How to Overcome the “Cycle of Reactive Despair” by Guest Blogger Jeff Shiver - eMaint

How to Overcome the “Cycle of Reactive Despair” by Guest Blogger Jeff Shiver

It’s about 9:00AM and the daily Production Meeting is starting. After all the “Good Morning” comments circulate about the room, everyone settles down to hear the status of the previous 24 hours production effort. The Operator looks down at the floor while reading the numbers in a solemn voice. Once again, equipment downtime has robbed the plant of meeting the production numbers, not to mention any potential profit as the maintenance costs continue to soar. The room becomes charged as the group can feel the hair bristle on the back of the Plant Manager’s neck. All eyes shift toward the Maintenance Manager and his reports as the Plant Manager rattles his saber in the air. Once again, Maintenance succumbs to the fury as the effect rolls downhill to settle squarely on the shoulders.

Scenes like this are played out almost daily in many reactive organizations across the world. We call it the “Cycle of Reactive Despair”. Can you overcome the cycle with respect to your equipment reliability? Do you realize that Production and Engineering actually own a larger percentage of the overall equipment reliability than Maintenance? Other groups like Sales, Materials Management, and Procurement own their share too. Equipment reliability begins with a partnership that is really a reliability centered management philosophy, one that is based on common goals and metrics.

In addition, we need the proper foundational elements. For example, we need a method to collect equipment history, execute our work management processes, and trigger out our on condition and scheduled restoration/discard maintenance tasks. Hopefully you recognize this as a properly implemented computerized maintenance management system. Expanding on the work management processes, we need a functional Maintenance Planning and Scheduling effort that utilizes a dedicated Planning function focused on next week and beyond. The primary goal of the organization along with the Planning and Scheduling function is to eliminate the avoidable delays that rob us of Technician wrench time. Add to that effective Supervision that is tactical or focused on today and this week to ensure proper work execution and to remove obstacles that impede progress. While not found in many of the smaller organizations, we want to endeavor to deliver on the benefits of the Maintenance Engineering role; to drive precision and optimization in our maintenance tasks, determine the right spare part stocking levels, and work with Engineering to eliminate the “seagull effect”. If you can’t afford an engineer, dedicate a Maintenance Technician 4 hours a week to this improvement effort.


These foundational areas are just some of the elements required for a proactive reliability centered culture. If you would like to learn about more or want more information on a specific area, add a comment to this post so all can benefit or drop a email to

About the Guest Blogger:
Jeff Shiver, CMRP, CPMM is a Managing Principal for People and Processes, Inc. where he has educated and assisted hundreds of people and numerous organizations in implementing the Best Practices for Maintenance and Operations. Recognized as trusted advisor, Jeff has worked with clients in educational, manufacturing, municipal, and facilities environments to improve their practices. Certified in the Maintenance Best Practices and as an RCM2 Practitioner, Jeff is a frequent presenter at multiple maintenance conferences and is published in various trade media outlets via articles and blogs. As such, Jeff leads many of People and Processes core training classes such as Maintenance Planning and Scheduling, Maintenance and Reliability for Managers, Supervision, and Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM2).


Rona Palmer is the Marketing Director at eMaint Enterprises, located
in Marlton, NJ, that provides CMMS and EAM solutions for all of your
maintenance and asset management needs.

2012-02-28T08:46:35+00:00February 28, 2012|Success Stories|