If It Were Easy, Anyone Could Do It

Robert C. Baldwin, Editor
One of the associated benefits of the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) certification initiative will be a comprehensive listing of the skills needed for effective asset management. The SMRP Professional Certification committee has identified five skill groupings or sets: equipment reliability skills, work management skills, people skills, business and management skills, and manufacturing process reliability skills. Members of SMRP and the readers of this magazine agree that these skill sets are very important to successful asset management (page 29). Just how much work is involved was brought home to members of the SMRP Certification Methods and Tools working group at its last meeting as it began digging beneath the first level of skills and saw the multiplicity of additional skills below.

The team I'm working with is developing the equipment reliability skills set. Our current list of top-level skills specifies that a competent maintenance and reliability professional should be able to:

  • Establish performance specifications to match company business plan
  • Establish current reliability performance levels and analyze gaps
  • Establish a maintenance strategy to assure performance
  • Cost justify tactics selected for implementation
  • Execute a maintenance strategy
  • Review performance and adjust maintenance strategy
  • Apply maintenance and reliability best practices to initial design, procurement, and installation of new equipment
  • Use analysis tools effectively
  • Use maintenance technologies effectively
  • Use information technologies effectively.

When you get practitioners with broad experience and knowledge together to examine the profession, as in this working group, they all begin to see the true breadth of plant equipment reliability, maintenance, and asset management and better appreciate the number of skills it takes to be good at it.

If you examine your own job in detail, and break it down into its component behavioral skills, you quite likely will be surprised with the number of items in the list. How many of these items is your boss aware of?

Perhaps it is time to take stock, sharpen your skills, and demonstrate your proficiency to yourself, the team, and the boss. The last four items on our top-level list suggest that if you want to be successful, you will be committing yourself to continuous learning for the rest of your professional career. MT