Every once in a while I get the pleasure of working with a RCM team that is just a cut above the rest, they are prepared, engaged, open, honest and most important willing to challenge the status quo.  While it might be just a coincidence, the great teams always seem to be involved with performing a RCM Blitz on a highly visible and critical asset and as a result they understand the importance of the roll they have been asked to undertake.

Keeping this in mind, I was having dinner with a colleague last week and we were discussing the RCM analysis we were working on and team we were working with when the idea of this Blog jumped into the conversation.

What are the qualities of a great RCM team?

  1. Great RCM Teams are made up of experts – When it comes to answering the difficult questions that come with a thorough RCM analysis, we need to have experts at the table who know their job and the assets we are working with inside and out.  The team I worked with recently had a combined experience of over 200 years and if there is one thing I have learned in facilitating hundreds of RCM’s, there is no formal degree or certificate that equals that of hands on experience.
  2. The Experts on Great RCM Teams are highly respected by their peers.  This statement in fact breaks the “Expert” category into 2 groups, experts who are respected by their peers and those who are not.  I’m sure that most people have seen the difference between these two types of experts.  Those who are not respected tend to try and control the analysis process and often fail to see room for improvement. On the other hand, those who are respected have the full attention of everyone when they speak, other team members listen learn and ask questions of their own.  This expert looks for new methods for improvement and seeks the ideas of others.
  3. Great RCM Teams love to be challenged; they understand the value of improvement when it comes to their jobs and the companies they work for.  The words Health, Safety and Environment mean more to them than required regulations and training and when we assess components that could have an impact on HSE, they think in detail about the potential impact upon the crew they work with and the families they provide for.
  4. Great RCM teams are open and honest when it comes to what has happened and what could happen.  They understand the value in leaving no stone unturned when it comes to identifying likely failure modes and what could happen should each failure mode actually occur.  They understand that honesty delivers solutions that work.
  5. Great RCM teams are patient.  Anyone who has ever participated in a thorough RCM analysis understands the feeling that we are not going fast enough.  While I designed the RCM Blitz process to be quicker and less painful, there are still days when even I wish we could go faster.  The reality however is the best RCM results are delivered through honesty, experience and most important patience.  Teams who are patient will always find the failure modes and flaws that others have missed in design reviews, FMEA and Hazard analysis.  Patience is a virtue of the best RCM teams and the best results require patience of the highest order!

I have to say I am excited to see the results that will be generated by this team and even more excited to be going back to work with this team on more critical assets.  While I really enjoy the art of RCM facilitation, what I enjoy the most is learning about how critical equipment around the world operates from the people who know it best!

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