At MaintMaster we are convinced that a vital part of achieving an effective maintenance regime is having full control. Everything we do is designed to help you gain control over your daily operations. Obviously, this also applies to your organization. In all likelihood in your role as the head of an organization, you have concluded that your job is to get your organization to deliver. Your work is measured based on what the organization does or performs.
Do you have control of your organization? Do you know what your staff are? Are they allowed to do what they can? Are they doing the right things? Do they assume their own responsibility? What happens when someone falls ill? Lars Johansson, Operative Manager at MaintMaster, with a background in the military, has a good understanding of how to create an operationally reliable organization. Here he gives his advice!
Do you have an operationally reliable organization?
It is highly likely that you will not solve or handle every issue that pops up; you have an organization that will do that for you. No matter how large it is, it is the organization that must still be able to handle the daily demands. It has to be able to solve problems. The organization must be able to cope if someone falls ill. It is the unit, or tool if you prefer.
With a military work approach as a role model
A clear example of an organization that can solve daily demands, deal with emerging problems, and handles a major loss of staff, is the military organization. Regardless of nationality, the fundamental
idea remains the same. The organization, regardless of size, should be able to solve a variety of tasks even if elements of its power are lost. Lars explains:
“After you have been coached and trained in your position in the military, you will also be trained or schooled in the peripheral functions. Additionally, you will be trained or coached in what is happening at a level higher than where you are now. It is the organization that is responsible for training and this is a natural part of the daily working requirements. In this way, we work continuously towards creating the most operationally reliable organization possible”.
By looking at what heads of military organizations are doing at different levels, you can also garner ideas and inspiration on the percentage of the time whereby you will be directly involved in the business and how much you are really able to plan, manage and so on. A reasonable goal for a maintenance organization could look like this:
- A maintenance manager must spend 15–20 % of their time out in the business
- A middle manager/supervisor must spend 40–50 % of their time out in the business
- A technician must spend 80–90 % of their time out in the business
To create an operationally reliable organization
Without going into exactly what to do or how we do it, you can focus on the why. What are you looking to achieve? What happens when you consider operational reliability in terms of your staff? How can you get your organization to be as reliable as possible? In plain language, it can mean that you should try to make yourself redundant, to make the organization as self-sustaining as possible.
Focusing on creating an operationally reliable organization will permeate your daily work, it will give you direction in a variety of situations, and it will also provide you with clear leadership. Suddenly it becomes an obvious thing to delegate responsibility and authority, and it is also clear that the staff need to learn from each other. By way of example:
Operators should be present when a technician is repairing or replacing something.
Give technicians the responsibility for preparation and planning.
Rotate staff between the various machines or lines.
Appoint mentors, electricity mentors, specific line or machine, etc.
Staff involvement in the recruitment of new colleagues
It also becomes apparent to encourage those who are looking to grow into their role, for example, you can ensure that initiative and responsibility are reflected in local wage awards. Lars concludes by adding:
“The list and the order for things that need to be done or how they can or should be done can be very long and detailed. My message is that you make the list your own, and it will become quite obvious to you once you know the reason why you want an operationally reliable organization.”
Examples of what an operationally reliable organization could mean:
- The natural and obvious development of staff
- A self-sustaining organization focused on solutions
- Preparedness to deal with the unexpected
- Setting objectives to make itself redundant