Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 19


MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
more difficult to tackle than non-people issues: Machines don't talk
back. Also, when all else fails, we can blame an issue on the technology.
Roger Enrico, former CEO of PepsiCo, summed up this concept best
when he explained, "The soft stuff is the hard stuff."
People also have a tendency to turn first to technical specialists
for quick-fix solutions. Faced with a challenge, our first response
frequently is, "There has to be a technology for that." The problem is,
when we ask technical experts for solutions, we inevitably only get
technical answers. The truth is, not everything has a technical solution.
To avoid this first category of mistakes, ask yourself:
■ Is the issue behavioral?
■ Could the problem be resolved if standard practices were in place
and being followed?
■ Is the issue due to a lack of training?
■ Does your organizational structure inhibit people from exhibiting
the right behaviors and making the right decisions?
■ Do people lack the right empowerment and/or tools to do the job?
■ Is there a clear line of sight between what people are asked to do and
the expected outcome?
■ Is the issue chronic or does it only manifest itself around certain
people or crews?
If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, you're likely dealing
with an organizational, not a technical, issue. Dealing with cultural
challenges calls for courage and skill. Begin by assuming the best in
every situation and focus on "Why?" instead of "Who?"
Talk to personnel. What may appear to be a "people" problem may
be a lack of empowerment, understanding, or training. The goal is not
to place blame, but to find a solution.

Mistake #2
In this example of introducing the right technology to the wrong
culture, a large manufacturing facility spends $500,000 to install a new
CMMS in an attempt to improve maintenance efficiency and cost
tracking. Three years later:
■ the percentage of planned work is unimproved
■ the old legacy system is still running in the background
■ preventive-maintenance compliance is less than 50%
■ many people have forgotten how to even log into the system.
In a second example, an industrial plant spends $150,000 on an
online vibration-monitoring system. Six months later:
■ a bearing failure destroys a gearbox
■ three months worth of system alerts have been ignored.
These examples reflect a "Field of Dreams" approach: We build it
and hope people will come around to the new technology. The reality
is that we build it and frequently nothing changes. Why?
Technical experts have a tendency to become enthralled with a
technical solution-so much so that they forget the people side of the
equation. This often results from:
■ failure to get "buy in" from personnel
■ failure to communicate clearly
■ failure to fully train the everyday user
■ assuming everyone understands the technology, when they don't.

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Aligning technology with culture
Focusing on the technological aspects of a solution while neglecting
the people side is a primary cause of technical failures. Technology
OCTOBER 2016

MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 19


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology October 2016

Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 2
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Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover3
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