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Rewards and Recognition

Therefore, the motivation to go from the Reactive domain to the Planned domain is to avoid the losses, waste, and hassle of the Reactive domain. Planning behavior is basically a mode where the people impose their will on the equipment through techniques that anticipate the modes of failure and take action before the failures can happen. This mode is not innately rewarding because you can't tell if the amount of planning you are doing is enough. The outcome of perfect planning is that no failures happen, but it is impossible to know when the planning is over done because the consequence is that nothing happens. The motivation to do something disappears when the memory of the last failure fades. This causes the Planned domain to be rather cyclical where the planning is improved to the point that the failures are much smaller, and this leads to doing less planning until something happens.

In organizations where planning has been successful, there are people with strong personalities pushing the planning in order to impose their will on the equipment. It is our experience that strong egos have to be fed. Therefore, it is important to reward these people with things that will pump up their self-esteem. Some monetary reward is needed to compensate them for the overtime they are not getting but more importantly, status must be awarded to sustain the strength of these egos. People without status can't impose their will on the equipment, or on other people who are not motivated. This is the domain where T-shirts, hats with logos, jackets, and other status symbols are so important. Of course, if you want this behavior to continue for 20 or 30 years, you have to find ways to reward people for the same amount of time. Extra T-shirts, baseball hats, etc. will not suffice as rewards, and the recognition will have to extend to promotions or other power giving status symbols. So the hazard associated with the Planned domain is it can become boring and even high status can't provide the excitement that people need to enjoy life. If the work becomes boring, people become complacent and quit doing the tedious work it takes to prevent all failures.

People intuitively know that all failures are not predictable and therefore even with an infinite amount of planning you could not prevent every failure. The temptation then is to let some of the planning go until something happens. It could take quite a bit of time for something to happen to the equipment if planning has been done well over the years. In the mean time the resources to do the planning are gone and you have to start all over again. This experience has led Dan Townsend, formerly at ARCO and Valero and now Program Director at H.B. Zackry Construction and Maintenance, to conclude that the Planned Domain is not as stable a domain as the Reactive and Precision domains and has led Vince Flynn, the leader of DuPont's Corporate Maintenance Leadership Team, to conclude that the Planned Domain is fragile. Vince said that in his experience, in general, people are not willing to keep up the systems that are necessary to stay in the Planned domain. The discipline of Master Data maintenance is the foundation for good planning, e.g. MRO Material Master Data, Bills of Materials, Preventive Maintenance Plans and Task Lists. We have seen instances where the Master Data resources are eliminated and the CMMS system data becomes inaccurate, with the result being lost productivity in the planning process. The discipline of planning deteriorates until something bad happens, like the maintenance costs reach some new unacceptable level, and the process starts all over again. The basic process is that people are imposing their will on the equipment by taking the initiative early enough to avoid failures.

The question of what rewards and recognition are necessary to get people to pursue the Improved Precision Domain is a very intriguing one. The first temptation is to conclude that creating a proper system to sustain the improved performance is the key. There are many cases to support the fact that people with great systems don't sustain the performance because of the reasons mentioned above. The second temptation is to say that it is the process that is key and rewards should be given to people for following the right process in spite of the quality of the system they have to use. It seems that the right question is, "How do you know if people are using the proper process and how would you reward them for it?" The answer seems to revolve around a point that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi recognized in his studies at the University of Chicago and reported in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. He defines optimal experience as "those times when people report feelings of concentration and deep enjoyment". He concludes that people have these experiences when they feel that they are serving a purpose that they believe is important and right. Therefore, the rewards in the Improved Precision domain should be embedded in the work itself. In order to embed the reward in the work, the work should be designed to accomplish a purpose that the worker believes in.

When we look at successful Action Teams, there are certain themes that keep recurring. Many are improvements of various kinds in lubrication, cleanliness and prevention. These are themes that can motivate people. Many people want to work in an organization that runs like "a well oiled machine" and believe that, "a stitch in time saves nine". The rewards here should come in the form of good stories that make people feel they are part of an organization that is making a difference in the world, and they are proud of that. The theme of these stories should be how certain people teamed up around some piece of equipment to serve a purpose that is dear to them, and the people took such good care of the equipment that the performance was wonderful. The processes and systems for doing this should not be the focus of the stories since creative people are able to make poor systems and processes work - that is the value that people are uniquely capable of bringing to the work place. The reward is these people will have more of "those times when they report feelings of concentration and deep enjoyment" and they can take that home with them every day.

Article submitted by: By Winston P. Ledet, The Manufacturing Game

Winston Ledet

Winston Ledet is a leading consultant and internationally known workshop instructor on proactive manufacturing and maintenance. He has 27 years of experience with E.I. du Pont de Nemours, serving in a variety of assignments. He is one of the creators of The Manufacturing Game® as part of his work at DuPont. Winston formed his own consulting firm, Ledet Enterprises, Inc., in 1993, using The Manufacturing Game® to help drive improvement efforts in process industries, as well as discrete part manufacturing sites around the world. 

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