Beyond KPI’s

Working Together or in Silos

Working Together or in Silos

In the asset management world measuring performance through the right KPI’s is important, focusing on the results of the asset management processes and adjusting regularly to the trends seen on the dashboards is vital to continuous improvements.
However it is not enough just to focus on the KPI’s, one always needs to be aware of what is behind the KPI’s, what behaviours KPI’s are driving and what is the ultimate goal for the business as a whole.

A batch production process breaks down, it is a small component that is relatively easy to change, just takes a few hours to do. However, the spare part is not available in stock and it will take 2 weeks to get that spare part. Luckily, they have two exactly the same types of processes side by side and the production batch cycles allow for the part to be taken from one manufacturing process and installing it on the other process while the batch preparation is done. Thus not affecting the production and delivery of the product is without any production losses noticeable.
So the Maintenance Supervisor adapts to this situation and had a Maintenance Technician perform the switch regularly keeping the production, as well as the customer, happy because production went as planned.
However when focusing on the maintenance KPI parameters this results in an increased Break Down Maintenance over the 2 week period, as they needed to move the part from one process to the next in line with the batch production cycles. This also resulted in non-compliance to part of the PM program, as the maintenance technician did not have the time to do all the planned PM’s because of the added Break Down Maintenance. It can also be assumed that because the PM’s where not done that could result in further unforeseen breakdowns.
The Maintenance Manager comes to the Maintenance Supervisor not happy with his decision, because he monitored the KPI’s and could see that the Maintenance KPI’s, noticeably the break down KPI and PM compliance KPI where not trending in the correct direction.
After weighing the options and understanding the story behind the KPI’s development the Maintenance Manager agreed that out of a bad situation the Maintenance Supervisor selected the best possible path.
If everyone is focused on a single dominating goal, it is less challenging to adjust to situations as described in the example here above, as long as we understand the underlying attributes that affect the KPI’s developments.
However in a silo situation where there might be tension between the silo’s (e.g. production vs. maintenance). In that case the example might have developed in a different way, i.e. half the production down for 2 weeks because of a failure where the spare part cannot be delivered for 2 weeks, the maintenance KPI’s would suffer a bit (one break down) but the production KPI’s would suffer even more.
Food for thought:
Is there a clear understanding in your organization for the why’s of the decisions that are made, i.e. are there clear governing goals?
Do you sometimes sacrifice your goals for the greater governing goals? And are you recognized for that?
I welcome your feedback and discussions below this Blog post.


Blog on a poll asking: What do you think is the most important aspect of Asset Management?

A while back I posted a poll with a few possible options as answers to this question and in this blog I will publish the results and some thoughts as well on this.

Participation was 161 votes and the result was as shown in this picture here below:

Poll result on the question: What do you think is the most important aspect of Asset Management?

Poll result on the question: What do you think is the most important aspect of Asset Management?

The answers in other (10.65%) were as follows:

  1. open sharing of knowledge
  2. Workforce awareness and education
  3. Understanding Risk & Consequence
  4. All of the above
  5. Asset Management Initiation
  6. Understanding the asset
  7. asset management results
  8. Reliability
  9. there is no most important. Most of the items above are essential
  10. All of the above
  11. Effective Change Management
  12. asset management outcomes
  13. people
  14. They are all equally important
  15. Value adding proces
  16. Risk Analysis
  17. Good Communication with all involved!!!!!

There were also some comments made on the poll’s web site as follows:

  • I voted for the continuous improvement approach. The meaning of that approach, however, should include ongoing communication with major equipment suppliers to assure that the bill of material for the equipment is up to date. All other planning will fall short if replacement parts are not available to support maintenance and reliability efforts.
  • My point is that if any organisation expects improvement in EAM area (I assume, if no improvement is expected all that poll makes no sense) it should concentrate on assessment of the present state of Asset Management. That means analysis of business KPIs and getting to some conclusion. The feedback – whatever it is – means some decisions which will be executed with EAM Business Processes. Very few organisations use EAM Balanced Scorecards, so the relevant decisions may depend on personal criteria of the managers. Whatever decisions are taken their implementation will affect business processes, so I reckon, Asset Management Processes are always involved, so that item of the poll should be regarded as the most influencing. However, a holistic approach seems to be obvious, but one should remember that some companies have developed EAM strategies and plans only in documents for stakeholders, if they have had any…
  • I don’t see a lot of difference between some of the categories. Some could well be a component of another.
  • All companies have headline business policies irrespective of whether they are explicit or not, though clearly a well defined policy will be better communicated, however, I believe that at the heart of the asset management process is the strategy. A clear map of where we are – where we are going and how we will get there! A cyclic process of continual review and course adjustment whilst in operation will complete the process. Thus without a well defined strategic core, asset management initiatives will fail.

