Becoming a Good Maintenance Manager – Part Three: Common Errors to Avoid

Apr 15, 2019 4:23:39 PM

We asked seven seasoned maintenance managers about their experience and list out some common errors to avoid.


In Part One of our series, we asked seven seasoned maintenance managers about their experience, and what they would recommend in order to become a maintenance manager.  In Part Two, the group shared their thoughts on what to do, once you’ve become a maintenance manager, to achieve your goals and continually improve.  In our final piece, we asked the group about common errors to avoid as a maintenance manager.


The guys we spoke to are all active in coaching the current generation of maintenance professionals. Feel free to contact them:


  • Ian Goodwin
  • Andy Malcolm
  • John Thomsen
  • Steve Flannery
  • Gerard Wood
  • Brett Peebles
  • Steve Mitchell


Also, if you find these useful please send us some feedback or comment on what other insights you may find useful in your career or work life.


Common errors to avoid as a maintenance manager:

  • Poor communication and not checking in to ensure the teams are on the same page as where you expect them to be
  • Not holding their people to account for delivery of results and outcomes
  • Not having the tough conversations in an open and honest manner that allows the people to fully understand what needs to change and expecting that they can improve
  • Very little time in the field, not talking to the technicians and understanding what really happens on the shop floor. In the end the workshop floor is where we see the results of all the effort in planning, scheduling and reliability.
  • Find it difficult to deliver bad news to senior management. In the end senior management dislike surprises more than the bad news delivered early or even when it is only a potential.
  • Not making decisions in a timely manner
  • Not strong enough on safety, taking strong action on the small things will avoid the culture becoming one of accepting low standards which lead to significant incidents
  • The role is more about finance, people and politics rather than equipment when you are at that level.
  • The people experience came with many years managing teams on and offsite. The politics, as a service provider I always had good success managing customers. This changes significantly with internal stakeholders in large organisations and nothing can prepare you for that.
  • Your relationship with your direct and the organisations GM's is key for succeeding with the politics. Careful who you align yourself with.