Reliability Improvement

Reliability Improvement is synonymous with continuous improvement. It is a systematic approach to identify and prioritize improvement opportunities, and then analyze and define a solution.

Alidade MER provides workshops, and project support for improvement with common reliability engineering methods and techniques. Our preferred approach is to train client personnel so they are confident and capable to carry on. This can be the lowest cost and most successful approach when the organization has control and stability of maintenance management processes.

Reliability ImprovementManagement software

Discrete projects are pieces of the larger Reliability Improvement program.  An organization may have limited funding for a proactive initiative, or they may simply want to implement only certain elements of full Reliability Improvement program.  Other times an organization may need an outside entity to perform a Root Cause Analysis to find the causes of an event.

Alidade MER supports a wide range of discrete improvement projects through training workshops and on-site facilitation and coaching.  The most common discrete projects include:

Management software

  • Pareto Analysis, Criticality and Prioritization
  • Preventive Maintenance (PM)
  • Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)
  • Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA)
  • Predictive or Condition Based Maintenance (PdM, CBM)
  • Reliability Modeling for New or Modified Capital Projects

If there is a particular issue you’d like to address contact us and let us know.  We tailor projects to meet our client’s needs.  Our objective is to educate and transfer knowledge and capability to our clients.

Strategic Reliability Projects

Reliability continuous improvement depends on data.  Strategic Proactive Projects begin with an understanding of the data and proactive activities that are currently being conducted.  Many organizations have PLC systems and data historians that collect vast amounts of big data.  However, every organization that manages physical assets needs to have control and stability of their work order management system.

Alidade MER’s Organizational Reliability Model© is used to provide an overview of the interrelationship between routine practices and proactive improvement.

Routine practices are performed within the Control & Stability realm or day-to-day practices of the managers, supervisors and workforce.  If the organization performs consistently in Control & Stability they will generate consistent data.

Consistent data can be filtered and sorted, and reviewed relative to improvement opportunity selection criteria; such as safety, regulatory compliance, operations and economic analysis.  This is known as Improvement Selection.

Once the improvement opportunities have been identified and specific improvement opportunities are selected for action the issue moves on to Improvement Analysis.  Improvement Analysis is performed by selecting the appropriate tool or technique for investigating and identifying solutions.  If there are issues with inconsistent operation of a manufacturing process a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) or a Process Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) may be used.  If there are inefficiencies in how activities are carried out Lean tools may be used.  Improving reliability of physical assets can be analyzed using Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM), Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA).  Defects in craftsmanship or reductions in accidents 

Once a solution is determined from the analysis, the improvement must be formally promulgated.  This formal process is called Improvement Change Management.  Many improvement programs falter because they are not properly managed.  Too many people circumvent the process for formal approval by not documenting the changes or not fully implementing the changes.  Improvement Change Management is the vehicle that keeps guidance and measures current so that leaders can depend on the authority for changes, and the completeness of the changes.

 How to get started on Strategic Proactive Improvement program?


  • Comprehensive; covers Proactive Improvement elements of Selection, Analysis and Change Management
  • Three major elements, several sub-elements per major element, approximately 15 scored items per sub-element; resulting in over 200 individually scored items
  • Assessment report and presentation identifies and prioritizes recommended performance gaps to be closed

Action Planning Workshop

  • The work shop is conducted with senior leaders and key personnel to align expectations and explicitly discuss their role in Proactive Improvement
  • Assessment gaps and prioritization are reviewed; generally Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) are the first tools to be implemented.
  • Identify resources and pace of the gap closure opportunities; this ensures the organization optimizes progress; the goal is to identify what the client can accomplish at a pace they can accept
  • Project team members are selected and project team charters are developed
  • The leadership team commits to going forward


  • Senior leadership team provides overt support through a communication plan to affected personnel
  • Project teams are provided with Project Team Skills Training
  • Project teams are provided with Subject Matter Expert (SME) Training appropriate to the processes that will be improved
  • Project teams are provided with Alidade MER facilitation and coaching
  • Project teams apply their training to develop policies, processes, procedures and measures for Proactive Improvement Selection, various Proactive Improvement Analysis techniques and Change Management processes
  • Behavior and Process measures are put in place, Alidade MER coaches while the project team acquires knowledge and ability to implement these best practices


  • Measures provide the means for supervisors and managers to be cognizant of performance
  • Alidade MER coaching helps supervisors and managers address performance gaps for continuous improvement; this allows expeditious transfer of knowledge and ability so that our clients develop expertise rapidly

Regardless of whether the facility’s purpose is higher education, manufacturing, process industries or utilities Alidade MER’s approach has been proven to get results in the shortest period of time.