due to human error, Jeff said, “It is important that we do maintenance in the right way at the right time.”

By helping define the company’s best practices, they were able to help the sawmill not only survive but to become very profitable.

Another example of outlining processes was when Jeff travelled to China to help a chemical plant from the standpoint of planning and scheduling. “In the first year,” he recalled, “they gained back almost 2 million dollars, simply by implementing the processes that we helped them develop to improve their planning and scheduling.”

Create the business processes and RACI documents to define roles

It’s not only helping define processes and roles, Jeff said. This strategy is important, even when implementing new components or tools. “When you put in a system like Solufy, what you really want to do is to define your business processes. From those, you create a RACI (Responsibility, Accountability, Consulting and Informed) document to define the roles of those who will use that new tool.

“Often, companies don't take the time to develop these workflows,” he said. “They want to go slap new approaches or systems in. But then they fail miserably and they don't understand why.  

“The benefit of the RACI is saying for schedulers, ‘Okay you do this. You're accountable for these items. Then, you might need support for these items. And we will just keep you in the loop for these other items from an information standpoint.’

“The RACI becomes the job description.”

Maintenance will play a pivotal role in the digital future

“The ability for software to automate the finding of equipment in the act of failure or failure itself using sensors, diagnostics and other instrumentation has existed for many years,” Jeff said. “Likewise is the ability to automatically generate work orders to address the findings based on if-then rules. Automating the scheduling of work also exists based on predefined planning rules.  

“I was working in a controls engineering function nearly 15 years ago doing many of these items.” However, the role of technology has been increasing exponentially in the manufacturing and facility environments as companies continue to look to ways to automate business processes and equipment functions, Jeff added.  

A challenge “has been an organization’s ability to develop, implement and sustain the aggregation of different platforms into a seamless solution that functions well,” he stated. “With the Internet of Things (IoT), these applications are starting to gain more traction. As they do, cost and ease of implementation will determine the rate of adoption.”

Additionally, he said, with increasing automation, greater demands are continually placed on the maintenance function. “As our dependence on these assets and systems increases, so does the cost to own and operate them.

“Greater automation means that it is realistic to expect serious failures that affect our ability to achieve compliance with safety, environmental, and quality requirements. This will place maintenance playing a pivotal role in all aspects of the financial and physical health of the different organizations,” he said.

Inspiring 10,000 people towards reliability best practices

With all of these trends in mind, Jeff Shiver will be delivering the keynote address at Solufy’s upcoming User Group meeting in Denver, Colorado, a prospect he is looking forward to. “One of the things that I really enjoy is telling stories,” he said. Another component is simply meeting new people.

“Our mission is to inspire 10,000 people in the next five years,” he said. “We help people become successful by guiding and mentoring them with reliability and best practices.”

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Mariah Patterson

Mariah Patterson began writing as a child as a way to fill her time when her family moved to an isolated region in Maine. With no close friendships, developing cabin fever from intense snowstorms and only one fuzzy Canadian channel on TV, she created her own world through writing.

She began her

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