RCM Blog

RCM Q&A for Reliability Professionals – How to Embed RCM into the Company Culture 

Jun 5, 2020

The philosophy of Reliability-centred maintenance (RCM) has been introduced to the maintenance and reliability areas for decades. While an increasing number of organisations realise that RCM is a powerful reliability approach and have started to embrace it, it is still common to hear excuses like “RCM is too costly and we are not ready for it“, “it is a good methodology, but it is too time consuming“, or “we tried RCM but there is a lack of managerial support” … that organisations use to turn down an RCM program. 

We have seen many cases that organisations failed to have an effective and sustainable RCM program. The reason is various, some organisations put too much effort into analysing rather than implementing, while some ended up performing superficially. 

Nevertheless, there are still a bunch of success RCM stories prove that RCM, if properly implemented, can be the best method to develop or optimise asset reliability with an acceptable level of risk in a cost-effective manner. It does require more effort and resources than other methodologies, but when it is done well and focuses on key assets, RCM can be like a snowball rolling downhill building in size, momentum, and speed to bring far more benefits to the entire organisation than the investment it made in the RCM program. 

So what could reliability professionals do to help embed RCM into the company culture and maximise its value? We asked some asset management and reliability specialists, and here are their answers: 

For RCM to be embedded, it needs an organisational maturity desire that values continual improvement. Where this is evident it then takes one or two people willing to lay RCM foundations and workable frameworks, then hang around long enough to see benefits to asset value (cost, risk, performance). 

Therefore RCM needs a bottom/middle up push that gets eventual top down support when the value (monetary) return of the investment is being realised. 

It’s a circular thing in summary 

  1. A willing culture
  2. Someone willing to give it a go
  3. Leadership to give ongoing support when value is realised for them

– An Infrastructure Asset Management Professional 

RCM implementation is not a project that can be implemented over a course of time, it is more a culture that needs to be developed among any organisation across the board. To implement reliability-based culture in any organisation it is important that each member of team from maintenance, operations, and management is willing to invest some time in order to achieve great results. It is not something that will give you results right away but if successfully adopted and implemented will be beneficial for the entire organisation.  

In terms of convincing the management, which is more concerned with the numbers, costs associated with the CAPEX and OPEX is a good indicator of much money can be saved over a period of time. A variety of asset reliability software packages (such as ReliaSoft software) is available to identify the operating cost of the equipment against the current maintenance strategies plus how effective the maintenance strategies are in terms of reliability and availability of a facility. 

A set of leading & lagging KPIs should be developed to gauge the effectiveness of the implemented maintenance strategies and a frequent review must be carried out among all the stakeholders. 

– A Reliability and maintenance professional within Oil & Gas

From an Asset Management Consultant’s point of view, I believe knowledge and experience are very important for us to embed the RCM into the company culture. Particularly, knowledge and experience in selecting the appropriate approach of RCM (e.g. 7 steps RCM and RCM streamline and PMO, however, PMO is not RCM) is a key factor.

Willingness and leadership support are also vital. Technically, we need to prepare a comprehensive document to train all team as well as clients and make them know about the RCM process, resources, result and consequences and time scheduling and execution power that they need.  

– An Asset Management Specialist within Oil, Gas and Mining

In summary, people are the heart of RCM programs. A successful RCM program needs top leadership to accept and support the initiative proactively. It also needs middle management to advocate the projects, encourage and educate employees to shift from reactive to proactive. Finally, reliability, maintenance and operations employees should understand the logic behind RCM and proactively get involved in optimising asset reliability. 

Do you agree with their opinions on how could reliability professionals help embed RCM into the company culture? Or do you have any other suggestions based on your own RCM implementation experience? Comment below to share your thoughts on it! 

RCM Related Resources:

Blog:

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Perform an RCM Analysis [Infographic]
  2. Why and How Should Reliability Professionals Implement RCM by a Holistic Approach
  3. 6 Reasons Organisations Fail in the RCM Implementation (and how to avoid)

RCM SoftwareReliaSoft RCM++ software – facilitate your RCM analysis

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