Monthly Archives: May 2017

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This is a guest post written by Copperleaf.  ARMS Reliability is an authorized distributor of Copperleaf’s C55 Asset Investment Planning & Management solution. 

Author: Stefan Sadnicki

Modern urban wastewater treatment plant. Close-up view

Anglian Water is an innovative company whose mission is “to put water at the heart of a whole new way of living” and raise awareness about how essential water is to life, to the environment, and to a vibrant and growing economy. The company is the largest water and water recycling company in England and Wales—and Copperleaf’s first client in this sector!

We recently completed the implementation of Copperleaf C55 and it was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding projects any of us have ever worked on. I sat down to catch up with Chris Royce, our primary stakeholder and project champion, to get his thoughts on how everything went. As Head of Strategic Investment Management for Anglian Water, Chris was involved with the project from before it was a project! As the implementation draws to a close, I’d like to share some of the highlights:

What was the most challenging part of the project?

For Copperleaf, this was a new country (UK) and a new sector (water). We could see the potential of the C55 system and the benefits it would provide, and in reality many utility assets are very similar and the principles of risk-based decision making are similar. Ultimately, we now have a fantastic solution that combines the power and capability of the core C55 solution with the maturity of the UK water sector. It’s really exciting to see. This continuous planning and management capability really puts us in a new space.

What was the most rewarding part?

For the procurement process, we put together our set of requirements, including many ambitious areas of functionality that we were going to need to meet future challenges. We were unsure if any suppliers could achieve them all, but we knew what best practice could look like—and the Copperleaf team committed to deliver them all. It’s been hugely rewarding to see the vision become reality throughout the project.

Is there anything unique that AW is doing with C55 – something that hasn’t been done before?

There are lots of things. In particular, we started capturing cost data in 2005 and have been carrying out cost estimation-linked investment planning since 2007, using over 1,800 cost models built up from that data. As such, it was very important for our new solution to be able to build on that library of knowledge. Working closely with our Cost Estimating Team, Copperleaf built out a new Cost Estimation module, integrated with the rest of C55, to execute our cost models within the planning process.

Have there been any other added benefits?

At the start of the process, we undertook a comprehensive process mapping of ‘as is’ and ‘to be’. This highlighted a number of pinch points in our process, which Copperleaf was able to ‘systemise’ as part of the implementation.

How has the C55 solution been received in the wider business?

We’ve had a great response from end users. As one user put it during a training session: “I’ve only been using C55 10 minutes and it’s already a significant improvement over our previous system.”

Any anecdotes from the project?

During evaluation, we held a number of reference calls and I joked that Copperleaf must have some magic stardust they put on their users’ keyboards, because I had never heard such positive references about an IT provider. I have to say they were honest! I believe it’s Copperleaf’s focus on the customer experience that made the difference.

What made the project a success?

It may be a cliché, but the joint Anglian Water and Copperleaf delivery team deserves a large amount of credit. We started from a strong position; we had a clear idea of what we wanted to achieve due to our maturity, and the right product to deliver it. But ultimately, the drive and dedication of the team is what has carried us to a successful go-live. Anglian Water is very strong in alliancing and is recognised as an industry leader in this regard, so I wanted to carry this through into this project. And on the Copperleaf side, just the simple thing of having one dedicated project manager for the duration of the project made all the difference in having a collaborative and innovative delivery approach.

To learn more about Copperleaf’s work with Anglian Water, click here.

About Stefan Sadnicki

Stefan is Managing Director for Copperleaf in Europe. He works both with Copperleaf partners and directly with asset-intensive organisations to solve their asset investment planning challenges. His background is in business analytics and consulting and he is an active member of The Institute of Asset Management (IAM). Connect with him on LinkedIn.


Our previous article in this RCA Program Development blog series introduced the six roles required in your root cause analysis team in order cover all of the necessary functions. This installment in the series goes into more depth on the team structure and provides some important considerations for deciding whom should be involved.  

Roles and Responsibilities

The RCA effort in any organization will require a number of participants at various levels of the organization having distinct roles with very specific responsibilities.  Once the workflow processes are established it is time to assign these roles and responsibilities to specific individuals, determine training needs, and decide if a formal human change management plan will be desirable to assist employees in assuming their new assignments.  These responsibilities must be clearly understood to ensure that the appropriate personnel are assigned to the various roles which include the following:

 

RCATeamGraphic_72ppi.png

 

To assist in the above, it is helpful to review the nature and dynamics of a functioning RCA team.

The role of an analysis team is to apply the RCA methodology to a particular incident.  A predetermined set of conditions or triggers is used in determining what incidents qualify for a formal RCA.  The RCA Champion in collaboration with a designated Facilitator then decides through the problem definition process how much effort is to be expended on the analysis i.e. what skills participants will be on the team and how many of each, based upon the severity of the incident.  As a general rule, the cost of the resources expended should be significantly less than the potential benefit of a successful outcome.  In other words, the effort should yield a favorable ROI or greatly reduce the risk of a safety or environmental incident recurrence.  It is often useful to define threshold levels, or break points for minor, significant, or major RCA efforts to provide guidance.

The Facilitator leads the analysis process.  Teams should be cross functional and consist of 6 to 8 members depending upon the nature, complexity, and severity of the incident under investigation. When assembling an RCA team, the Champion or Facilitator has the option of including people directly involved in the incident being analyzed on the team, or involve them as interviewees only.  It is often beneficial to include a team member with no firsthand knowledge of the incident, but having familiarity with the process, equipment, etc. in order to help bring objectivity to the group and avoid “group think”. These members need to be carefully selected to ensure they add value. Having people assigned to the analysis team because they are available will only waste time. The team should also have at its disposal all the facts, evidence, and a timeline surrounding the incident. 

Certain points in the analysis may require additional information that is not available within the organization.  For example, it may be necessary to contact suppliers or vendors concerning design issues. The incident owner will need to understand and encourage the follow-up on this type of information gathering.

When the RCA program is launched, it is recommended to focus on the quality of the analysis and not quantity. A few quick-wins are important to building momentum and confidence in the process.

Specific RCA team responsibilities include the following:

  • Review the facts, evidence, and timeline surrounding the incident  
  • Interview eye witnesses or others that may have useful knowledge of the incident at hand but are not on the analysis team
  • Interview subject matter experts
  • Provide the technical expertise for problem solving including action and condition recognition and possible solution proposals
  • Perform an RCA analysis. The Apollo Root Cause Analysis methodology includes:
  • Validating the problem definition as previously determined by the Champion and Facilitator
  • Creating the cause and effect diagram using RealityCharting® software
  • Identifying conditions and actions that precipitated the incident under investigation
  • Proposing effective solution to eliminate selected conditions and actions that are realistic and under the control of the facility’s management
  • Summarize the findings in a report to the Champion to be presented to the Steering Committee. Be available to answer any question the Steering Committee may have regarding the report.

Once the roles and responsibilities are assigned, a comprehensive training plan covering the RCA methodology and any identified change management needs must be developed with a targeted timeline. 

So far, this blog series has covered:

The Key Steps of Designing Your Program

Defining Goals and Current Status

Setting KPIs and Establishing Trigger Thresholds

RCA and Solution Tracking and Roles and Responsibilities

And, Recommended RCA Team Structure.

The next edition will review the specific responsibilities of the six RCA roles. Stay tuned for more.