13.1 Introduction to Technology
someone hears the term technology in the context of change management and
organizational culture, it brings to mind many meanings. In our context, the
term is very specific; it refers to the software applications, and the
information they provide, in support of the reliability and maintenance work
processes in place within your company.
how does technology, as defined here, involve itself in the study of
organizational change at a cultural level? Before answering this question,
let’s look at some examples. Think about the repair-based method of working. In
that process, things broke down and we repaired them, initially using paper
work orders and storing the results of our efforts, again on paper. Having
detailed information to analyze our problems was not nearly as important as
getting the equipment back on line. In this mode of operation, paper was
certainly good enough for tracking information.
consider a close analogy – unit mechanics. In their most simplified form, unit
mechanics are assigned to an operating process simply to fix what breaks down as
quickly as possible at the direction of production. Most often these positions
are justified in order to keep the small, easy repairs out of the system and to
have the simple repairs made quickly. If you look closely, most of these unit
mechanics work from a paper system with little or no information retained to
indicate what was accomplished. This example shows a low technology / paper
system at work.
today’s reliability-focused world of maintenance, our work orders are generated
by a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). The information we
obtain to support our efforts is also stored and retrieved when needed from
computers. Today we are focused on equipment reliability and the concept that
things are not supposed to fail. If they do fail, we don’t want only to make a
repair, but also to understand why it failed, then make repairs that eliminate
the root cause problems so that unplanned failure will not reoccur.
can now answer the question asked early in this section about
technology’s involvement with change. Working effectively
and efficiently in our new reliability-focused work environment requires timely
and accurate information. Meeting this requirement is where technology fits
into the picture, both in the systems we employ and the information that they
deliver. As used in our discussion, technology is the enabler of change. It
supports the other seven elements of change as well as providing a reinforcing
foundation for the four elements of culture.
this chapter, we shall discuss how technology supports change and the elements
of change. We will also look at how the proper use of technology can support a
reliability-focused culture shift for your organization.
discussion of technology must also recognize a “dark side” in the incorrect use
of technology and poor information. Either not having or having but not using
the technology, then generating incorrect or inaccurate information, will
undermine your change processes, also disrupting the new work culture that you
are trying to create.