ACM Project Manager’s Guide Features Complete Project Plan
ACM Project Manager’s Guide Features Complete Project Plan
by Dave Reiber
Reliabilityweb.com just released the Asset Condition Monitoring (ACM) Project Manager’s Guide and, based on its contents, it’s a resource no organization should be without. For several years, I have been involved in asset management and managing condition based asset teams, but never have I seen a more complete project plan than what is presented in this guide. Not everything in the ACM Project Manager’s Guide will work for everybody, but there are sections in the guide that will adapt to every situation. No matter where you are on your asset condition monitoring journey, at the beginning or with a mature program, this guide contains information that will help to grow and sustain every ACM program.
I, along with my coauthors, Jack Nicholas, Jr., and Terrence O’Hanlon, am excited to share this document with all condition monitoring leaders and practitioners. Please be sure to make time to read the Asset Condition Monitoring Project Manager’s Guide, but in the meantime, here is an overview and some key points to get you started.
How to Use the ACM Project Manager’s Guide
The Asset Condition Monitoring (ACM) Project Manager’s Guide provides basic information about what an ACM initiative or organizational component is, how it should be conducted and who should be involved. The material is presented to help an organization determine if it is ready to undertake ACM. The guide also identifies ideas and practices an organization must embrace or improve and notes pitfalls to avoid in order to enhance its chance of success.
The ACM Project Manager’s Guide is probably best used as a road map to ensure you are not missing key ingredients and checkpoints along the way. The most important ingredient is the development and nurturing of a reliability culture from top to bottom and bottom to top.
The five phases of the asset condition monitoring initiative are spelled out with detail and validation checkpoints. All phases need to be addressed and verified to assure the project continues to move forward with success. The ACM teams (steering and task) must be the leaders of the reliability culture as it grows and gains momentum.
Figure 1: The five phases and timelines for steering and task teams, and who should be involved in these phases
Asset Condition Monitoring defined by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO): “Those activities involving continuous or periodic monitoring and diagnosis in order to forecast component degradations so as-needed, planned maintenance can be performed prior to equipment failure.”
The philosophy of asset condition monitoring is emphasized by this definition and the words in bold, which can be related to something people are familiar with: personal health.
- Monitoring means watching carefully.
- Diagnosis means to determine health status.
- Forecast means to project or predict future status.
- Degradations mean deficiencies relative to best possible health. Maintenance, in the context of the definition, means to return the health to normal.
The framework used in the ACM Project Manager’s Guide is from the Uptime® ElementsTM – A Reliability Framework and Asset Management SystemTM. The Uptime® ElementsTM chart, shown in Figure 2, provides a map of theory by which to understand reliability leadership and begin creating a culture of reliability. The proven approach to successful asset condition management (ACM) and work execution management (WEM), using the green and blue colored elements, respectively, must be supported by the reliability engineering for maintenance (REM) orange elements on the left side of the chart. These comprise the technical activities which must be supported by the leadership for reliability (LER) red and business process asset management (AM) yellow elements on the right side in Figure 2. The combination of technical excellence and empowered leadership at all levels is by far the most significant indicator of a successful reliability strategy and program, and an organization that delivers significant results to all stakeholders.
Figure 2: Uptime® ElementsTM – A Reliability Framework and Asset Management SystemTM
Creating a Reliability Culture
This section is perhaps the most valuable piece in the ACM Project Manager’s Guide. It addresses the necessary culture change. In the past, organizations would try to make significant change to a process or the way they run the business, but there was always resistance to change. Many leaders within the organization, although well-meaning, just assumed the masses would simply line up and do as they were told. This doesn’t happen, at least not as a permanent process change. A team accepts and institutes change only after it buys into it. In other words, they must see what’s in it for them. This is not easy to accomplish. It takes time and due diligence to address all stakeholder input and then proceed, with the good ideas coming from the team. When team members become owners of the change, they become the best promoters of change.
As the guide points out, regardless of how good your asset management system and reliability strategy may be, your organization’s culture will determine its performance. Culture is built from within. A reliability culture must be cultivated and managed by leaders who aim to engage employees in delivering performance excellence in an organization. The reliability culture objective is the most important element of a successful program. All other objectives rely on the success of your team to acquire this reliability way of life.
The ultimate measure of a reliability culture change is when leadership nurtures, but the whole team acts the same way every day, whether the boss is watching or not. Everyone is working toward the same AIM, aligned with the goals and objectives of the business plan. It is difficult to stray from a successful vision when all personnel are focused this way.
Risks and What to Do
There is a section in the ACM Project Manager’s Guide committed to identifying and mitigating common problems. This section cannot possibly identify every issue, but it does bring to light many of the common issues so the team can address them before they get out of hand. An example of a few are highlighted in Table 1.
|Risk Factor or Pitfall||What to Do (Best Practice) to Mitigate or Avoid|
|Candidates selected for ACM teams lack computer literacy||Write ACM team member position descriptions that mandate and test computer literacy (e.g., in CMMS work order writing and reporting finds) as a prerequisite for application|
|Inability of ACM team candidates to excel in complex ACM technologies and pass certification exams||Write into position descriptions all reasonable technical requirements and courses that must be attended and certification obtained; Set time limits for all technologies to be assigned and levels of competency that must be achieved; Setting expectations shows support and encourages ownership by practitioners|
|Lack of appreciation by managers, supervisors, team candidates and coworkers of the difficulty in achieving competency in complex ACM technology, resulting in reduction in capability expectations or change to an outsourced program||Include a summary of requirements in manager and supervisor ACM orientation briefings, especially for new managers; See recommendations above and below for team candidates and coworkers|
In talking with other maintenance professionals who have led asset condition based projects, they all agree that having access to a document, such as the ACM Project Manager’s Guide, would have been a great reference as they worked through the many issues presented during the process. As they noted, life would have been a lot easier.
On behalf of my coauthors,
we are pleased to provide this reference guide to assure success in your ACM reliability journey.