Workflow Management

Mc G re g or ’ s Theory X or Theory Y, authoritarian or p artici p ative m ana g e m ent ?

So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult

for people to work.

Peter Drucker, Management Guru.

Author: Jim Wardhaugh

Location: 2.2.2 Large Complex Refinery in Asia


A benchmarking exercise showed that our refinery was a poor performer, and while it was making lots of money, it had the potential to make much more.

There were many problems we could identify. The one that we look at here is how we managed maintenance and how we could change things for the better. We changed the organization to replicate the lean look of the top performers, and empowered our technicians to take a more active and decisive role. We also modified our CMMS to help with these changes.

Business process redesign had become fashionable about that time and we imported a few ideas from that field. These ideas were to:

  • • eliminate work if possible
  • • reduce number of people handling a transaction
  • • eliminate unnecessary authorization hurdles
  • • work in parallel, not in series
  • • eliminate duplication
  • • organize around results, not tasks
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