Let´s change the game!
Hi All, today’s post is written by Jorge Granada. Jorge is one of the most experiences users of Maros/Taro and has been working with RAM analysis and reliability techniques for more than 20 years. Jorge has been promoting RAM analysis in Colombia and plays an important role on disseminating our lovely techniques out there. Let´s change the game!
If I go to the (wild) Internet and tell everybody:
“Finally finished my new app to forecast the lottery numbers for this weekend´s game based on results of the last 3 weeks, your zodiac sign and your blood pressure!”
Some might think: “Oh! This poor fellow”
Others will scream: “Scam scam scam!” and report me.
Some will argue “What? Predicting individual stochastic events instead of performance figures? And on top of that daring to use such un-useful data set? This man should go back to the drawing board and quit wasting our time”
And some would (luckily) deliberate and buy it for only $0.99 cents a week ;)… Come on! I’ve done it!
Why people would buy such a fatuous app?
Because, perhaps for a (somewhat large) percentage of people, the long days and nights of work doesn´t look as awesome as comparing to those cruising around Caribbean island with lots of friends. There is a feeling that the ability to predict the future has a strong potential of giving us some privileges and setting us apart from the crowd. Given the price, it might worth the shot!
Let´s change our prospective and envisage the same story again:
If I go to the (nowadays highly competitive, time and resource constrained) oil and gas industry and tell the managerial team of my company:
“I´ve just finished my super RAM Model that is able to truly and precisely predict every failures of our new project in XYZland based onsome data sources, some experienced operators opinions and several websites”.
Some may pity me. “Oh! This poor fellow”
Others will yell “Scam scam scam” and, most likely, dismiss me.
Some others will argue: “What? Predicting individual stochastic events instead of performance figures? And on top of that daring to use such un-useful data set? This man should better go back to his desk and stop wasting our time”.
And others would – maybe luckily for me but unluckily for all the RAM analysts out there – buy into it, if the investment represents only a small percentage of the project 😉 saved again!
Taking the words of Sting in his last concert in Hamburg, this is my “humble opinion” on how the challenges of our beloved RAM analysis could be described.
On one side, which I will name as the “external side”, there´s a huge value promised out there in the corridors of companies using RAM analysis. However, combined to this promised value, there is also a lot of misunderstanding about what can and cannot be done with RAM analysis especially, amongst those who are not specialist in the area.
Designing projects and operational assets are full of smart people that, sometimes desperately, need the support of our forecasts to make informed decisions. These decisions are typically about budgets for oil and gas projects which then represent sums of money that is way over the next week´s lotto. Therefore, RAM analysts have the potential to play a very important role in organizations.
Sadly, the communication chasm associated to the fact that our “customers” rarely have the time, opportunity or intention to get a better understanding of our techniques, associated withour cryptic terminologies and technicalities don’t help much to uncover the truly importance of RAM Modelling and Simulation.
On the other, “internal side”, there are a lot of things that need to be tuned for our models to become as accurate, clean, flexible, objective-driven and, at the end of the day, as useful as we claim they are. Much of that work, is not even related to the simulation tool or the modelling process itself, but related to the way the organizations manage reliability and performance data. Hence we end up driving F1 on an unpaved road.
Both sides require analysis on its specific restrictions, a strong communication effort to explain ourselves and our models better in not-celestial language, a fair amount of usability resources and a strong leadership.
Is there a way of sorting this disconnection? I believe there are many and I hope you’re still with me here. What seems clear to me is that all of them have something in common: A change in the game, from the “suppliers vs clients” approach to a more cooperative and closely coupled way of working where, not matter what side of the fence we are. We have to ensure that all efforts are aligned to leverage the full value hidden from RAM analysis through building a coherent and solid RAM eco-system.