There was one extra comment made directly under the poll at this blog site:

  • I have been acting long time maybe too long as a management consultant and still I can see alot of unefficiency on a shop floor lever. Examples of these areas are e.g. maintenance planning, multiskilled people, bad collaboration between production, production planning, sales and maintenance.                                         I agree with the opinion a maintenence strategy is mandatory, but in this changing world sometimes the business strategy/goals of a company can be a bit “fuzzy” too and then subgoals/strategies can be even more difficult to give or get.          So, quite practical approach can give sometimes a faster and higher ROI>>>Fix things you can and leave the rest!

Above you have now seen all the raw data from the poll and comment´s made to date. I would like to leave the interpretation mostly to you, my dear reader, as I know the people who read this blog are quite intelligent people working in the great field of Asset Management.

As we can soon see in the emerging ISO5500x series of standards Asset Management is a very iterative management system and as with most systems as soon as one element of the management system is taken out the whole system will not be as effective in delivering the results that are desired.

I can say that the results overall do not surprise me for one and I would like to encourage you all to comment and discuss the results in the comments section here below.

Why do we do the things we do?

Watching this video from where Simon Sinek is talking about the power of “Why” made me think a bit about why do I do what I do. Here are my conclusions.

For me, it would be because of the multiple complexities of my job. I love tackling them and experiencing the positive results as well as learning from the less positive results.

For me, Asset Management is the greatest field of working possible to be in, I have a real passion for it. I am lucky enough to have worked in this field with many great people throughout my career. Learning every step of the way more and more, realizing that there is seldomly only one correct way to go in any given situation. This is where the complexities of Asset Management come into play; there are so many aspects to consider that it is almost impossible that there is always only one correct way to go. The Asset Management world is rarely only White OR Black, we seem to live in constant changing levels of grey. In addition, this is a great place to be if you enjoy constant challenges like me.

So why do I do the things I do is because I love being challenged, and working in Asset Management ensures that I am constantly challenged!

I now challenge you to take a moment out of your time and look at the video from Simon Sinek, after you have watched it think about why you do what you do and hopefully continue to have a great passion for it.

Thank you for reading my blog. I do try to post here regularly, however I am also very lucky to have a lot of work to do and a lot to enjoy at home so therefore I have little free time to blog. Thank you for understanding and please leave your comment.

Sharing is important!

There I am sharing, presenting in a Maintenance Conference in Qatar.

There I am sharing, presenting in a Maintenance Conference in Qatar.

Reading a great article from Ron Moore got me thinking about why sharing is so important in Asset Management, Maintenance and Reliability. Not only is it important, it is also a very powerful tool to improve beyond our wildest dreams. One man’s failure can be the next man’s success story.

Sharing experiences, going to different companies, viewing how various industries approach maintenance, going to conferences to learn from many presenters and also making new contacts from other companies that one day might hold the answer you are looking for: all this is the power of sharing and we could name even more.

In Iceland I was a part of a great group of people who founded the Icelandic Maintenance Association back in 2009. Since then some great achievements have been made in Iceland, the most notable being that companies are regularly visiting each other and hosting meetings where they discuss the challenges they face and the approach that they use in solving these challenges as well as what has worked and what has not.

This is obviously a big investment for these companies, however it is paying back very quickly both in knowledge and personal relationships where people are ready, able and willing to help out in times of need.

One of the many keys to success in Asset Management, Maintenance and Reliability is sharing your knowledge to enhance other people’s knowledge and your own. I have learned through my many years in this area that I get the most when I talk and teach, it sounds reverse, and it is, but true.

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I feel truly blessed and lucky that I chose a profession that I am passionate about, or as Confucius said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

I would like to challenge you all to share what you know, get into contact with people in your profession and build relationships that one day might make the difference you are looking for.

Of course you are welcome to connect with me and it will be my pleasure to share my knowledge with you to improve your business.