Book Review

Uptime; Strategies for Excellence in Maintenance Management
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Uptime; Strategies for Excellence in Maintenance Management

By: John Dixon Campbell and James V Reyes-Picknell

Hardcover : 357 pages
Published by: Productivity Press Inc
Publication Date: (2nd edition) - March 2006
Dimensions (in inches): 1.0 x 9.2 x 6.7
ISBN: 1563273357


  • Part 1 - Leadership
    • Chapter 1 - Building a Maintenance Strategy
    • Chapter 2 - Managing Change
  • Part 2 - Control
    • Chapter 3 - Planning and Scheduling Resources
    • Chapter 4 - Selecting Maintenance Tactics
    • Chapter 5 - Measuring and Benchmarking Performance
    • Chapter 6 - Management Information Systems for Maintenance
  • Part 3 - Continuous Improvement
    • Chapter 7 - Reliability Centered Maintenance
    • Chapter 8 - Total Productive Maintenance
  • Part 4 - Quantum Leaps
    • Chapter 9 - Reengineering Maintenance Processes
    • Chapter 10 - Maintenance 2000
  • Appendices
    • Appendix A - The Maintenance Management Diagnostic Review
    • Appendix B - Computerized Maintenance Management Systems Software Characteristics Matrix
    • Appendix C - Maintenance Terminology

    Our Review

    Note: This review is of the first edition of this book. The second edition has been updated by James Reyes-Picknell, and revises, updates, and expands on the first edition. We will bring you a review of the second edition once we have had a chance to read it.

    John Campbell is the partner in charge of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Maintenance Center of Excellence in Toronto, Canada, and has substantial experience in Maintenance Management consulting. His book - Uptime - Strategies for Excellence in Maintenance Management, is a fairly slim (185 pages) and very readable introduction to the latest thinking and practices for maintenance management from a business perspective. The author has written the book with the intention that it is more for reading by general management, or others wanting an overview of maintenance management thinking, than as a definitive technical review of plant engineering and maintenance technology. Engineers or Operations Managers who are new to maintenance, and who may not be familiar with the key concepts (such as TPM, RCM, CMMS implementation etc.) will find a lot of very useful material here. And this may be the ideal book to drop on the desk of the General Manager who doesn't seem to fully understand what the Maintenance function is trying to achieve in your organisation, or give to the Production Manager who has just assumed responsibility for Maintenance in a decentralised organisation structure.

    The book is structured around Campbell's pyramid model of the nine basic building blocks for effective maintenance. At the base of the pyramid is Leadership, which is, in turn, made up of the two elements of Strategy and Management. The next level in the pyramid is Control, which contains the buidling blocks of Data Management, Measures, Tactics, and Planning and Scheduling. The thrid level in the pyramid is Continuous Improvement, which contains the building blocks of RCM and TPM. The final level is Quantum Leaps, which contains the building block of Process Reengineering. The principle behind the model is that, in putting together an effective Maintenance function - the lower levels of the pyramid must be tackled first. There is little point in tackling Maintenance Control, for example, unless the fundamental maintenance strategy, and basic management structures are in place. Similarly, embarking on a Continuous Improvement progam, without first having bedded down basic maintenance control processes, is likely to be ineffective. There is a chapter in the book for each of the building blocks, as well as an additional chapter musing about the future of maintenance management in the 21st century.

    The strength of this book, as well as its frustration, is the level of detail that is contained within it. It covers a lot of ground, in a relatively short time - which is absolutely ideal if you are looking for an overview of maintenance management principles, but which can be frustrating if you are looking for answers to specific problems, or are looking for more detail in an area of interest. For example, the issue of centralisation vs decentralisation of the maintenance organisation structure is covered in three pages, with the final conclusion being that "there is no correct organization structure that can be transferred from a book to a real-life situation" (p. 30). I guess you need to hire PricewaterhouseCoopers to give you some advice on your "real-life situation" :-). But we must remember that the book is not intended to be the definitive reference book on Maintenance Management.

    In the section on Maintenance Control, the important distinction between Maintenance Planning and Maintenance Scheduling is well made. This fundamental concept is remarkably poorly understood, in my experience, and results in significantly poorer maintenance performance. Basic methods for planning and scheduling maintenance work are well covered, although no attention is given to how to most effectively manage the inevitable breakdowns that occur that interrupt even the best made plans and schedules.

    One quibble with the book is the terminology used to describe the routine tasks chosen to predict or prevent equipment failures. Campbell uses the term "Maintenance Tactics" to describe these tasks, where "Equipment Maintenance Strategies" is the terminology more commonly used. Using "Maintenance Tactics" implies that these decisions are short-term, taken on the run, where, to be effective, Equipment Maintenance Strategies need to fully take into account the strategic needs of the business, and are unlikely to be reviewed more frequently than on an annual basis - they are hardly "tactical" decisions. Indeed, the chapter on Maintenance Tactics explains some useful principles, but does not indicate how best to determine the most appropriate Equipment Maintenance strategies. RCM is covered in a later chapter (under Continuous Improvement), and given an excellent overview in this chapter. In my view, these two chapters should be combined (and a basic description of Weibull Analysis included).

    Another oversight in the book, given its intended readership at General Manager level, is an absence of coverage of the topic of Risk Management and Maintenance. Concepts of tolerable levels of risk, and how certain maintenance activities, such as functional testing or "failure finding tasks" can help to minimise total business risk (whether financial, environmental or safety risks) are important issues that General Managers need to understand, and are, for the most part, very interested in.

    Nevertheless, this job does a good job of demistifying Maintenance Management for Non-Maintenance Managers and is highly recommended for reading by General Managers, Production or Operations Managers, as well as engineers who may be coming into the maintenance function for the first time, with minimal exposure to the principals of Maintenance Management.

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