Maintenance Management

Does Maintenance need a starting block?

Maintenance needs a starting block to boost its performance & preload the maintainers mental and physical muscles with the necessary tools.

The literal starting blocks are those used by athletes in sprint racing. Starting blocks are also used as the starting point of swimming races. It has many functions; Marks the starting point; Braces the athletes’ feet against the start of the race so they do not slip. The blocks also enable the athletes to adopt a more efficient starting posture and preload their muscles. This allows them to start more powerfully and increases their overall sprint speed. Athletes use the starting blocks every time they start a race. We at maintenance also run maintenance sprints with every task. So, maintenance also needs a starting block to boost its performance, give it the necessary push and preload the maintainers mental and physical muscles with the necessary tools.

What could be a maintenance starting block?

Actually there are many starting blocks for any maintenance task whether it is a planned or an emergency one. However there is a one starting block that is inevitable and can be considered the main one. It is the knowledge.

The Knowledge needed as a maintenance starting block

First we need to be clear about what knowledge means:

Knowledge is the information, understanding, or skill that you get from experience or education. It is the the state of being aware of something. Aware has the sense of be aware of the danger

For your maintenance team to be aware of the maintenance tasks or activities they are performing; they need to have a complete set of information about each of them. This set of information must be assembled in one document that links them together.

The set of information may include basically, but not limited to the following:

  • Number and name of the equipment that will be hosting this activity
  • The Location Number and name
  • Type of the task linking it to its category as PM activity, PdM activity, repair, new installation, etc.
  • A brief description of what will be done
  • Link to the details of the activity
  • An expected outcome or deliverables as an equipment restored to certain defined condition, inspection records filled, data collected, condition of checked item
  • Safety measures needed
  • Documentations or link to it as drawings
  • Parts
  • Tools
  • Any site coordination needed or other parties working on same equipment or location in the form of Roles and responsibilities
  • Duration expected from handover to maintenance to delivery back to operation
  • Skills needed
  • Team members

The second starting block; the motivator

This doesn’t imply that each team member needs motivation to do every task. The understanding of the importance of maintenance to maintain the continuity of the business is crucial. So every team member should have a belief that his job is of high importance to the workplace. This belief needs proofs to plant it into the team awareness. We had chatted before about the importance of maintenance. And how to prove it for other business units that do not understand it.

Those vibes of believing in the maintenance importance , can’t be propagated to others if the sender is on another frequency. The manager, the boss, the leader, may have this believe in maintenance. But the team has more interactions with the business environment. Their vibes and performance radiate more dominant vibes. The dominance needs continuity. So, if you managed to entrench the believes of how good is maintenance for the business and everyone in this business environment, you will tune all the transmission to the right frequency.

Then, the synchronization theory motivates the teams to do and care about this important activity i.e. the maintenance activities. The pendulums or clocks synchronization theory is simple. If two pendulums or more have no barriers in between them, their oscillation will synchronize. To tune the maintenance team awareness to the importance of maintenance, the maintenance team needs proofs, stories, calculations and examples. Same effort is needed as the effort we had chatted about to convey the idea to those from outside the maintenance. There are some chats about that linked below:

Third starting block; the capability

That’s include the skill, the physical ability, mental ability. We extend our physical ability with tools. We enhance our mental ability with training. Usually, we are not willing to do anything that we think that it will be hard, or it will be difficult, it will include struggles and, such vibes. Moreover, we don’t have the courage to step into the unknown. As Chinese is classified as the most difficult language in earth to learn, when we can’t comprehend something we say it looks Chinese. This implies that it has a high level of difficulty. This perception comes just from the mystery of the topic.

In short, believing that we are capable, encourages us to start seamlessly, effortlessly and without any delay. If you ask someone to use a tool that he doesn’t know, take a measure that he doesn’t understand it, or go to a place that he doesn’t know the route to; Then, don’t expect that he will continue to do this task.

The last one for now; the environment

The business environment is where all of us live for a major part of our day. Moreover, we take a big chunk of the thoughts and emotions we had experienced back to home. If this environment does not act as a starting block, it will weaken the support of other starting blocks. The business environment need to follow Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As higher as it provides in the pyramid, as stronger as your team will start with each task.

Maslow Pyramid - 1

It starts with the Physiological needs. It is simply the need to eat, drink, breath and sleep or rest. We all had passed by days when we were stressed or totally engaged and pushed against a deadline where we forgot about food, drinks and even sleep for a day or so. That’s accepted once in a while. It can’t be the normal life style. When the maintenance team spends more time doing properly planned activities where for most of the time his Physiological needs are fulfilled, they would have enough boost for every task even the emergency ones.

This boost grows as the feeling of safety and security in the workplace and outside it grows. Furthermore growth will happen when the relation between the team members, the relation with other teams and the relation with the higher levels are all based on the collaboration and respect. This pays off for sure.

In conclusion,

Maintenance needs a starting block to boost its performance, give it the necessary push and preload the maintainers mental and physical muscles with the necessary tools at every task. The repetition can cause dullness and decay in the enthusiasm. When having sufficient starting blocks with every new start of the same task from the knowledge, the motivators, the trust in your capability, and, the environment, the repetition may enhance the experience i.e. the knowledge and opens the doors for continuous improvement.

If you feel you need help with any of these ideas we discussed, drop us a line for initial investigation in the form by Clicking here or request Management Consultancy or Coaching Services From our Store

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By Rezika

I intend to create a better-managed value adding working environment.
Projects and Maintenance Manager with broad experience in industrial plants. Managed Projects and applied different maintenance strategies and improvements tasks in different industrial plants: steel, cement, and food industries.

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