Facilitating FMEAs with Bobby Lee
It’s my pleasure to welcome Bobby Lee back to the podcast.
He is a reliability engineer with irritation. He spent quite a bit of time working on FMEA’s equipment, maintenance plans, RCAs, etc. He has spent about 10 years as a maintenance technician and a reliability engineer.
In this episode we covered:
- What are some of the things you see going on with FMEAs that we really got to pay attention to?
- So how do we get that engagement then?
- Some people get hung up on some of the corrective actions or preventative actions coming out, right?
What are some of the things you see going on with FMEAs that we really got to pay attention to?
Whenever you can start keeping people engaged, that’s when FMEA starts to become interesting and fun. With engagement, they start to see the value and get excited about it. Talking about these components and different functions and functional failures and things of that nature.
So how do we get that engagement then?
We ask ourselves 3 questions:
- How is the facilitator’s techniques and skill?
- Do we have the right people in the room?
- How deep is too deep for the FMEA?
Having people write down components on sticky notes saves me time. If you can have a visual instead of working on a spreadsheet, that would be great. I find more engagement when you have people actively writing and writing out failures as well. You got to watch the ones that like to get off on rabbit trails, the ones that like to chase failures and problems. You must keep them on track for FMEA and not a root cause analysis to distinguish the difference.
Some people get hung up on some of the corrective actions or preventative actions coming out, right?
Yes. We use what we call a parking lot. Anytime they get off on those rabbit trails say, ‘oh, well that would be a good RCEA event. Let’s put that in the parking lot.’ What that does is it makes that person feel heard and seen, and it recognizes that they see the problem. And we’re going to try to address that when we can. Same with the preventative tasks; there’s going to be arguments based off this preventative maintenance tasks that we can do. But also, you have to stay on task in order to complete the job at hand.
Have you seen anything that people do wrong during facilitation?
I don’t know if I would say wrong, but sometimes you’ll have people that will just step up on you. They’ll say that they don’t see the value of FMEA, they don’t understand the output of this, it will never work here, it is a waste of time because we don’t dive down into these components, etc. So, in those moments, when you deal with someone like that, it’s important to have that side conversation and help them realize the value in this and trust the process. The outcome of a failure mode effect analysis can be failure codes for CMMS system, equipment maintenance plan. It can help you direct your RCEA events. Have the follow-up actions ranting in front of them, when something gets achieved, we celebrate it.
How deep is too deep or how high is too high when it comes to FMEA?
I think it depends on the organization. Some people’s maintenance is more advanced than others. Their programs are just more advanced. They have more failure codes. They’re able to track data a little bit better. Chat with the team or whoever is having this project done and understand what they want it for. Is it failure codes? Is it to come up with an EMP? How deep did they expect it to be?
Have the right people in the room. I find if we start getting more than, you know, six, seven people in the room, it really slows down the process. It is important to keep it small. Also provide donuts, it makes everybody happy.
What’s a maintainable item?
Maintainable components comprise of a motor gearbox, Sprockets chains, chain guides, things like that, that are visual. We can also do the predictive technology zone, things that might need to be lubricated, things that we can measure and get true quantitative PM tasks for.
A good function statement is going to drop your FMEA so much. A good function statement would be capturing. A box machine’s job is to form box within a certain spec at 20 boxes per minute, just throwing a number out there.
The facilitation techniques based on how our audiences want to engage should have people that are willing to engage, right?
Engage people. They will have trust in you and see you as a valued team member. So let’s add value. Ask peoples’ thoughts. It is harder to navigate whenever you have those quiet people in the room, but when they start to see their value and that they are valued, they will start to speak up.
Do you have any tricks or tips you want to share before one facilitates an FMEA?
- Do a lot of breathing exercises
- Get your supplies ready, get the room set up
- Ask the right questions
- Be familiar with the asset. Walk the asset down as a group, see how it works
- Review the hierarchy before you go in
- Take a break and investigate something you do not remember
- If there’s room to do an MBA right there at the asset, that can be very beneficial because you’re out there, they can get their hands on it.
Bobby Lee Links:
- Bobby Lee past episodes
- Book: Dare to Lead by Brenee Brown
- Bobby Lee Email
- Book: Failure Modes to Failure Codes by John Reeve
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