Leaders don't necessarily have to be in a position of authority, but they all have one thing in common - they are excellent at organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal or vision. Therefore, it is imperative to have that vision well defined. Your ODR program has to have a well-articulated vision, preferably in writing, and be well communicated throughout the organization. Defining the ODR vision can be as easy as answering this simple question: How will your operators contribute to the maintenance process and overall reliability of the equipment they operate?

Visions differ from company to company. The answer to the aforementioned question must fit with your business goals and corporate culture. It should also incorporate your current reliability strategies and practices. So don't just adopt some other company's vision. Define your own ODR vision then strive to make it become a reality in your organization.

Top management leadership is critical in the successful implementation of an ODR program. Support must come from the top; they must show commitment to ODR. This gives the program credibility and ensures proper funding and resources are available. This top-level support also ensures the program has good visibility and demonstrates its importance within the company.

But do not stop at the top! It's just as important to garner commitment, ownership and accountability from the operations team. Since ODR is a process that operations will own, it needs to take a leadership role from the start. It is very difficult for operations personnel to adopt and execute operational changes if they do not have a role in leading and designing the program. Identify operations' key supporters as they are a great source for quick wins. Start recruiting ODR sponsors and champions within the operations team and allow them to be leaders throughout the program development and rollout.

Finally, delivering ODR results is an enterprise-wide endeavor. In fact, the best ODR programs rely on leadership from other company areas, like engineering, maintenance, procurement and planning. ODR needs multidisciplinary support to be successful. You need a broad perspective of other departmental disciplines to have an impact on asset and process reliability and performance. For example, oil leaks must get fixed, inferior quality assets need to be upgraded, maintenance practices need to be improved to precision standards - all of these things are important. Great leaders are not always easy to find. However, they are the key to implementing and sustaining ODR by assuring people are doing the right things and being held accountable for producing excellent results.

authorDave Staples, Business Development Manager, SKF Reliability Systems, has over 20 years of industrial experience specializing in asset reliability technologies and asset management services. For the past 6 years Dave has been focused on helping customers implement and sustain Operator Driven Reliability programs. www.skf.com

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