Successful asset management and reliability programs depend on making good decisions. Good decisions depend on good decision support.
But too often we see organizations making decisions without taking advantage of good support tools, or using the wrong tools or relying heavily on suspect information. They might as well ask a Magic 8 Ball or paper fortune teller for guidance.
Complicating matters, there are often common obstacles blocking the way to making good decisions.
We believe there is a better way, and that the right place to start is understanding what’s critical to your operation.
A criticality analysis is one of the most comprehensive and valuable decision support tools available to asset managers. A criticality analysis identifies the most important systems and assets in your operation, empowering you to make the best asset management decisions. But the value of a criticality analysis for asset management decision support goes far beyond delivering criticality data.
In August at Solutions 2.0 in Houston, we will be offering a short course on Overcoming Obstacles to Making Good Decisions. This course will show how the preparation for, the process of, and the results from a criticality analysis will help remove five common obstacles that stand in the way of effective decision-making in asset management programs.
1. Lack of aligned objectives.
The success of an asset management program depends on everyone working towards the same goals and objectives, from senior management at the top down to technicians working on the floor. A criticality analysis starts with clearly understanding the mission and objectives of an organization and makes sure that this mission is clearly communicated to all the stakeholders participating in the process. Decision-making can then be grounded in common objectives.
2. Organizational silos that are not working together.
Too many companies are broken up into organizational silos who are not sharing asset data or finding opportunities to work together toward common goals. Engineering, operations, maintenance and safety are working hard toward their departmental objectives without looking up to see where they fit in the big picture. The process of a criticality analysis will move dysfunctional silos into cross-functional collaboration and open communication about common objectives under the alignment of the overall mission. Collaboration and communication are key to decisions that will move programs and people forward.
3. Disorganized data and systems.
Intelligent and informed decisions are dependent on having good data to work with. Many companies are struggling along with incomplete asset registries and broken hierarchies that undermine the best asset management intentions. Disorganized data systems can hamper the effectiveness and efficiency of pretty much every reliability and asset management activity. However, for many companies cleaning up their data requires more organizational will and capital than they can muster.
The preparation for a criticality analysis will result in a working asset hierarchy and cleaned-up data that can then deliver the decision-support you need.
4. Missing asset base knowledge.
Complete and accurate asset knowledge is at the center of successful asset management programs. If you are missing data or working under false assumptions you cannot achieve sustained success. The results of a good criticality analysis will deliver accurate asset and risk information, vital for transparent and consistent decision-making.
5. Competing priorities and conflicting demands for limited resources.
The preparation for, the process of, and the results from an effective criticality analysis will all work together towards setting the best priorities and managing conflicting demands between asset groups. Once a criticality analysis is complete, an organization will know where it’s most important assets are and be able to make the best decisions in establishing priorities for the whole asset management program. Through the communication and collaboration required by the analysis, the various stakeholders, from top to bottom, will be better equipped to work together toward their common mission.