The Secret To Life

Robert C. Baldwin, CMRP, Editor
While surfing down the cable channels the other day, I clicked on the movie "City Slickers" and stayed long enough to enjoy the "secret to life" scene. That is where city slicker Mitch Robins (Billy Crystal) and tough trail boss Curly (Jack Palance) get to know each other while driving strays back to the herd.

Curly shares his philosophy with Mitch, noting that city slickers spend 50 weeks a year getting knots in their rope and think 2 weeks of playing cowboy will untie them. The conversation continues something like this:

Curly: Do you know what the secret to life is?

Mitch: No, what?

Curly: This (holds up one finger).

Mitch: Your finger?

Curly: One thing, just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don't mean nothin'.

Mitch: That's great, but what's the one thing?

Curly: That's what you got to figure out.

And that got me to thinking. What is the most important thing happening today in the plant equipment maintenance, reliability, and asset management profession? I couldn't come up with just one thing, but I did come up with two: MIMOSA and SMRPCO. One is in the technical sector and one is in the management sector.

The Machinery Information Management Open Systems Alliance (MIMOSA) advocates the open exchange of equipment condition related information between condition assessment, process control, and maintenance information systems.

The association is working to untie the knots in the plant information network by developing a common XML vocabulary to facilitate plug and play connectivity.

The SMRP Certifying Organization (SMRPCO), an independent division of the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP), has developed a certifying process for maintenance and reliability leadership.

Perhaps its most significant achievement is the work process model it developed to describe the capabilities it believes are required to achieve certification. That model covers work processes for business and management, people skills, equipment reliability, manufacturing process reliability, and work management. It helps to untie the blinders that keep business leaders from realizing there is more to equipment asset management than just knowing how to fix things.

We are participating members of both organizations and proudly display their badges on our masthead. Their progress signals that the profession is reaching a new level of maturity. That's good. But we can't slack off or we'll surely get more knots in our rope. MT


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