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The Maintenance Management Blog

December 29, 2022

5 Phases Of CMMS Success

Reading my short bio below, you'll learn I'm a published author as well as a martial artist. I thought of stages I complete with each new book or short story I write and found them similar to the five key steps for using a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). Then I jump-kicked over to martial arts and found other relatable steps.

Many people ask about my writing. Where I get my ideas, the length of time to finish a book, and how I get published. I also receive questions about martial arts. How long I've been involved, what is it I actually do, attending tournaments.

I won't attempt to answer in detail those questions here, but I want to highlight the different progressive stages for each in relation to the five steps for a CMMS. I hope to bring a better understanding of how these can be adapted not only in your workplace but in other activities.

Image: a view of hands around a planning sheet1. Planning

CMMS – This is the first step. What do facility managers want out of their CMMS software? What areas of your operation are you needing more control over? Maintenance? Inventory stocking? Purchasing power? Perhaps your company uses bar codes and is needing a better way to handle them. Figure out what you want before anything else. How many times have you bought something because, at the moment, you thought it was a great idea, only to discover later it didn’t fit your needs? Planning saves later regret.

Writing – This is the origin of a story. An idea hits me. Maybe I think of it after reading a news article or listening to friends' anecdotes, or while reading another book. I let the idea sit. If it keeps bugging me, I'll develop an overall storyline and create a few characters, maybe a subplot or side stories.

Martial Arts – Taekwondo is the specific sport I practice. One of the questions often heard is: "Why did you join martial arts?" Self-defense? Weight loss? Because it looked fun? For me, it was the last answer in addition to just wanting an exercise regimen.

Knowing what I wanted beforehand, helped when deciding where to go.

Image: man at desk on computer2. Implementation

CMMS – This is not as complicated as the image implies. You've decided on a CMMS. Great. Now, take some time to input information. Create lists of existing equipment, inventory, users, etc. Add more as needed.

Having everything in place is the second step in improving your operation. Yes, it may take time, but once it's done, you're all set. You may need only to tweak settings once circumstances deem it necessary.

Writing – This is where I draw up a more complete outline of the story. For me, this is the guideline for me to follow. I can't just write off the cuff as ideas come to me. If I can refer to an outline, it's easier to add details as they come to mind. I keep those outlines flexible enough that I can alter and adjust them as needed.

Martial Arts – For the prospective martial artist, this would be doing research. Visiting studios, evaluating instructors teaching classes, and speaking with them and the owner about pricing and schedules. You could visit the website and check out the parent organization if one exists. While you haven't decided yet on which outfit to join, you're 'implementing' your plan to be sure which club fits what you want.

For me, this wasn't that involved a process. I found a wonderful organization that had a small branch where I lived. I joined for two weeks of free classes (which became my evaluation of the club and instructors) and never looked back.

Image: student in computer class3. Training

CMMS – You were shown how to input information, now learn how to use the system. Receive pointers on PMs, work orders, purchase orders, and some of the features that will benefit.

Schedule training sessions for multiple users so everyone can be part of the team.

Training is important, because it allows initial questions to be asked and answered, especially when training onsite in an actual operation.

Writing – I consider the 'training' to be the actual writing of the story. Start with the first page and the opening line. As the writing continues, I'm learning more about the characters' personalities, the direction of the plot, and questions that pop up for which I'll conduct later research.

After completing the first draft, I'll read the story over many weeks to critique groups to receive feedback. (This is akin to CMMS users asking questions to supervisors and trainers.) Then, I'll go through rounds of rewrites and editing to polish the manuscript.

Martial Arts – Well, of course, training and workouts. Learning techniques. My classes offered sparring, board breaks, weapons (long staff, nun-chucks, etc., although these came later), and extra self-defense courses. This is the phase where I sweat and persevered and exhibited discipline. This is what I chose, so I had to go for it.

Image: crane workers4. "Go Live"

CMMS – While training may have been onsite, it's now time to put the CMMS into action. Put it to work for day-to-day operations. It'll take some time for the system to 'settle in,' to become a familiar part of the workday.

In this initialization period, invariably questions will arise. This doesn't mean the system is failing or bad, but that there always is a 'breaking in' period. This will be the time when the CMMS company's support staff will be invaluable. Don't worry.

Things will run smoother the more you stay with it.

Writing – I could have placed part of this point with the previous, but I wanted to keep the actual writing process separate from the publishing process.

Good authors will start marketing the book even before it's even released to establish a brand and a fan base. Meanwhile, after the writing step is complete, I start querying publishers and agents to see who will bite. I'll tweak cover letters and other documents for individual guidelines.

Once a publishing company accepts, I'm back to more rounds with its editors. In time, a date will be set, and the book is released.

Martial Arts – Just as you'd take the CMMS for real-time usage, I look at this phase as taking what you've learned in training to tournaments, and seeing how you match up against competitors. You'll learn where you need improvements in your martial arts. Discovering your 'weak areas' is not a bad thing. It's not faulting the instructor but showing where you could invest extra practice time.

Image: neon glowing computer5. Ongoing Improvements

CMMS – A CMMS cannot be static, else, like many other products, it becomes outdated. It must strive to offer better features and more benefits as customers and the business world itself evolves.

Your company grows. Can your CMMS grow along with you? Do you need other modules such as purchasing or human resources? Can your CMMS interface with ERPs and other third-party systems?

Writing – What's the next story about? I always try to have one or more in the queue to start. I'm writing the next one while reading the first one to the critique groups. I may write on one for a while, then switch to another when a sticky point comes up. Where and how can I better market current books? Attending conventions? Author and other events? Speaking engagements?

Martial Arts – Where did I want to go in my taekwondo journey? My organization uses belt ranks, so a long-term goal was black belt. I then started the instructor certification program, attending workout camps and business seminars. In time, I opened my own club to train others. I never forgot, though, to continue my personal training.

I chose only two activities to relate to the five phases of utilizing a CMMS. I hope you might find other areas where these steps could be put into practice. I also think if you're considering a CMMS for your company, you would follow these steps. They're a logical progression to better success.

Visit Mapcon and call 800-922-4336 for more information.


Stephen Brayton

About the Author – Stephen Brayton


Stephen L. Brayton is a Marketing Associate at Mapcon Technologies, Inc. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in Communications. His background includes radio, hospitality, martial arts, and print media. He has authored several published books (fiction), and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. With his joining the Mapcon team, he ventures in a new and exciting direction with his writing and marketing. He’ll bring a unique perspective in presenting the Mapcon system to prospective companies, as well as our current valued clients.


Filed under: CMMS, maintenance, planning, training — Stephen Brayton on December 29, 2022