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 download the white paper.

Create a unified risk-based approach

Reliability, safety, and maintenance all recognize there is, at any time, a possibility that a component will fail or that a worker will make a mistake. All three professions must match those probabilities with the consequences of the event to focus resources on avoiding the worst-case scenarios. A risk-based strategy—supported by aligned management systems—allows leaders, frontline supervisors, and operators a heightened level of situational awareness that prevents those incidents with the most serious combinations of probability and consequence, improving both uptime and safety.

Implement mitigation plans

Planned, predictive, and preventive approaches to maintenance, reliability, and safety recognize that most incidents can be foreseen, either probabilistically forecasted or detected as their precursors accumulate. To master the Performance Triad, an operation must address effective risk reduction proactively and take advantage of the tools and methods available—many of which we employ—to detect minor variabilities that allow a management team to refine estimates of the probability and timing of possible incidents.

Create an engaging culture

Safety professionals know that organizational culture—employee and manager attitudes and practices—have dramatic effects on safety, maintenance, and ultimately, the reliability and performance of the entire operation. Worker engagement levels will partially determine whether and how early they notice discrepancies in how a process is operating. Those engagement levels will also determine their willingness to speak up when they notice an issue, to order work stopped when they perceive a hazard, to follow prescribed procedures, and to protect assets from damage.

Cross-train disciplines to create partnerships and collaboration

At first blush, cross-training can be perceived to be asking more of the employees in each discipline. Leaders are requiring them to be proficient in their respective areas and to learn the other two as well. However, employees generally see cross-training as opportunities to master new knowledge and skills. Additionally, the purpose of cross-training is to eliminate silos and form one team with a host of internal specializations. As professionals from each area learn from each other, adopt relevant aspects of each other’s’ tools and methods, assist one another, and contribute information to aligned management systems, silos naturally break down. In the end, both the operation and the employees benefit from cross-training.

Learn More About Mastering the Performance Triad

The tactics outlined in this article series are samples taken from the white paper Mastering the Performance Triad. Download your personal copy to read the seven tactics in full and get the guidance you need to optimize your strategy for reliability, safety, and maintenance.

download white paper cta

Ready to become a high-performing operation? Partner with SEAM Group to master the Performance Triad and start seeing results in the areas that matter most.

Let us know where your operation needs improvement. Contact us today.

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