Maintenance Foundations Maintenance Management

The Future of Maintenance – Part 19 – Digital Challenges

The first step to digital confidence as well as any other sort of confidence is that you want to develop the awareness of the challenges that you are facing. And, to develop the consciousness of the alternatives to face those challenges.

The first step to digital confidence as well as any other sort of confidence is that you want to develop the awareness of the challenges that you are facing. And, to develop the consciousness of the alternatives to face those challenges. You can read more about digital confidence in this post The future of Maintenance – Part 18 – Digital Confidence.

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Awareness of the Digital Challenges

Let’s start with the bottom line then we elaborate. The main digital challenge is the continuous change and evolution of the tech. To be aware of the digital challenges we need firstly to know how we interface to the digital world. Those interfaces look pretty simple. You interact with your smart phone, it is not just a mobile phone anymore. In case you don’t have one of them for your own, surely there is one at home or at work. I am speaking about the tablet. It is not much different from a smart phone. The difference would be in the apps that make use of the large screen. By the way, developers and designers exert a good chunk of their time to create a great UI for all screen sizes.

The last common interface to the digital world is the desktop or the laptop computer. The main difference between them is the mobility.

What about special industrial digital tools?

Then lastly you deal with variations from those three categories. So industrial related computers and their apps looks different from the common personal ones. Some handheld devices as infrared cameras or ultrasonic devices have their own UI and menus that looks like no other office assistance or data logging apps. Also, vibration monitoring, alignment tools or ultrasonic greasing assistance have their own realm. They move the user through definite steps and check the feedback at every step for best results.

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Now, you know your battle field and sources of challenges. Then, you need to know what is behind each device in abstract way. We are all used to chat with friends, what is the abstraction of this and other digital activities.

Detailing the digital challenges

In other words, how do you use those digital interfaces. There are basic activities that we are doing while using any of the digital tools and interfaces. We can classify them simply into:

  • Finding, managing and storing digital information and content.
    • For example, using a search engine to find information and bookmarking useful websites and services.
    • This happens equally on any of the common digital devices. And on some of the special devices you have a search option for some key words or help
    • On the special devices when you record some data from field you always have the option to store them whether on internal or external medium
  • Communicating, interacting, collaborating, sharing and connecting with others.
    • For example, using email, instant messaging or social media.
    • All of this can be helpful in life and work together with making work requests, purchase request or parts request from store.
    • All these are forms of communications to ask for a service, a favor or physical goods or even using digital government services.
  • Organizing your work planes, budget, KPIs
    • For example, planning a maintenance day, attendance of the team or, stocktaking
    • In life, you can be managing a bank account or booking travel.
  • Solving problems and finding solutions using digital tools.
    • For example, looking through operation trends or maintenance log to find a root cause or failure mood.
    • Properly setting a device to record data from the field
    • You may also be teaching yourself simple tasks using tutorials, or using feedback from other internet users to solve common problems.
  • Creating basic digital content in order to engage digitally with teams, management or online communities and organizations
    • For example, Making a Pareto chart for failures or preparing the monthly performance. You may also prepare an upgrade proposal with project schedule and dynamic ROI equations.
    • Or simply creating a social media post, creating a text document such as a CV, creating and sharing a photo album or creating and sharing feedback about products and services.

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Why they are challenging?

Those basic five usage of digital devices we listed above as: Searching, Communicating, Organizing or planning, Solving problems and creating a digital content seems easy so why they are challenging for some of us?

As we said in the beginning, the continuous changing of the UI and the technologies is the main challenge. The next challenge is the experience in using a certain digital interface to achieve a specific result. In more simple words, Starting to write a monthly summary report will be challenging in the first few times. Collection of the data, verifying it and organizing it in readable format will be challenging. If writing same report is still challenging after five or six times, then you need to focus on a solution. Same concept is valid when using a smart measuring device or filling a service request and finding that it is challenging.

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The solution

The missing ingredient here is the repetition and the effort. We learn by repetition. So after a few times, we can repeat the same steps correctly. But, if this happens once a month, then you would probably forget what you did in the last month. However, without consciousness and expanding our awareness of the whole interface we are using, any variation in the requests would return us back to square zero. We would stumble as if doing it for the first time.

So, the time and effort are mainly needed to practice using this digital interface out of the time of need. This is the case for occasional usage of the digital interface. While if we come to use it daily or several times within the day, then our experience will naturally. But still the full awareness of the capabilities of this tool might never be reached if we keep repeating same steps without challenging ourselves to do something different or to do same thing in a different way.

In Conclusion,

The first step to digital confidence as well as any other sort of confidence is that you want to develop is the awareness of the challenges that you are facing. And, to develop the consciousness of the alternatives to face those challenges.

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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