Current Insights

The Decline in Quality and Integrity of Work Management Fundamentals

May 10, 2024

"Our Biggest Barrier to Maintenance Excellence is a deterioration in Quality, Efficiency and Sustainability. The integrity at which we execute maintenance work is declining and therefore the condition and health of assets decline"

In today’s landscape, organisations often become entangled in elaborate initiatives, losing sight of where true improvement potential resides. So much so that the refinement of fundamental maintenance practices gets neglected.

There was consensus across industry about the main reasons for this overall decline:

Obsession with Technology and Improvement – Getting Back to Basics

A common pain point shared is that before any new tech or continuous improvement programs are even considered, good work management fundamentals need understanding and adherence – identifying work, maintenance planning, reporting, KPI’s, scheduling, work execution, spares management, transitioning from breakdown maintenance, and performance assessment and management.

Lack of Clear Processes

Without clear processes in place, tasks can become disorganised, and priorities may not be properly established. This leads to inefficiencies and overlooked maintenance issues.

Poor Communication

Effective communication is essential for successful maintenance management. If there are breakdowns in communication between maintenance teams, management, and other departments, important tasks are missed or misunderstood.

Insufficient Training

Maintenance personnel may not receive adequate training on work management fundamentals, such as prioritisation, scheduling, and documentation. Without proper training, employees may struggle to effectively execute maintenance tasks.

Inadequate Resources

Companies may fail to allocate sufficient resources, including personnel, time, and budget, for maintenance activities. Tasks are rushed or neglected, leading to equipment breakdowns and costly repairs.

Use of Acronyms

Far too frequently, we overcomplicate matters beyond necessity. Individuals tend to cloak basic principles under new terminology, causing confusion rather than clarity among maintenance teams. Acronyms often disguise the core message intended for maintenance teams.

Lack of Accountability

Without clear accountability mechanisms in place, employees may not feel responsible for completing maintenance tasks in a timely and effective manner. This can lead to a culture of complacency and decreased productivity.

Resistance to Change

Some employees may resist adopting new work management practices, especially if they perceive them as unnecessary or burdensome. Overcoming resistance to change requires effective leadership and communication.

Failure to Execute

Failing to execute these essential tasks poses a significant obstacle to achieving maintenance excellence. Despite the formulation of numerous strategies and improvement schemes, the fundamental elements of reliability and maintenance often remain poorly executed.

Best practice lies in meticulous planning prior to the scheduled execution of work. This involves not only planning the work itself but also scheduling the necessary tasks and assigning personnel accordingly.

Without proper execution of these foundational and basic maintenance practices, organisations will continue to struggle to allocate time for crucial tasks aimed at enhancing reliability and minimising costs. Despite the plethora of strategies devised, the lack of implementation at the basic level is ongoing. Good execution hinges on planning and allocation of resources, particularly with-in the frontline teams responsible for maintenance.

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