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Leadership – Uptime, 3rd edition


This is the base of the pyramid – its foundation, comprising Strategy, People, and Teams. It includes a few topics: Strategy and People and Teams.


Older editions of the book spoke to strategy development but lacked advice on how to deploy that strategy once it was created. Project management wasn’t enough. Change management was dealt with in the chapter on People, but even with that, strategy deployment needs more. Hoshin Kanri, a Japanese term for “strategy deployment”, known largely in the lean manufacturing circles is now included. Its purpose is to take higher-level strategic intentions (corporate level objectives for instance) and turn them into action. Successive iterations of the Hoshin Kanri process evolve those objectives into actions with measures at successively deeper levels in an organization. To sustain changes – you need a solid technical program such as “Uptime”, good change management, and good governance. Governance is sometimes thought of a being a very high (board) level activity but it is far more. Hoshin Kanri ensures you install that governance and keep your corporate objectives in sight through the entire organization and across functional boundaries. Uri Wittenberg worked with me on a major 3-year transformation project where he taught me about Hoshin Kanri. It is powerful and warranted inclusion in this edition –Uri has helped with his valuable contributions to both my professional development and to the book.

People and Teams:

Shifting demographics – the burgeoning retirement of baby-boomers and the entry of Generation Y (Millennials) into the workforce have led to some interesting pressures on human resources and maintenance departments. The experience is retiring, Replacements have very different values, interests, expectations of life, and work ethics. The “me” generation creates significant challenges to conventional management approaches. Teamwork is more important than ever before – command and control are rapidly falling aside. It simply doesn’t work anymore. Management approaches need to adapt. Corporate leaders and many senior managers are finding this shift difficult. Not only were the kids you raised very different from what you recall when growing up, but they are also now in the workforce and no less different. Technology is far more pervasive. It isn’t just a tool – it’s a way of communicating, some might even say it’s a way of life now. Distractions abound. And the work must go on. The machines don’t know the difference. They keep on failing if you don’t maintain them properly. Business pressures on costs are much higher than ever before and you need to meet it with people who lack experience and sometimes show very little interest.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) was dealt with in a chapter of its own on the top tier of the model in the first edition of Uptime. It was a highly successful method but also required sophistication to pull it off. By the mid-2000’s it had moved from curiosity (something that only Japanese transplant operations seemed to do) and into the mainstream but it wasn’t being implemented well in most cases. Teamwork was the challenge, particularly in western cultures where individualism is so strong. In the 2nd edition, the TPM chapter was changed into a chapter on teamwork. As the baby-boomers retire, some of that individualism is giving way to a more teamwork-oriented generation where collaboration is natural. Teamwork is now joined with the discussion of people into a single foundation level chapter.

The next article in this series will deal with the second tier of our pyramid – the Essentials – those activities that you can’t miss if you are doing Maintenance Management.

Get your copy of Uptime: Strategies for Excellence in Maintenance Management, Third Edition, today at Taylor and Francis

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