Could your maintenance organization be caught in a “Fitbit Trap”?
By Jeffrey S. Nevenhoven, Senior Consultant, Life Cycle Engineering
Ten thousand steps a day is quickly becoming the gold standard for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Getting steps in has transformed the image of exercise from an uncomfortable and uninviting activity to something very achievable for many people who want to improve their health. Perhaps, like me, you have been bitten by the 10,000 steps a day fad, what I now like to call the “Fitbit Trap”.
During the last several months I have been trying to get in at least 10,000 steps a day to achieve a level of well-being and health. Ensuring I was on track to achieve my daily goal of 10,000 steps became an hourly habit. With a quick glimpse at my fitness app, I could easily gauge over the course of a day if I would achieve my goal or have to do some late-evening “walking in circles” to reach my numbers.
It was not until I went to see my physician for some unrelated issues that the full picture of my health came into view after the nurse took my vitals. In my case, achieving 10,000 steps a day was not having the effect that I expected; other critical health indicators had considerably slipped. I had fallen into the trap of striving to make a number instead of achieving the outcome I desired.
Unfortunately, many reliability and maintenance functions are caught in a similar numbers trap without any real impact on the bottom line or organizational objectives. Employees have been tasked with and held responsible for attaining numbers over impactful outcomes. And yet, management wonders why operating performance is poor.