Using Performance Measures to Drive Maintenance and Asset Management Performance Improvement

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Many people and many organisations are struggling to develop Performance Measures that effectively drive performance improvement.  They are often wading under the ad-hoc morass of inherited, legacy Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and performance reports.  The bureaucracy involved in producing, analysing and reporting on these performance measures has taken over from effective, action-oriented Maintenance Improvement, and the purpose behind the production of the KPIs has been lost.

This paper discusses eight essential elements necessary for a successful performance measurement system, and in doing so it outlines a possible method that could be used to redefine, and refocus, performance reporting in order to motivate the organisation towards higher levels of Maintenance and Asset Management performance.

Element 1 – Create an Inspiring Vision

Why are we measuring performance at all?  The only valid reason for measuring performance is to see whether we are making progress towards a specific long-term goal. 

At a personal level, that goal could be the achievement of some financial security – to obtain enough money to be able to afford that dream home, or to be able to afford to send your children to a good private school, or to be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement.  Or it could be less tangible – the achievement of some personal satisfaction, or recognition for work well done.  However these goals are highly personal, and also inspirational – they are something we really want to achieve.

At an organisational level, organisational vision and mission statements are, almost without exception, completely uninspiring.  They do little to generate a sense of purpose, or a sense of excitement amongst members of the organisation.  Typically, most organisational mission or vision statements look something similar to the following:

Our purpose is to create value through the discovery, development and conversion of natural resources, and the provision of innovative customer and market-focused solutions.

To prosper and achieve real growth, we must:

  • Actively manage and build our portfolio of high quality assets and services.
  • Continue the drive towards a high performance organisation in which every individual accepts responsibility and is rewarded for results.
  • Earn the trust of employees, customers, suppliers, communities and shareholders by being forthright in our communications and consistently delivering on commitments.

If you worked for this organisation, would this inspire you to great things?  On the other hand, look at some of the other vision statements that some of the world’s leading organisations have used[1].

  • To experience the joy of advancing and applying technology for the benefit of the public (Sony)
  • To make people happy (Walt Disney)
  • To solve unsolved problems innovatively (3M)
  • To experience the emotion of competition, winning and crushing competitors (Nike)

What do you notice about these Vision Statements?  A number of things – they are:

  • Short
  • Simple
  • Inspirational, and
  • Focused less on what will provide benefits to the organisation, and more on what will provide benefits to the individuals within the organisation (although, obviously, it is hoped that the two are closely linked)

If you wish to create a high-performance organisation, then it is essential that all members of the organisation are focused on achieving the same goal – and the simpler, more focused, and more inspirational the goal, then the greater the chance that it will be achieved.

And, more importantly, this vision will form the basis for deciding on what is important to your business, and, therefore, which measures you should be reporting.

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