If an organisation finds itself in this position, below are the steps necessary to address the immediate issue and then ensure it does not simply return.
Regain Control - Short Term Actions
- Cleanse to remove duplicates & previously completed scopes from backlog
- Assess un-assessed backlog to assign new date by which it must be complete
- Build plan for next 6 months based on Latest Key Risk Date to ascertain if all can be liquidated with existing capacity
- Prioritise if not and be explicit the work that is NOT going to be complete. (This should be of Asset consequence only not People or Environment). Prepare for consequence occurrence for this work.
- Enforce break in process for any new work.
- Implement schedule attainment reviews at appropriate frequency (similar to how everyone runs shutdowns) to ensure barriers to execution are resolved.
Role of Leadership to Regain Control
- Acknowledge there is a problem.
- Ensure it is clearly articulated that the issue is to be resolved correctly and sustainably. The work is not simply to be hidden, filtered from KPIs or otherwise made to simply look better without actually being better.
- Set clear expectation this is organisations priority and obstacles are to be overcame not simply raised as reasons not to do the work.
Sustain Control - Mid to Long Term Activity
- Review existing maintenance strategies to ensure it is ALARP to achieve businesses objectives and legislative obligations.
- Review previous PM to CM ratio to determine expected corrective volume.
- Determine REALISTIC CURRENT wrench time.
- Carry out resource review to determine if there is appropriate resources to ensure execution capacity meets 12-24 month workload.
- If yes proceed to deliver. If no:
- Review Point 1 to confirm no further reduction is practicable.
- Review Point 2 to identify what risk of corrective consequence is acceptable to reduce demand. (Note this will not entirely eliminate this demand as work will be required once equipment fails).
- Review Point 3 to determine if there is opportunity to improve execution efficiency (hence wrench time).
Note : An imbalance in execution capacity vs demand based on realistic current wrench time can not be tolerated in the 12 - 24 month window. If imbalance remains the first 2 points above must be repeated until it is removed or resource increased in short term. Whilst wrench time improvements will allow resources to be reduced in future they must be allowed time to embed.
Role of Leadership to Sustain Control
- Set clear expectation changing way of working is a priority until it is sustainable.
- Be clear with both organisation and themselves this is not a short term fix and must be prepared to “stay the course.
- Resist the temptation of improvement functions to move to a new initiative before this one is complete
- Consistently communicate this is the organisational priority and demonstrating it is such by actions not just words.
- Reinvigorating enthusiasm and focus when it inevitably drifts over time.
- Embedding progress reviews into performance review sessions.
- Making budget available.