Asset Management Chair Mark Yarlott's Spring 2009 Asset Management Newsletter
 

Contents:
1.) Learning the Database Ropes
2.) Developing Workflow and Analysis
3.) Constructing An Asset Management Framework for CMMS
4.) Announcements
5.) Q and A --- Change Leadership

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1.) Learning the Database Ropes
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Every Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) or Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system is based on a modern relational database. While it isn't important to know how the software works, it is important to have a high level knowledge of how a database is constructed and, most importantly, how your business processes and related data are collected and fit together. Identification of which data you want to collect and how it fits in your workflow (see Section 2 for more on Workflow) is critical to the "Design" of your database. Don't let the word "Design" throw you, you really don't need a computer science degree or engineering degree to do database design, because, in this context, you are really identifying your business process, the data you want to collect, and then a developing a plan or specification on how you will collect it.
I am sure this still sounds complex, but I found an excellent book several years ago that I think is manditory for anyone interested in leading an organization through a CMMS implementation and recommended reading for the team members. The author does an excellent job of explaining databases from the basics up to the complex. If you read the comments from other readers on Amazon, several are almost critical of the first five (5) chapters because they are two simple. If you are a database programmer or Computer Science major, definitely skip this, but for a database newbie like me, this was excellent material.
http://www.amazon.com/Database-Design-Mere-Mortals-Hands/dp/0201752840/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product
Chapters six (6) and seven (7) are where the author really gets into the meat of developing your database design. He also works through an example of mapping a bicycle shop's business and developing a database to manage the shop's work. While this example isn't built around Asset Management, read the book with your Asset Management goggles on and I really think you will learn a lot of techniques that you can use to prepare for or even cleanup your CMMS implementation.
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2.) Developing Workflow and Analysis
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Understanding your current business process or workflow is a necessity because implementing a CMMS will require adjustments to your current workflows. Prior to selecting a CMMS or considering a cleanup of the current CMMS, your organization needs to look at how work moves through your organization. Since we are focusing on CMMS here, let's consider the core question of a maintenance program, which is "What will your maintenance staff do today?" Simple, they will fix what breaks, right? Well that is the objective, but it immediately brings to mind the questions of what is broken, what is the top priority, who is best qualified to handle which problems, who will work on preventive maintenance items and who will fix down equipment, etc..... It is the process of answering these questions that is the basis for your workflow.
Organization always develop traditions or culture around how these questions are answered and decisions are made. For example the maintenance manager meets with the maintenance team early in the morning, everyone has the cup of coffee, and they review the "hot list" that was handed to the maintenance manager from the operations manager the night before. The manager reviews the list and makes assignments on the go and informally. This traditional "tailgate" approach has served the maintenance and construction industries very well over the years because it is a traditional command and control approach, however, not all of the information is necessarily readily available.
The CMMS implementation will likely change in some way the early morning tailgate and coffee sessions, but understanding the information and decisions that occur within these sessions is critical because a successful CMMS implementation will supplement the process with more complete information. Identifying the information that passes between staff and departments and the decision points where certain information is used is a key to developing a plan to insure the information is available. The work flow diagram documents the information and decisions made in the daily work process.
There are a variety of ways to put together a work flow diagram. Traditionally, these flow diagrams are rather linear and just identify the data and decision points. In a newsletter from early 2008, I referred to an example of a linear workflow diagram (http://ydesign72705.blogspot.com/2008/12/coding-and-organization-for-cmms.html). However, from my most recent work in Milwaukee Wisconsin, I have found that a swim lane style of work flow has some advantages.


WO=Work Order, CM=Corrective Maintenance, WR=Work Request
The swim-lane divides the information gathering and decision making up into responsible persons or groups (swim-lane) and then tracks the activity through, beginning in the upper left, typically, and moving to the right. Identifying the workflow components seems like a simple process, but there is always discussion among those who participate in the day to day work. I recommend that the group of participants, your morning maintenance tailgate team from above, get together and diagram out, using the swim-lanes approach, the elements of how something is identified as broken all the way through the repair and return to service. Don't worry about better ways to do it for the first draft, just focus on how it actually gets down now. Develop these workflows for all of the business processes you hope to support with your CMMS.
You don't even have to know which CMMS you are going to use before you start because understanding your workflow will be the first step in identifying what your future CMMS needs to accomplish. Developing and documenting your workflows with in house staff will save you time and $$$ as you move into the purchase phase of your CMMS acquisition. Give it a try!
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3.) Constructing An Asset Management Framework for CMMS
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At the end of March, 2009, I am presenting a paper at the Reliabilityweb.com, The Enterprise Asset Management Summit (EAM2009). This paper/presentation is a case study of the steps that Veolia Water North America, my employer, took in selecting and configuring Oracle Work and Asset Management (OWAM), previously Synergen, as the standard Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system. While the paper is not a how-to guide, it does provide several examples of how specific features were configured to fit within the broader frame work of Asset Management as defined in the International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM). The goal is to encourage the selection of framework or philosophy prior to beginning the process and then keep this framework in mind as you develop your workflows and design your database to maximize the benefit of doing the work involved in implementing a CMMS or EAM.
Presentation Slides here: http://www.wllcamg.com/Relative_Criticality/cmmsfrmwk.htm
Paper here: http://www.wllcamg.com/Relative_Criticality/eam2009paper19.htm
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4.) Announcements
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a.) Joint PNCWA/AWWA Asset Management Workshop, March 11, Gresham Oregon. RSVP/Questions to Corie Peterson, West Yost Associates by March 6, Cost: $70 for all day session: Make checks payable to: Northwest Oregon Subsection, AWWA,
Attention: Corie Peterson
West Yost Associates
8100 Nyberg Street, Suite 200
Tualatin, OR 97062
Tel: 503-692-3223
Fax: 503-692-3224
Here is a more info: http://www.wllcamg.com/Relative_Criticality/asset_flyer.pdf
CPeterson@westyost.com
b.) Reliabilityweb.com, The Enterprise Asset Management Summit (EAM2009), March 23-26, Hilton Daytona Beach Florida. http://www.maintenanceconference.com/eam/
c.) Are you trying to figure out how the "Stimulus Bill" might help your organization? Check out this set of links published by Public Works Magazine: http://www.pwmag.com/industry-news.asp?sectionID=0&articleID=878887
e.) Inspiraworks.com has recently revised their website, which has changed the links to the archived newsletters (1 thru 6). Inspiraworks.com has a unique and innovative site navigation design. Click on the PAM Professionals (Physical Asset Management Professionals) "button". The graphic will "unfold" and you will see the PNCWA tab. Explore around the site and please leave a comment or two. You can also link directly to the newsletter articles here:
Newsletter #1
Newsletter #2
Newsletter #3
Newsletter #4
Newsletter #5
Newsletter #6
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5.) Q and A --- Change Leadership
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The question for this letter comes from my recent experience in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Now that the CMMS implementation is behind us, we are examining the process and asking ourselves what went right and what went wrong. One of my questions I have been seeking an answer to is "How do I make the organizational change more effective?". I don't have all of the answers yet, but I recently came across an excellent article on change do's and don't. Included in the article is a list of 50 reasons of "Why it won't work here". Take a look and see if you have heard any of these reasons in your organization and then read the article to see if you can defeat any of them with improvements in your next Change Management Plan. http://www.aiim.org/Infonomics/Information-Change-Leaders.aspx
 

 

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For further info contact
Mark Yarlott
Veolia Water NA
6420 SE McGillivray 103-735
Vancouver, WA 98683-3461
360.635.5453; F 360.635.5647
E-Mail: Marc.Yarlott@veoliawaterna.com

 
 
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