I was considering the choices that groups make when setting up their CMMS/EAM systems the other day while reviewing a client's implementation and reflected on this analogy. When you go to the fast food joint or elect for fine dining, the choices are on the menu board, the menu itself, or announced by the server as a "selection of the day". I don't remember ever finding a menu selection entitled "other". Have you?

Yet, most every CMMS/ EAM implementation I have reviewed includes that very choice of "Other" for a failure or cause code as an example. If you mine your database looking for failure codes, what is the most frequent selection? I bet that if the code exists in your world, it's "Other" the majority of the time. Gee, what did that tell you? What was the real cause? See, it is human nature to take the easy way out, especially when people are in a hurry. Hopefully, someone expanded on the real reason in the "Comments" section but now the Maintenance Engineering function can't mine the data by Failure/ Cause Code to isolate occurrences quickly without digging through the "Comments" section.

The same behavior will happen if you put up 99 failure codes, even without an "Other" code. People will pick a favorite code that they use all the time. They are creatures of habit. Limit the number of codes that you use and don't offer "Other" as a selection. Educate your people on the need to enter in the information correctly to facilitate retrieval later so that you gain value from your CMMS/ EAM system. In addition, you must audit to ensure compliance. Finally, what's the point of entering data if you don't use the data to find opportunities for improvement?

Learn more about how to set up your CMMS for success here. Need assistance with your CMMS / EAM systems? Contact us at info@peopleandprocesses.com.

Tip provided by Jeff Shiver, CMRP, CPMM of People and Processes, Inc.

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