Senior Management and CMMS Implementation: Set Clear Expectations and Follow Through if You Expect Success


It’s senior management’s responsibility to clearly state the organization’s goals, including those for a CMMS implementation. Most often these goals are things like reduce operating cost; extend asset life; improve safety results; increase uptime; or reduce downtime. However, just defining goals is not enough. Maintenance managers and maintenance personnel need to know how success is to be measured for each of the goals. The best way to define the success is by identifying the scorecard(s), which are the reports to be used to measure the progress towards a goal.

These progress measurements are often identified as KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. KPI results can be in the form of printed reports, or most often they are displayed as widgets on a computer dashboard. Once the goals and measurement tools are identified the maintenance personnel can go about collecting the necessary data to deliver those reports and track progress on the goals.

Now here is the hard part. Require the reports. Here is where senior management drops the ball. Yes, require them! Start small, with a single report that shows progress towards a goal. Let’s say you suspect the maintenance personnel are being used too much on non maintenance activities, which is causing your PM program to be behind schedule. You you want to find out. So, you set a goal to “improve maintenance personnel’s efficiency.”

To measure progress on this goal require a weekly report that shows labor hours on work orders by employee for the previous week. Keep the assignment small and frequent. The requirement of submitting a weekly report will drive the implementation. Read the report, respond to the report, and challenge the data on the report. Don’t tolerate “pencil whipping“!

Here is a tip, share the report with everyone, including the maintenance personnel. Requiring a report that is ‘by employee’ gets everyone’s attention and says the assignment is serious.

You’ll get push back. “We don’t have time to do this and maintain the equipment.” Or, “Do you want me to fix machines or play on a computer?” Or “I am a mechanic, not a secretary.” I won’t say I’ve heard all the objections to collecting and recording data, but I haven’t found a new one in a few years! In many cases these statements are delivered with the chest puffed and the chin out.There are delivered as a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Maintenance personnel need to understand the data in their control is a critical part of the total data pool used by the organization for decision making.

This simple report, created once per week, will insure the success of your implementation.  By preparing this report maintenance personnel will know how to manage the data collection to create the report.  These skills can then be used to create the other reports and KPIs for the rest of the goals for your implementation.