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Maintenance Management

Maintenance Management 101- Between the jaws of the millstone

Why it is vital to be dynamic in your maintenance management? Why rigidity in controlling the maintenance team is not the best road?

Let us separate it into two parts: Maintenance and Management. After we understand each one simply and individually, it would be much easier to understand the true face of Maintenance Management.

Management

We can use some dictionary definition of Management to understand the connotation of the word. We shall use Oxford, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster dictionaries for the literal meaning Then we shall delve into the business point of view from indeed.com definition.

The process of dealing with or controlling things or people.

The act or art of managing : the conducting or supervising of something

the control and organization of something

Literal Definitions Oxford, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster dictionaries

Management is the coordination and administration of tasks to achieve a goal.

indeed.com

So, management is concerned about supervising, controlling and organizing to achieve a goal.

Maintenance

We had explained it in previous chats What is Maintenance? and How to transcend old maintenance perceptions?. Maintenance is simply efficiently and effectively maintaining the assets of the business in a good operable condition.

To maintain the assets operating as needed, maintenance should include:
  • A full set of activities well selected and analyzed
  • Trigger to initiate the execution of the activity
  • Planning all what is needed to execute the activity
    • Manpower
    • Tools
    • Spares
    • Duration
    • Procedures including safety
  • Coordinating and scheduling the time slot to execute it
  • Execution
    • Follow the procedure
    • Team Skills matching the activity and equipment
    • Record the Execution results and remarks on spot
  • Record the execution feedback to be analyzed
  • Reset the activity cycle or issue a new request for a complementary activity

Maintenance Management

Maintenance management is concerned about supervising, controlling and organizing the maintenance activities above to achieve a goal. Apparently the goal is the maintenance team goal but in reality it should be linked to the organization goals. That’s where maintenance is considered as an added value to the organization.

The organization sets goals for each business unit or allow each business unit to develop goals that shares the same organizational vision. For the sake of a simple explanation we shall chat around a production place which produces physical goods of any kind. The broad goals set by the top management would include quantity and quality of production, cost of unit produced, adherence to national regulations and and safety. Those goals might vary in number from year to year or even multiple times within the year based on the external business environmental conditions.

The maintenance manager who is a functional manager need to transform those goals into a clear workable instructions for his maintenance team. Meanwhile, he should be flexible enough to accommodate the new directives of the organization. However at the same time, to be bold enough to ask, clarify and explain the negative drawbacks of any new organizational initiative.

Maintenance Manager main functions

It is vital to be dynamic in your maintenance management. Rigidity in controlling the maintenance team is not the best road. You will faced by many contradicting needs from the organization and the internal and external business environment and your team. To know your position from each side you first need to know the functions expected from you in each side.

Organization related functions:
  • Accountable for the maintenance process targets.
    • Cost of maintenance is within the annual target
    • Assets availability for production are within the permissible values.
    • Operations Overall Efficiency represented by Uptime (Opposite to downtime or failure duration), effect on quality and effect on operations rate.
  • Responsible for the safety rules and procedures adherence of his team.
  • Sets the indicators that enables him to quickly spot any tendency of deviation within the maintenance process execution.
    • This is not only for the maintenance share in the organizational targets
    • Also, closely follow up the preparation activities that ends up by a maintenance activity execution. This includes the planning, coordination and scheduling, Task preparation, feedback completion and data analysis
  • Promotes the correct maintenance perception within the organization. Advocates that maintenance maintains the assets operating as needed. Deconstruct any obsolete perception that maintenance is only responsible for failing equipment.
People and communication functions
  • Accountable for the entire maintenance teams
    • That include the different teams in the maintenance process
      • Planning
      • Execution
      • Engineering
    • It includes the staffing process of the maintenance team
      • Adding new staff members
      • Closing the skill gaps in the current team members
      • Evaluating the team performance
    • Internal team coordination between vacations and work schedule is monitored by him
    • Blaming and claiming is not included in his tasks, only actions to correct the team performance are allowed.
  • Always looks for upgrading the maintenance process to adhere to the best practices. This continuous improvement target motivates the team and removes any sign of disengagement.
  • Delegates responsibilities to his direct subordinates and encourage them to do the same with their direct subordinates and so on. Each member of the maintenance team is always subject to decision making while executing and even preparing the different tasks. The freedom to take a decision and to be accountable for it uplifts the discipline of the team.
  • Coaching and personal support is crucial as long as he manages a team of humans not robots.
  • A manager need to move his team up step by step on the Maslow’s Pyramid of needs. Any forward step for any of the team motivates the complete team. Anyhow that’s would need another complete chat.

In Conclusion,

Maintenance management is the art of balancing the organizational and the individual needs. As a maintenance manager you have duties on both sides but, you need to balance your efforts to satisfy both worlds. That’s why it is vital to be dynamic in your maintenance management and, to avoid rigidity in controlling the maintenance team. With autumn, coffee aroma adds warmth to the chats, Enjoy.

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