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Impetus for this Book

Books dealing with maintenance subjects seem to focus on answering these questions: What should be done? How should it be done? And sometimes, when or why should it be done? Books on reliability seem to focus on mathematical aspects; the average maintenance manager or supervisor finds it hard to relate their content to the reality they face in their work.

We decided we would write about learning experiences from our working lives. We describe the hand we were dealt and how our team handled the situation in those circumstances. In hindsight, we found some underlying truths or principles in these experiences which we believe may be applicable in other situations. Based on these descriptions, readers can decide whether they should consider a different approach from the ones they currently follow.

The Shewhart Cycle

Edward Demingi describes Shewhart's continuous improvement cycle with the Plan-Do-Check-Act sequence. We use an adaptation of this, with the Plan, Schedule, Execute, and Analyze phases, shown in Figure 1.1. We have grouped our chapters under these four headings. Although some of the chapters could be placed under two or more headings, we chose the heading that seemed appropriate from our perspective. To these four, we added two more headings: Leadership and People. The subjects covered in the various chapters fall under one of these six headings. We hope that the grouping helps readers to find what they are looking for easily.

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