Worst practices

The idea of "best practices" has infected nearly every aspect of human endeavor in the business world. Rest assured that maintenance departments aren't the only entities being pummeled with the mantra that best practices inevitably lead to outstanding marketplace success.

Nevertheless, our focus is on maintenance, so here we go.

I thought you’d be interested in hearing about a bit of a twist on best practices. Some time ago, Brendan Casey ran an online competition seeking candidate ideas for inclusion into a list of cardinal sins that people can inflict on hydraulic systems. He condensed hundreds of entries into what he calls “132 cardinal sins of hydraulics,” an opus magnus that Hydraulics & Pneumatics magazine posted as a Web exclusive.

The list could be integrated into an assessment of your hydraulic systems, into efforts at strengthening your root cause analysis, and into the specifications you develop for your next hydraulic equipment purchase. In short, I have absolute faith that you will incorporate at least some aspects of this resource into your own collection of best practices.

While we’re on the subject, is it fair to assume that you can document and prove conclusively that some of your own best practices have saved money, kept people safe, or provided some other tangible benefit? If so, I’d like to invite you to consider entering the Plant Services Best Practice Award program.

If you have a good story and the right to tell it, the hard part is done. Filling out the entry form is going to be the easiest part. While you’re checking out the program, take a look at some of the past candidates and past winners. You might be inspired.

You might win the award program. You’ll never know unless you try.