Preparing for the CMRP with Bobby Lee
We’re excited to welcome Bobby Lee on this episode. He started in the maintenance field in his early twenties. He got a two-year degree in Industrial Systems Technologies, after which he worked at Baxter Healthcare. He then proceeded to work for American Zinc Products as a reliability engineer for nearly one and a half years. From there, he joined Eruditio where he’s currently a reliability engineer. During those years, Bobby got involved with implementing reliability engineering programs, FMEAs, RCAs, among others. He’s also managed to get his CMRP, which is what we’d like to know more about.
In this episode, we covered:
- What is the CMRP?
- Why would you want a CMRP certification?
- Other Benefits of having the CMRP
- And much more!
What is the CMRP?
It is the Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional Certificate from the SMRP organization. It’s a professional designation that requires continuous education to maintain it.
Why would you want a CMRP certification?
For Bobby, the main reason for wanting the certification was to attain credibility in the field. When he travels to talk about reliability, the certification gives him more credibility with his audience. He also has an RMIC from the University of Tennessee, so the CMRP just added to it since he didn’t have a four-year degree.
Other Benefits of having the CMRP
Apart from the credibility aspect, the CMRP also helps you continue to learn and press forward. If you don’t keep growing and learning, then the certification is only good for about three years. So, it serves as continuing education as well, to keep your knowledge current. The test will also show your weak spots since you get feedback on your scores for each of its five pillars:
- Business and Management
- Process Reliability
- Equipment Reliability
- Organization Leadership
- Work Management
Which preparations do you need for the CMRP exams?
Eruditio has the BOK, Book of Knowledge, course that really helps. It’s a lot of informational whitepapers and courses to prepare for the test. There are also a lot of books available. There’s the Toyota Way which describes how Toyota designs, as well as their ‘stop and fix it now’ mentality. Also, being in the field for several years, working on reliability projects, being a part of work management, and laying the groundwork for all of that helps.
Another good book is the Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices 2nd Edition. It covers everything so well. Bobby loves leadership, so learning more about it through the book made him see how much he enjoys it.
Which other resources can you use to prepare for the exams?
They’re SMRP. So, once you join the SMRP, they give you the Body of Knowledge which lays the groundwork for what the test entails. They have a lot of resources there as well.
While going through the program with Eruditio, Bobby had whitepapers as well and found that it was good to go back and refresh his memory on those topics. The BOK guide is a good starting point to identify your strengths and weaknesses so you can focus more on them.
Recommendations for those preparing for the CMRP exams
According to Bobby, you should:
- Know and focus on your weak spots
- Study up on the things you’re familiar with but don’t spend too much time on them
- Refining your weakest link will help you get to goals
For those struggling with work management, the Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Handbook by Doc Palmer is probably the best reference for that topic. It’s a big book that would allow you to go deeper if you’d like.
Rabbit holes to avoid while preparing
Bobby got stuck in leadership because the topic of leading people intrigued him. He was also in the process of learning more on leadership at that time for church using the books H3 Leadership and Designed to Lead. The latter option talks about culture change and delves into how to relate to people to help the culture change to what it needs to be.
In reliability, we sometimes forget that to get people on board, we have to figure out what’s important to them. Is it spending time with their families? Is it getting a little bit more overtime? Whatever it is, you need to be able to help them see how the benefits of reliability engineering can help them achieve those goals.
Although it was a rabbit hole, it brought out some good points relating to the culture change while leading people. That is non-technical stuff that a lot of maintenance and reliability professionals don’t fully grasp, but it’s how to get the whole program going. That is one area that people agree needs a lot more understanding so that the program’s successful.
Words of wisdom for those seeking their CMRP
One of the biggest issues for Bobby was the fear of failure. But he decided to stop hesitating and take the test since he had already studied for quite a while. By taking the test, you’ll get an idea of where you are, what you need to study up on so you can improve any weak points you have. So, rather than looking at it as a failure, it’s a way to see where you need to grow.
Don’t be afraid to take the test especially, if you’ve already studied for a while. Just take care of it.
How to be successful with preparation for the CMRP exams
The COVID pandemic forced Bobby to stay home more, so he had more time to read through the study material. You’ll need to sacrifice time from the things you can afford to take a break from. It’s hard, but the end justifies the means.
Also, try to schedule small chunks of study time rather than big blocks. Shorter study sessions help you retain more information better than cramming for four or even eight hours straight.
Another option is having a cheat sheet or flashcards of the areas you’re not too confident in. So, as you get closer to the exams, you’re no longer reading the books but rather, going through the cheat sheets. These are briefs of the information you need to retain. You can carry them with you and review them whenever you have a few minutes to spare throughout the day.
What to do differently With CMRP preparations
Do not be afraid of the test. Know that you can go and prepare adequately for the tests. There are a lot of resources out there to help you get ready and succeed. The thought of doing the test might be intimidating but if you’ve studied hard and prepared the best way you can, then believe you’ll reach the goal you want to achieve.
Bobby Lee Links:
- Eruditio BoK Class
- iBL Program
- Book: The Toyota Way
- Book: Maintenance & Reliability Best Practices
- Book: Maintenance Planning & Scheduling Handbook
- Book: H3 Leadership
- Book: Design to Lead
- Book: Dare to Lead
- Book: Daring Greatly
- CMRP Certification
- BoK Guide
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