Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Maintenance Triumph Begins Yesterday (part 4)

Triumph is the exultation resulting from victory. Nearly every innovation that maximizes success of a system support organization is invisible to outsiders. A goal is to convince everybody that the system is reliable & well controlled, without convincing them that support is easy.

Managing Maintenance In The Weeds (part 3)

Repairs are always successful, no matter how often or how long they take.

Maintenance In The Weeds (part 2)

"I'm management, and I'm here to help. Is it fixed yet?"

Maintenance Good. Maintenance Less Good. (part 1 of 4)

Everybody enjoys brief stories, especially hypothetical stories with impossible scenarios.

The characters in these stories work in equipment maintenance, but with minor changes, the stories could apply to any system support group, e.g. desktop support, data warehouse team, Formula One pit crew, custodial engineers, etc.

Classical Troubleshooting – A Trip Around It

Change is difficult. For manufacturers, process control and product quality are battered by incessant change. For employees, new methods dump fresh problems & strange mistakes. For customers, favorite products mutate or disappear.

Once upon a time, the pace of change was slower; before PCs, before the introduction of Six Sigma (~1987 by Motorola), before recognizing the strength of Japanese manufacturing methods. For businesses, the mix of challenges was different. Teams supporting manufacturing operations were schooled in a type of problem solving called “troubleshooting”. The purpose of troubleshooting was to rapidly restore capability. This is classical troubleshooting. This focused approach can be applied to any deviating system, process, or machine. It’s a specialized tool, and it’s very powerful.


A good start to understanding the context of a situation is to learn how things fit together. Figure out the process as it is currently, who’s involved, how things happen, etc. This is the first stage of process mapping.

Just Fix It

Problems come in all different sizes and complexities. In nearly every situation, the correct solution is obvious. Do that.

What's The Problem?

Be forewarned. We are surrounded. They boldly attach to all aspects of life, every thought & dream. They are everywhere. Problems!  Behind the problem, what is the symptom?

Being disagreeable requires tremendous personal courage. It’s difficult to step forward and be reviled, ridiculed, & degraded. Unless you’re a grouch, then it’s easy.