8 Major Components to Success Building a Reliability Centered Culture

8 Major Components to Success Building a Reliability Centered Culture

 8 Major Components to Success Building a Reliability Centered Culture

Studies continue to show that upwards of 60% or organizations remain reactive from a Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices perspective.  Surprisingly, a healthy percentage outside of that 60% aren't run-to-failure organizations but practice unnecessary scheduled parts replacement strategies that are counterproductive to the bottom line profit. In both cases, opportunities are left on the table in the form of reduced costs and better efficiency. In this article, we will break apart the eight major components to establishing a Reliability Centered Culture from a people and processes perspective.  To help visualize the concepts, we’ll introduce case studies from experiences gained all over the world. In the end, you will be able to return to your organization with approaches that you can immediately put into place to move the pendulum forward proactively.
No matter if you read the news or listen to someone like me the one thing in common is changing the culture is difficult, requiring strong and committed leadership. All successful organizations which have moved to a Reliability Centered Culture had strong leadership. Strong leadership is not an option and is critical to moving the culture in the right direction.
In any situation where change is required we must first identify the problem. What is the problem and what pain is it causing? An example may be the culture is somewhat reactive and the business needs requires moving to a more proactive environment in order to meet the financial needs of the company (i.e. cost, throughput, safety, etc.). However, the movement from reactive to proactive sounds easy however it is not, if it were easy everyone would be proactive. The key is to focus on a Reliability Centered Culture.
A Reliability Centered Culture is built around a solid process which is measured, managed, and executed to a known standard. In today’s marketplace, one must ensure to follow the following 8 steps. They are critical to the financial stability and longevity of any organization.
I once heard a wise man say,  “If a step in a Process is Skipped or Performed at a Substandard Level it Creates Defects Known as Failures, the Output of a Healthy Reliability Process is Optimal Reliability at Optimal Cost”

"The 8 Steps to Successfully Building a Reliability Centered Culture" are:

1. Identify and Define the Problem (people, process, culture, cost, etc.), The first step in the problem solving process is to identify and define the problem. A problem can be regarded as a difference between the current state and future state.  In an organization, the problem is typically equipment not operating to the best demonstrated rate and the assets not maintained to specifications. Maintenance and Production are equally responsible for the way equipment runs, looks, and costs to achieve the required level of performance.

Process Reliability is a method for identifying problems which have significant cost reduction opportunities for improvements. A Process Reliability gap occurs when production operates below the asset nameplate design rate and maintenance maintains the asset reliability below the desired production requirements. Correcting this requires a directional change in culture resulting in managing the equipment to specifications (production and maintenance in alignment). Using the philosophy that maintenance management is to be considered in the same manner that all other business functions are considered, It is difficult to justify any other approach other than complete integration of maintenance management functions with total organizational management functions. 
The Enterprise Asset Management System (EAM) thus is a required tool to use to accomplish this difficult and complex task. This tool must provide accurate information for production and maintenance ensuring process reliability is optimized and managed. Moving toward a true proactive system requires a change of culture which requires processes are adhered to and managed. The other option has been used by many organizations who are no longer in business.

2.  Establish the Vision with Key Leaders, A vision is a picture of what an organization could and should be. A hallmark of great leaders is that their vision includes big ideas. Big ideas get people excited. A Vision by key leaders must include the proactive maintenance management concept with the idea that maintenance would be planned, scheduled and managed in a way that provides an efficient operating facility at all times. Add to this that maintenance should also be treated as an investment rather than a cost, and you have the comprehensive philosophy on which a proactive maintenance management system is built.   

If Maintenance is seen as an investment and is expected to show a positive return, then should maintenance be expected to improve the profitability of an organization as well. The management philosophy for maintenance is just as important as the philosophy established for any business operation.  For most industry, maintenance is a supervised function at best, with little real cost control but it must be a managed function employing the best methods and systems available to produce results that have a positive effect on profitability. The development of a vision to support the concept of proactive maintenance is important providing the success for any organization. 
3. Identify the 6 Major Losses (monetize the losses), Identifying and monetizing losses is critical to success of any transformation to a reliability centered culture. Without a defined method for identifying the gains and losses an organization will never achieve success. These losses should be visual to all employees, all the time.
  • Breakdowns – Partial Functional and Total Function Failures, Unplanned Maintenance     
  • Setups and Adjustments – Setup/Changeover, Material Shortages, Major Adjustments, Warm Up Time     
  • Small Stops – product flow problems, jams, miss-feeds, cleaning, inspecting     
  • Reduced Speed – anytime speed is less than theoretical (nameplate)     
  • Start-up Issues – could be loss product, scrap product, maintenance rework, etc.     
  • Production Issues – scrap/ rework of product, incorrect assembly of production equipment.
The visualization of losses follows the well known, “Hawthorne effect” (also referred to as the observer effect) and is a type of re-activity in which individuals improve an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness
4.  Receive Initial Senior Leadership Buy-in, To receive senior leadership buy-in, show them the "money". Monetize the opportunity, along with safety, and environmental impacts. When a recommendation is made to management to change the culture in an organization, money needs to be discussed in the beginning. Understand senior management has their wants and biases so you must know your leader. While monetizing the opportunity, potential safety and environment gains must be included as well.  Ron Moore explains in his book, “Making Common Sense Common Practice” that statistically as asset reliability increases, safety also improves at the same rate.
5.  Identify a Coach with a proven track record that you trust (Do not try to play a game without a coach)   Hiring a coach is a preferred method to success because we all have biases and do not want to learn as you transition your organization from reactive to proactive. Many organizations have what are called “False Starts” with new initiatives. This is why I recommend to anyone, “Never start a new initiative without an outside, hired, experienced, and trusted coach/advisor”. Have the potential coach explain how they would go about changing the culture to a proactive state. It is not recommended trying this effort alone because the probability of success is low. Most leaders attempt to try this transition without a coach and fail. If you have one chance to succeed, it’s doing it right when management is in agreement with your plan.
6.  Assess Current State to Future State, One must have a vision of future state and then measure current state against it. This can be done with a coach (preferred method because we all have biases), so “do it right the first time”. Many organizations have used internal resources and have not made or sustained the gains expected. (You don’t know what you don’t know)
7.  Develop a Master Plan with Targets and Goals, A Master Plan is typically developed using some type of project management software. Identify high level tasks first on a flip chart with key stakeholders. Then add subtasks afterwards, determine targets required to ensure the plan stays on course and is aligned with other tasks, and then ensure goals are reached at the end of each task. Be sure to measure or have clear statements of what obtaining each goal means. Unless someone has gone through at least 5 successful transformations themselves, do not allow “cherry picking” of the plan.
8.  Implement, Manage, and Measure, Implement and execute the plan, improve the plan based on the leanings, and measure against the plan. This is a great place to start the day with your team, in 5 minutes, identify where you are in the journey.  Determine if changes are required to the plan or priorities that may need adjusting.
(Dr. Deming – If you can’t measure it, you cannot manage it)   In summary, the eight steps recommended in this article are based on myself and my colleagues experience with transformation in a large number of organizations. To be successful, it is recommended you should follow the all of the steps recommended in this article. Good luck and wish you the best. If you have questions or comments email me at [email protected] or post your comments below. 

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