Always darkest before the dawn

I recently read about a phenomena called "The Dip" in a book by Seth Godin. (Nothing to do with reliability) While a very simple concept, most brilliant ones are I have found, ,it describes exactly what occurs on most reliability projects - particularly on the big ones. The Dip The dip applies to most things that are worth doing. When I was a young lad I decided to learn the guitar. It was about the time that Guns n Roses had just started and I was pretty inspired by what I saw. So I started, filled with enthusiasm and dying to be able to make it sing. Then, after a while, it got hard - very hard. It just didn't sound right, I wasn't picking it up as quickly as I thought I would, and I was starting toquestion the whole guitar philosophy. But... I kept at it. Today I can play just about any piece after listening to it and then toying with the guitar for a little while. I have played in bands with my brother, and done several spots in bars just for fun. Why did I get to be good? Because I pushed through the dip thats why! Reliability projects or programs are exactly the same. We start out with a burning enthusiasm, then it all falls away as people start to realize that "Okay, this is actually hard isn't it." But... if you just keep plugging away at it, keep up the pressure and the momentum, then you will get good at it. No doubt. How to get through The Dip Some things that I have found useful are: - Make sure that the impacts/ benefits and value are continually recorded, displayed, and tracked to make sure that they are real. - Reward those "heroes" who have bought about this change. (Want to be really radical? Promote them... two levels at once!) - Feed additional challenges into the reliability project, add additional views and paths to embed it fully - Integrate reports and metrics from the program into the day-to-day management activities Many other ways but the way out of it isn't really the answer here. The answer is for you to recognise that you are in a dip, and that if you continue to push away at it then things will get better, the company will start to change, and the full value of well implemented reliability programs will accrue to your company. No doubt... every time.