7 tactics for mastering reliability safety and maintenance

In our white paper: Mastering the Performance Triad: A Seven-Part Optimization Strategy for Reliability, Safety, and Maintenance, we define the three disciplines and discuss how integrating all three—as opposed to executing each discipline individually—will help an operation achieve the highest level of performance. Beyond the concepts, we also provide seven tactics for operations to start putting into practice in order to master the Performance Triad. Review excerpts of the seven tactics in this two-part article series and download the white paper for a full list.

Master Reliability, Safety, and Maintenance with These Tactics

Operations that include the following seven tactics into their optimization strategy are setup for mastering Performance Triad. Their cumulative effect helps an operation optimize its production, quality, resource efficiency, profitability, and safety, which is powerful enough to transform operations from reactive to predictive, from hazardous to safe, and from uncertain to confidently achieving their goals.

Calibrate goals among disciplines.

Objectives that are insufficiently synchronized and overlapping—achievable in isolation or not
—create internal tension. Engineering claims its systems would have worked fine if they had been properly maintained. Maintenance claims it can’t compensate for poor design or crew members who overwork the machinery. Safety complains it can’t reduce incidents without improved engineering and maintenance.

Given the three functions are complementary, the criteria by which they are judged should also reflect the capabilities and limitations of the others. Wherever possible, the goals should be the same and all function-specific objectives should be connected directly to the overall performance of the facility so that success is only possible if widely shared.

Share tools and methods.

In our experience, one of the best means of helping a team of professionals discover innovative ways of doing their jobs, and share responsibility in different areas, is to understand each other’s tools and methods. Safety professionals have a well-defined toolkit of job safety analyses, incident investigation, training, finding and fixing hazards, risk assessment, etc. Safety’s peers in reliability and maintenance have similar toolkits and concerns that involve assessing risks, recognizing and mitigating adverse events or failures, auditing, reporting, and measuring performance.

Training must cut across all three disciplines, so each practitioner understands the tools of their
peers and how they intersect. Those from each function will learn the basics of their peers and gain fresh perspectives on their own areas of expertise.

Align management systems.

While most of the attention of Apollo 11 is typically placed on the astronauts and rocket, success ultimately depended on Mission Control. It was in this place that all the management systems for the mission were aligned to ensure each area of responsibility had the benefit of knowing what the others were doing as it happened. The design of the system informed its safe operation and its maintenance. Information gathered during maintenance created a feedback loop to improve future installations. Safety observations and incident reports also created a feedback loop for engineering and maintenance leaders. And there were enough leaders with responsibilities for the entire system, all working from a common dashboard, that the system operated as one rather than multiple semi-autonomous functions.

When aligned management systems have been introduced and disciplines are working in concert, teams increasingly adapt their metrics to be more comprehensive, share terminology, communicate among themselves, and make decisions by weighing their effects on the full operation.

To finish reading the seven tactics, proceed to the next article or download the white paper.

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