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You Have to Build a Partnership with Operations

One of the easiest traps to fall into is to create an adversarial relationship with the Operations organization. After all, if they wouldn't break it, you wouldn't have to fix it, right? Bet if you asked them, they'd say that if you'd fix it correctly, it wouldn't break. You spend a lot of time and effort trying to decide who gets the "blame" for an equipment failure, and it usually winds up in your lap. This is a counterproductive situation and one that is guaranteed to cause your maintenance process to be reactive.

Face it; your functions are interdependent. The plant cannot exist without Operations, nor can it exist without Maintenance. Neither function can be successful without the other. A proactive Maintenance function is dependent on operators being the "first line of defense" and taking responsibility for equipment care. It is also dependent on getting necessary downtime for correcting problems discovered on predictive inspections. Your weekly work schedule is worthless if Operations is not involved in its creation because they have to commit to the equipment being available at the appointed time.

A great way to build a partnership is to sit down with your Operations counterpart and have a frank discussion about what each needs from the other in order to be successful. Draft a "partnership agreement" that spells out, in writing, your responsibilities to each other. Commit to it, sign it, and review it periodically to make sure you are both complying with it.

Tip provided by Management Resources Group, Inc.
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