Modern Maintenance Setting and Achieving Goals
January is the start of a new year, which usually means we hear a lot about New Year’s resolutions. We make them, get all excited, and about a month or so later we forget them. I like to keep it simple, no “New Year, new me” cliches, just plain goals. I have an idea of the things I want to do, see, and achieve next year. I write them down and make a plan to fit it all in. Do I always get it right? No. This way of thinking, however, has slightly tricked my brain into actually working toward my goals all year. Unfortunately, to achieve any goal takes more than a little brain trickery. Having an idea of what your goals are is just the start. You then need to write them down, get everyone involved who needs to be, brainstorm how to achieve them, put the plan into action, and then do the work. Let’s breakdown what it will take for you to achieve goals in your department this year.
Corporate hands down many of the maintenance departments’ goals: decrease downtime or spending; increase productivity or revenue; cut costs and increase profits. These are the basis of most, if not all, company goals. Cutting costs is a little too broad though; you’ll want to be as precise as possible. For instance, “cutting costs by 10 percent while increasing production by 5 percent” is specific. That kind of specificity gives you and your team a very clear goal to work toward.
Once you’ve gotten your goal(s) set, you’ll need to brainstorm ideas to make it happen. Start by getting your entire team involved. They work with the assets day in and day out, which can help pinpoint problem areas as well as give ideas on how to do things a little differently. No idea is a bad idea, it just may not be a good fit. Go through each idea and discuss the pros and cons. Team involvement connects everyone with the goals while improving a team-like atmosphere.
Now that you have a plan of action, write it down. Research has shown you are 42 percent more likely to achieve goals if they are written down and 76 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write action commitments and share weekly progress reports. Set milestones or key performance indicators (KPIs) and review them weekly. I’m going out on a limb here in assuming most company goals are set with a 12-month timeline. If yours are not, make sure you know exactly when the goals need to be achieved. As it’s been said, “A goal without a deadline is just a dream.”
By using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) such as MaintiMizer™, you’ll be able to track goals easily. Take a look at your reports from last year and break them down week by week or month by month. Whatever makes the most sense for you and your team. We understand every month is not the same; you could have spent more money in January than you did in April. If you have your cost reports from January of last year, compare them to January of this year. Using our sample goal from above, if you spent $6,000 last January, you’ll want to make sure this January you spend $600 less. This is just one way to set KPIs and track your goals. Be sure to set KPIs that make sense for your company.
Now that the initial legwork is done, it’s time to hold yourself and the team accountable for achieving these goals. Using the KPIs you set, make sure you are reviewing them as often as needed. If your team is falling behind and you’ve only been checking KPIs once a month, move into weekly progress checks. If there seems to be a big gap between where you are versus where you need to be, take a look at your action plan. Is there anything more you can do? Anything that needs to be done differently? Are your technicians properly trained for their tasks? Do you have the right technicians working on the assets that best suit their abilities? Review, assess, and change up the plan as needed. No need to change the goal, just the steps to get there.
When done correctly, goal setting is effective and often critical to success. Goals energize performance, motivate teams to persist in activities over time, and focus people’s attention. Set your goals, write them down, and have your CMMS help keep the whole team on track. Your CMMS can be your best friend when it comes to tracking KPIs, so make sure it’s set up properly and kept up to date. Keep momentum going all year long with this formula, and you will achieve goals for your department consistently.