The key to building a successful RCM effort always starts with a plan.  While we would like to believe that in today’s world one could design a strategy for performing, implementing and executing RCM that would work for all companies large and small, the realities of this are quite different.  While many companies have standardized their enterprise software packages and most are using one of the four popular CMMS packages to plan and schedule their maintenance work I have yet to find 2 successful companies who wanted or needed to same plan when it came to Reliability Centered Maintenance.

The Key Pieces of a Sound RCM Plan

1)      Who will be responsible for leading your effort?  In part 1 of this series I discussed selecting a first class consultant to work with, having done this, who at your company will be the point person for your RCM effort.  This person will be responsible for setting up the initial training classes, scheduling the pilot RCM’s and most important tracking implementation, execution and results from your effort.

2)      Where will you begin your effort?  When it comes to RCM, there always seems to be the temptation to start things out by training 20 facilitators and chewing through a few dozen analyses before anyone even knows what a good RCM looks like.  My advice is to avoid this temptation if your maintenance planning and scheduling compliances is anything less than 85%.  If you don’t have the ability to complete your present work schedule, throwing a bunch of RCM tasks on top of this is not going to help and could lead to a very short lived effort.  In most cases I recommend starting your effort with a couple of good pilot RCM’s focused on critical assets/systems suffering from equipment based OEE losses.  The pilot RCM’s will give you a good idea in regard to what it takes in regard to resources, to complete, implement and execute an RCM analysis.

3)      Who will be involved in your effort?  Are you planning on training internal RCM facilitators or will your consultant provide facilitation services?  I have seen both models work and in my book I detail the pro’s and con’s of each.  If you are looking to train your own people you will need to develop a detailed plan regarding facilitator selection, training, mentoring and certification.  It’s also a good idea at this point to discuss the reality that when your facilitators are successful, they will be tapped for promotions, what is your plan in regard to losing one of your key RCM resources?

4)      How will you manage RCM task implementation and who will be involved?  How important is implementation when it comes to successful RCM?  You can’t have success without implementation.  This is why before you start your first RCM analysis you should assign someone as the implementation manager for each RCM analysis.  The implementation manager will be responsible for working with, Operations, Engineering and Maintenance to assign an    individual responsible for implementing each task and a due date that the task needs to be completed by.   The implementation manager can then check and report the progress of implementation each week to your RCM program managers.

5)      How large of a RCM effort are you planning on starting?  Having experienced the full spectrum here, I think it is very important upfront to be clear on what we are about to take on.  Full blown corporate RCM efforts take more time and planning, where as performing a single RCM on a problem asset can be planned out with a couple of phone calls and a few e-mails.  Large or small, planning helps to ensure your RCM will be a success.

6)      How will we determine if your pilot RCM’s were successful?   If you want RCM to become part of your company culture you have to be able to show the benefits of each RCM analysis you perform.  If you are not measuring, tracking and proving results the likelihood of your effort taking hold is greatly reduced.  Consider this I recently worked with a customer where a 1% improvement in OEE each month would return 1.2 million dollars each month in net profit.  If you were not measuring and tracking OEE, how many people on the production floor and maintenance shop would recognize or feel a 1% change in OEE?  Your plan for measuring, tracking and proving RCM results needs to be clearly detailed upfront and clearly communicated and posted.

Every successful RCM effort I have ever been involved with experienced success because they had a clear direction of where to focus their efforts, the resources required to complete the effort and the measures they planned on using to clearly show success.



When people ask me what makes RCM Blitz™ different, up-front planning is one of the things I always list.  We know what it takes to be successful with RCM and sound planning is a must!


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