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Maintenance Foundations Maintenance Management

To Jump-start your progress, how to hit the ground running?

Even though we have a plan and milestones in place, we need to closely follow up the few first steps that we take to convert the target into a real world progress. One of the best ways to let our targets touch the ground with wheels running is to look at it from an Agile or Adaptive approach as per PMI definitions and framework.

Is it early to give a look on your new targets? We are good at setting review points or evaluation points for the progress of our new targets on reasonable periods. If it is a 6-month target then monthly is good. For yearly targets monthly or bimonthly can be good. Now with only 2 weeks passed from the new year start, you may think it is early to give a look back to your new year resolutions or maintenance targets. The fact is that’s the time to give it a rational look. The points in time that involve new starts boosts our energy as we explained in this article: The power of a new startup.

But sometimes we get too excited that we intend things that won’t add a real value. Or, things that are not clear to us. Other times we are trapped to commit to such things based on management pressure. Now after the excitement or the stress is over, it is time to elaborate on the targets that we had committed to.

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How to elaborate on our targets?

The elaboration we are after has the sense of detailing. So, if we need to make it clearer; let’s say it in another way. It is the time now to craft the details, the milestones and the pilot run of our targets. Usually, for personal or business targets the initial submission carries an overview. Some of these broad targets ae set by the management based on financial advice. Firstly, the Board, which can be the owner, yourself or yourself and your partner for personal targets, makes a flashy target. Let’s increase profit by 5% or let’s increase savings by 10%. Then the financial team pin points where are the candidates who can roughly fulfill this ambitious target.

The details of the execution are left for the middle management to elaborate. Even if you made your own target for business or personal achievement, the details are not there yet. Now we had just created the colorful vision boards. And we are onboarding the team to be engaged with fulfilling this target. However, so far all of this has no solid steps to execute, contingency plan or even risk analysis.

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Detailing our targets will lead us to creating a robust plan for them. The elements of the plan and the psychological requirements to its success are in the below articles. However, we need to explore another dimension today:

How about being Agile in you targets for this year?

When we say Agile, usually software programs pop up to our mind. Maybe the reason is that the first ever Agile Manifesto was placed for Software Projects. And up till now, the 12 points of the Agile Manifesto speaks about software development. However, Software and AI are now dominating the headlines and the crowds mind. Since then, many organizations started to extend the usage of software acronyms to other activities. So after we had a long time living with social media marketing now, we have AI marketing (Artificial Intelligence Marketing). You can find 100’s or 1000’s of articles proving with number how this approach shifted their business performance.

Anyhow back to our talk about trying an Agile approach when detailing our new year targets, it is wise to see how PMI (Project Management Institute) is tackling the agility in projects. Why we refer to PMI? Because their framework proved to be successful along the years. Whether you are in the project management team or just you need to organize your task as a project, their methodologies create the right mindset for a successful endeavor.

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Why we may consider an Agile approach to achieve progress in targets realization?

Before jumping to conclusions that agility doesn’t fit your project or your target, give it a try. You can add it to your new year resolutions that you may or may not fulfill without blaming yourself. PMI says that Agile approaches are considered adaptive. And, Adaptive approach is one of PMI valid approaches for projects when requirements are subject to a high level of volatility or uncertainty. On the other hand, the predictive approach which is the classical or waterfall approach for projects management. The predictive approach implies that everything needed to create the output of the project is known and can be planned beforehand.

Let’s take Agile into real world maintenance targets to make a progress

To simplify things and satisfy the needs of the two worlds. PMI proposes a hybrid approach between adaptive and predictive. The hybrid approach fits in projects, targets and tasks that has multiple outputs that one of them can be adaptive. Like producing a software that runs on a physical device. Maybe you think the physical device needs a predictive approach and software can be adaptive and grow progressively. But how about creating prototypes and giving a margin for iterations while exploring the complete end target.

I had a trial where we were shouldered a target to change normal lighting to solar lighting allover an industrial plant. In this environment you are subject to different thermal stresses and chemical vapors. The predictive approach is to make an intensive study and tender document and make a big tender for it. The adaptive approach is used when a high level of uncertainty and volatility are there and are likely to change throughout the project. And this was the case. We had no prior experience in solar products so we need to proceed with the project while we are building up our understanding. It was a one year project and directly passed to quality assurance to follow up with us as part of the yearly targets that were added to the ISO9001 system.

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So, we started by pilot areas and pilot orders. We explored the manufacturing capacities and importing capabilities of various vendors. Above all we are speaking of 1000’s of lamps and fixtures. Who has this capacity and can guarantee the performance in this environmental conditions. It was wise to test the actual performance in pilot areas and, to reach to solid savings and suitability to environment condition of vapors, fine dust, temperature and continuous vibrations.

Even some manufactures offered to simulate these conditions in their labs to certify that their product is suitable for this harsh environment of the steel industry that they didn’t know it exists.

Let’s go more Agile in a coming article.

In Conclusion,

Even though we have a plan and milestones in place, we need to closely follow up the few first steps that we take to convert the target into a real world progress. One of the best ways to let our targets touch the ground with wheels running is to look at it from an Agile or Adaptive approach as per PMI definitions and framework.

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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