CIO’s and IT Directors are expected to provide strategic and tactical leadership to affect evidence-based decisions relative to capital and operational planning and budgets. They are concurrently responsible for tracking ROI and TCO from current technology investment, while planning for future technology portfolio investments. Operationally CIO’s and IT Directors must ensure that critical production systems like Maximo are providing timely and accurate information to business operational functions such as maintenance management, inventory, supply chain and finance.
IT Operations and Sustainment Managers are charged with ensuring that business operational areas benefit from a stable and reliable Maximo production system. Furthermore, that the organization is capable of responding, in a timely fashion to changing business needs.
Upgrading Maximo – Success Factors
In the case of the former (CIO’s and IT Directors), finalizing a decision to upgrade Maximo consumes significant resources over a considerable period of time, often over a 2 to 3 year planning and budget horizon. In terms of the IT Operations and Sustainment Manager, he or she typically has a minimum level of capacity to absorb and effectively respond to much more than break / fix service requests.
Extracting a high-level of results and benefits from a current Maximo deployment necessitates having a stable and reliable system but also having the policies, standards, processes and organizational responsibilities in place as the foundation for an effective, efficient and integrated maintenance management, inventory, supply chain and financial operation.
Specific areas that can contribute to enhancing delivery of Maximo services include:
- Polices and standards that define what constitutes an asset together with the required asset attributes.
- Defined responsibilities and processes for the timely updating of asset information and recording of maintenance history as part of the maintenance routine, providing a single source of truth.
- Consistent inventory records containing key attributes such as consistent descriptions, classifications and location
- Standards that define the format, level of detail and required elements of a Job Plan / Safety Plan, together with responsibilities for maintenance.
- A corporate maintenance management standard defining polices, standards, responsibilities and interdepartmental / cross functional processes and procedures.
Key benefits include:
- Visibility and traceability of asset performance and life-cycle / break fix history, enabling the decision process through improved asset and inventory records.
- Effective maintenance planning and execution through consistent and accurate Job Plans
- Traceability to regulatory compliance requirements with ability to audit.
- Reporting linked to business requirements to affect informed decisions.
- Ability to take advantage of warranty claims.
- Improved capital budget planning, forecasting and reporting through access to complete and accurate asset and inventory records.
- Provide information as input to a continuous improvement process and elevation of service level targets.
Planning for an Upgrade to Maximo
Planning for a Maximo upgrade is a significant resource undertaking and corresponding expense, which is typically lined to a 2 to 3 year planning and budget cycle. Critical to success is the establishment of the business drivers that support the requirement to upgrade at a defined point in time. Technical obsolescence or incompatibility with interfacing systems could also be factors that need to be included in the assessment process. Of upmost importance is the need for a corporate sponsor and preferably one that represents the business, ensuring that a decision to invest to this magnitude is informed and supported by a business-centric requirement for the enhanced functionality that an upgraded version of Maximo can deliver.
An upgrade decision process may include the following:
- A Feasibility Study to research and ascertain the viability through an assessment of:
- A definition of the business, technical, current operational problem(s) and / or known future business changes.
- A definition of the opportunity presented by a decision to upgrade Maximo
- The options available, which may include an upgrade to Maximo in a COTS environment or a cloud-based solution.
- The Business impact and benefits.
- The Architectural / technical impact and benefits.
- The impact on the Sustainment organization and benefits.
- An assessment of the risk factors.
- An analysis of the high-level costs, including an assessment of the Total Cost of Operations.
- A Road Map illustrating the major activities required to deliver a Maximo upgrade.
- A Business Case which utilizes the information gathered in the Feasibility Study and narrows the solution target and concludes with a recommendation based on further detailing of scope, budget, schedule, required skills, competencies, resourcing, options, risks and benefits.
Having gained approval for the Maximo upgrade, including establishing the budget and securing funding, the definition of a detailed project plan and work breakdown structure is the enabler to moving forward into a structured process of multiple phases using either a traditional waterfall approach or an Agile methodology. Regardless of the methodology there are a number of key roles and competencies that are necessary for success of a business focused solution delivery.
Of utmost importance is a Project Steering Committee chaired by the business sponsor and one that includes decision makers from the lines of business that use the Maximo tool in performing their respective responsibilities.
Key competencies with the project include:
- A business solution architect to lead the requirements gather exercise and assess gap between the ‘as is’ business process model and the future state business process model, including the changes that will result from the addition of or change to Maximo functionality.
- Experienced Maximo Technical resource(s) to perform the design, configuration, system integration and per-UAT testing, as defined by the direction established during the business requirements exercise.
- An Organizational Change expert who works with business subject matter experts to define and establish the new business processes and Maximo functional components. This would include updating roles and responsibilities, documentation and process training.
- A Project Manager with experience in leading a diverse team of experts, but also skilled at addressing issues and risks that will undoubtable arise during a complex initiative such as a Maximo upgrade. He or she must have established a strong working relationship with the business areas decision makers as well as the subject matter experts. This relationship should have evolved from the Feasibility Study and / or the Business Case development phases.
Sustainment of a Maximo Implementation
Maintaining a stable, reliable Maximo system that is capable of meeting established SLA’s, is responsive to break / fix situations but also and most importantly capable of addressing evolving business requirements for added decision data in the form of Maximo functionality and reporting. Resourcing to levels that support this type of work variability is a luxury that most organizations do not have or cannot afford.
In any or all of the above scenarios, organizations often seek specialized assistance to assist in and deliver to the resolution of strategic and tactical planning, operational challenges and the contribution to business goals.
“As senior consulting professional, Cliff is known for delivering mission critical and value based Maximo solutions with financial system integration, extending to business unit cross-functional maintenance management standards and practices. He has successfully provided strategic and tactical direction across multiple industry verticals on multiple organizational levels, both as a Project Manager for major programs and as a Management Consultant.”