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Maintenance Foundations Maintenance Management

What is your next step in maintenance? – I

An intro to move forward to the next step in any of the maintenance management pillars and what you need to be aware of the grid that constructs this page of life.

There is a universal law, if you don’t move forward you will be slipping backward. So always intend to take forward steps in you maintenance career. The next step logically comes after the step you are in and is followed by the next to the next step. To know your next step you need to know your current location and where you can go from this point.

Just a couple of important notes that worth mentioning here before proceeding.

Watch out while moving to the next step

Usually life as the original blueprint taught us to see and craft our life as an interconnected web. So we are dots in the interconnected moving web spaces. Always let your choice be to progress forward, up and down in this multidimensional web. But, if it is your choice to hold tight to your position while the web is changing. This usually leads you to be in a position behind your previous one i.e. as if you moved backward.

Work is just one of these interconnected webs. Maintenance as a career redefines your web in the work space. You can simply change this workspace by changing your career or moving to another company. Also, you can chose to move forward in your career in this work space or in another one. However, the maintenance career itself has different pillars. You maybe at different level in each pillar. So you may be at innocence level in Reliability but you are at experienced level in Work Management or team work. On the other hand, you might be at competence level in material management but at understanding level in supporting systems.

Understanding your current level or the point where you exist relative to each element allows you to progress forward to the next level. But, this next level need to be well defined so you can map your steps up to there correctly. Otherwise, you might be targeting people management while you are actually improving team work or work management; It is a little bit mixed and might be confusing.

One more point to watch out. Let’s assume that you had decided ta take a zero-hero crash course. Then, watch out that if you are at the zero level, you won’t be able to comprehend the hero level. Why? because you need to grow one step at a time. After comprehending levels 0, 1 & 2, you can head for level 3 & 4. Don’t get frustrated by not comprehending the details at the end of the journey when you didn’t yet embark on the journey.

A final note here, a longer path can be an easier one. You can enrich your imagination about all this using the below simple illustration.

Maintenance next step web-1-2

Is there a simple guide for moving forward in maintenance?

I am going to share with you some insights from the maturity grid developed by James V. Reyes-Picknell in his book UPTIME. I found it useful in classifying maintenance management elements in a manageable way. It even divides the commonly piled together elements into different but interlinked tracks. So you can chose where to focus and how to improve every element with enough effort and dedication.

So the maintenance maturity grid separates the maintenance team management into two (2) pillars; People pillar and Team work pillar. Also it dedicates its first pillar to the the Strategy. We had explored the meaning of a strategy and how to build one in a sires of articles that you can find on our blog starting from:  Is the strategy only for auditors’ satisfaction? Also, you can find an extensive session about it in our below training.

Then, maintenance planning levels where included in the Work Management pillar. Next pillars show you your level in maintenance preparation, execution and analysis under the labels: Basic care, Performance Management and Asset Reliability. That’s where you can asses your level of analyzing and applying maintenance techniques e.g. using RCM -Reliability Centered Maintenance-. Also, you can find an extensive session about RCM in our below training.

Lastly, you need to asses your current position relative to supporting systems and maintenance processes.

Each of these 10 Pillars has 5 levels. You start from “innocence” where every thing is going wrong and you don’t know what you can do. Then you grow to “awareness” where you know that there is something different then what you were doing before. So, you start taking forward steps. After that you become “understanding”. When you understand then you can improve what you are doing and become “competent”. After being competent you can improve more to reach “excellence”

How to asses your level in any of the maintenance maturity grid pillars?

To understand properly and then act upon your understanding, you need to ask the right questions. So, you need to ask where are you now in each element of the maintenance maturity grid. Then, you will read through the grid where to head next.

Maintenance Management pillars
Maintenance Maturity Grid

Simply you ask your self some questions pre-prepared for you in the maturity grid. If you confirm with the status of any level, then you are in this level. Then you read the prerequisites for the next level and start moving toward it and so on. When you reach excellence, it is not the end of the journey. Staying there needs a continuous effort to continue doing what brought you there. Beside this you need to be aware to the changes in the internal and external business environment and updating your performance based on them.

How to know that you are at the Innocence level? And where to head next?

Let’s start by what to ask yourself to know if you are still at the innocence level at any of the Maintenance Maturity Pillars. It is always wise to start by the easy stuff to conquer the concept then you delve deeper. So, let’s start by the Work Management Pillar i.e. work planning & scheduling.

To know if you are still at the innocence level or not ask yourself:

  • Are we planning ahead for our maintenance activities?
  • For how long? And which activities?
  • Is there a schedule for the maintenance activities we shall do?
  • Do we comply to what is scheduled?

In case your answer is between No planning or few days planning and we have a rough schedule that we hardly comply to, then the maintenance work management is still at the innocence level. To grow tot he awareness level, you need to have a well coordinated schedule that maintenance truly complies to at least 50% of it. And at least you have planning for shutdowns.

The beauty of reading references such as the Uptime Strategies for Excellence in Maintenance Management is that you gain a structured way to grow with defined steps. You don’t need to comply with every idea and recommended figure but at least you have a guide. And that’s what we offer in our Maintenance management trainings and Coaching Services.

In Conclusion,

To move forward to the next step in any of the maintenance management elements you need to be aware of the grid, the web, the matrix or whatever constructs this page of life. Then you need to know your position relative to each element. Are you at the zero or the hero level? After assessing your current level, you need to know what your next step would look like and what are the different options to go there. Finally, take actions towards your next step. After some time you assess your location again, if you reached what was your next step few weeks or months before, you start working on reaching the next level to your current position and so on in all the elements of your work, career, hobbies etc.

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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