A few thoughts on trust, communication, and tools.
First and foremost, cooperation between Maintenance and Operations is built on trust. In order to build trust, start by assigning ownership of assets or asset areas. A collaborative reliability focus requires that Maintenance and Operations owns an asset so that major decisions can be made jointly and there is a real sense of empowerment. Trust can then be earned. Some of our customers have assigned a Maintenance Process Owner and an Operations Process Owner for each major asset.
Secondly, a central asset health dashboard can be the best communication tool they’ve ever had. It can be instrumental in solidifying trust between Operations and Maintenance as well as ensuring optimal performance and reliability. If your program ensures that the health of the asset is being constantly monitored, then Operations understands that releasing equipment to maintenance to perform proactive work or inspections will help eliminate unexpected failure. Operations works with maintenance to determine when maintenance work should be done and that when they release asset they will get it back up and running in a timely fashion.
Lastly, if the majority of the maintenance work is currently unplanned, there will be a major cultural shift necessary for operations and maintenance to cooperate. Senior management must be sold on the benefits of asset performance management, predictive and preventive maintenance. Without top management support, the probability of making any significant progress in changing the culture is very near zero. Providing the proper tools and training to support new proactive processes and practices will to help facilitate a change.