Creating an Effective Inspection Recommendation Management System

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By Mark Bell at Ethos Mechanical Integrity Solutions, and John Reynolds at Intertek. This article appears in the March/April 2016 issue of Inspectioneering Journal


There is one overriding issue for having an effective Inspection Recommendation Management System:

If everything is important – Nothing is important

We have seen many different inspection recommendation management systems. Most of them struggle to effectively manage all inspection recommendations. However, a few of them are excellent. What makes an effective system? First, we need to understand the motivation of the maintenance counterparts that we work with to get our inspection recommendations completed. For the most part, maintenance personnel doing the planning and execution of maintenance activities are doing what they are expected to do. So why do we, as inspection professionals, often struggle to get our work completed? Let’s look at what typically makes a maintenance organization appear effective and high performing in the eyes of their management:

  1. Staying within budget
  2. Having a good safety record
  3. Staying within budget
  4. Doing the work that management thinks is important
  5. Staying within budget
  6. Doing quality maintenance work (management frowns on doing things more than once)
  7. Staying within budget

***Note that there is no line item for doing what inspection thinks is important.

What are the things that are important to maintenance personnel that we can influence? We don’t often have very much control over budget, so the most important thing to maintenance folks is fairly outside our sphere of influence. Our input to helping them do things in a safe manner is important, but we really don’t have any major contribution to make in this area. And, we certainly try to do our part to make sure they do quality work.

So the only thing left on the list is “the work that management thinks is important.” And actually this is key to having an effective inspection recommendation management system. Our focus should be on convincing management that our recommendations are important. Don’t waste a bunch of time convincing maintenance folks that our recommendations are important – convince management and they will convince maintenance.

So how do we convince management that our recommendations are important? 

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Comments and Discussion

Posted by ARNAB GUPTA on May 9, 2016
Interesting article. What is your view on... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by John Harville on May 31, 2016
Good stuff guys. A few comments I'd like to add... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

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