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Existing Foundation

There was a clear set of definitions of priorities in place. Jobs with an immediate effect on safety of people or equipment had the highest importance, denoted Priority A. Similarly, if there was an immediate and significant production loss, that was also Priority A. If the loss was not immediate but was considered significant, it was assigned a lower priority, denoted Priority B. All other jobs were assigned the lowest level, namely Priority C.

Corruption of the Priority System

However, the system deteriorated over the years to the point where most jobs were marked Priority A or B. We had not identified the persons who could authorize the assignment of these priorities. Maintenance had to respond to suit the assigned priorities, so operations marked up jobs to higher priority levels. This meant working overtime to clear the 'urgent' workload, and often meant interrupting jobs to attend to other breakdowns. Chaos reigned, but we had gotten used to this state of affairs for some time. We had 60-70 percent Priority A, 20-25 percent Priority B, and only 5-10 percent Priority C jobs in the system.

 
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