Become A Reliability Ninja

The next three posts I want to talk about why Reliability is an important base for change.  This time, I discuss why reliability at the personal, equipment, or process level enables improvement.  Future posts will focus on reliability and change at the business unit and organizational levels.

The concept is straightforward: understand where you are and where you want to go. A stable base – this is the main point of reliability. With that stable base comes many benefits, and ultimately more profitability. Process control improvement methodology DMAIC begins with stabilizing the process. If you aren’t reliable, there is too much flux and it feels like chaos.  You can’t move forward.

When you have a stable base it’s easier to react, like a boxer’s bounce step.  A base is supported by exercising and training muscles so you can be grounded and ready to react.  Operationally, this base is reliability (i.e. a healthy equipment maintenance program and a stable process).  The exercises that develop your base are Statistical Process Control and Equipment Maintenance Plan Reviews. (Cross-training could be how diligently you train in the school of Root Cause Analysis and Elimination.)

If you need to react to an unknown circumstance or variable, these exercises are important.  If you go on the offensive (i.e. are proactive), equally critical. Before you improve, you must be stable and light on your feet.  Build these exercise habits – become a Reliability Ninja.

Furthermore, a good reliability leader tries to remove the barriers to create these habits. What are some of the exercises you use to build a reliable base?  What are some of the barriers you face? I’d like to help!

Published by

Steph Holko

Reliability Engineer in Steelmaking. I love the business and the process. I'm working to inspire others to care about the details. Novice runner, environmentalist, supporter of kids in STEM.

2 thoughts on “Become A Reliability Ninja”

  1. I think it’s important to somehow “feel the pulse” of your workplace. Read a shift report or attend a morning meeting. Listen to the people. Then listen to the process. Check a control chart or look at a trend. If there is something to react to, ask “why did this happen” and “does it matter”. Good reliability has to also be good business. Exercise your ears and your brain.

    1. Ian, I couldn’t agree more. I also think that if leadership has set appropriate boundaries or targets for the reliability process, then it should be good business.

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