Life and work both include natural and man-made milestones. A new year is one of those milestones in life and work. When you speak about maintenance performance you can refer to last maintenance day, last long shutdown or last failure. However, maintenance performance in the last year sums up all those individual marks. Although the monthly performance reports reflects how maintenance performed in a logical period of time, what remains in the records and the minds is the yearly result. That’s why this call of reflecting back upon what happened during the year is a call to ease the bias of the end result.
It is not far from football leagues; the position of each team in the history of the league is its position at the end of the season regardless of how good or bad matches it played. However the true fans of the team and the players has the memory of each match; why this match was a good one and why the next one was a complete failure.
Do not forget the journey!
Lessons learned are results of reflecting back on each chunk of our time line. You may consider a maintenance day as a unit to drive lessons learned from. Alternatively, you look at each job as an opportunity to make the next job better. A moderate number of events can help you analyze the collected data better. As we said in this talk: Intend to make use of the data; what you collect from field and as job feedback is information. They are upgraded to data when you intend to analyze them.
So, looking back at each individual job will help you make the next one better. But, looking back on all the tasks within a month may raise some flags that you need to take a reforming action. Reflecting back on a complete year will give a more indicative conclusion as believed by the group consciousness.
It is always better to support ideas with examples. So let us take the yearly employee evaluation and the yearly business unit results and delve deeper with them.
The yearly employee evaluation, is it a perception or a conclusion
Conclusions are driven by analysis of situations. While perceptions are drawn by expectations. So you might expect that someone should do a better job so you draw a perception that he is not performing well. When you come to analysis to drive a conclusions, you start asking definite questions. What is his job description? Which jobs were handed to him? What were the results of each job? Did he raise a flag about some of these jobs?
The deficiency might come from assigning him some jobs that are not within his skill set. If he raised a flag, then his supervisor need to be asked about why this situation is repeated? If he didn’t raise a flag, he might have a communication problem not a technical problem. And, his supervisor caused this illusionary perception. The wrong perception on the other hand may come from the last job or the last week when he delayed for a couple of times even though his yearly attendance was good or at least acceptable. If you believe that he\she should improve their attendance record, did his supervisor raise this flag early enough?
As you can see, you need to go through a year long of monthly evaluations or points if you adopt this system or, you reflect back on a recorded list of job results, attendance, remarks and so on to drive a conclusion. That why the definition of a checklist by Wikipedia was touching a critical point in our daily life; “it is an aid to compensate potential limits of human memory and attention”.
Yearly business unit results report
This yearly review of the business performance comes on 2 folds. The performance of the business in general and, the performance of each individual business unit. The results evaluation are usually based on targets set by the management at the beginning of the year. i.e. at least a year ago from the review time. That’s a very good example of how you managed to stay on the track along the year.
The maintenance yearly targets
They are usually some items of a common list of benchmarks that might include:
- Safety records. That’s injuries, accidents and incidents. Ultimately your inner target should be zero on all of them but, that’s impractical. Most of the time those values are recorded by other business units. Then the maintenance team need to justify or defend. One of the cases I faced was a record of sick leaves in the maintenance due to injury of one of my team that. I was quite sure that we had no accidents for this month. Digging deeper, it was found that one of my team twisted his leg while going to the dinning hall and the inhouse clinic gave him the rest of the day OFF. However this record was recorded on the maintenance team.
- Cost of maintenance. That’s a very wide topic that you need to itemize.
- The cost of spare parts consumed from the store.
- Exceeded, Why? may be some accidents, bad maintenance, wrong estimations
- Around, OK
- Far below, Did you forget to maintain the equipment this year? Was production stopped due to weak demand? Did you over estimate the budget?
- Exceeded, new hiring, unplanned wages increase
- Below, some resignations, Why? How handled?
- Overtime compensation
- Exceeded, Why? Rework, accidents? wrong estimation
- Below, Wrong estimation?
- The spares purchased within the year
- Are you stocking or consuming within the same year?
- Is there any urgent purchased parts? Why
- Prices increased?
- Where you just reserving a budget amount?
- The cost of spare parts consumed from the store.
The business overall results
The business units might have a direct effect on the business overall results. While in other cases the business results might require an action due to other external factors as inflation or competition. Those external factors will be reflected to new targets for the coming year. Those new targets vary between cutting costs to upgrading the processes at minimum or no extra costs to win the competition. The best target review years are when your business units results are good and the overall business results are also exceptional. This may release the tension but never let it take you to lose monitoring conditions in the following year. The worst review meeting comes when your business units results are not fulfilling and the business is facing a slow down.
Anyhow those yearly review meetings do not pop up suddenly. You know that you will face one or many by the end of the business year. So, you should be all the time at reasonable cycles, reviewing your indicators and preparing your next action. Do not wait till the end of the year to get the result, you can anticipate it through your awareness along the year.
Seasonal or natural milestones to reflect back on are gifts that allow us to detour to the original track or a track that we want to go. Reflect back on your previous year as a journey and remember its details. Don’t get biased by the end results or the last instances of the year. This review will open your eyes to the new skills and reforms that you will need when embarking on your next year i.e. journey. Hope you manage to jump-start your new year to be your best year ever on planet EARTH and all the years to follow.
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