For this week’s topic, we will be discussing the still quite common “forever fixing culture”.
Finding companies/plants that work in a run to failure culture is definitely not a hard task and I am pretty sure that we all have gone through this situation before at least once.
Basically, those sort of cultures are part of a vicious cycle composed by reactive maintenance actions, “quick solutions” and a vital thing that keeps it alive: rewarding the forever fixing culture.
Regarding such topic, nothing better than these paragraphs written by Ramesh Gulati on his book “Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices - Second Edition”:
“For decades, we have had a system of reward that has created a misaligned culture. Design teams are rewarded for achieving functional capability at the lowest cost; they usually are not really concerned about the downstream problems for operations and maintenance and the true life-cycle cost of ownership of the asset. Production teams are rewarded when they beat a production number, regardless of any real demand for the product or without any concern for the effect their actions have had on the asset health.
Maintenance teams always have been rewarded for fixing asset failures and not improving reliability or availability. They get extra pay for coming in at inconvenient times when the asset is broken and get “attaboys” from the management to fix it. If we are rewarded for failures, why would we want reliability? Who would step up and volunteer for a 15–20% pay cut for reduced overtime?
People don’t pay as much attention to what their managers say with words as compared to what they actually do. If management says they want reliability — no failures or minimum failures — but they keep paying for failures, we will continue to get failures. This culture needs to be changed and improved.”
Have you seen this sort of behavior from Maintenance Managers? How about Project and Production teams?
Have you been rewarded for failures?