Ken: This espresso really fits well with this sharp topic. Are we done with diagnosis now and can we move to more smooth topics?

Haris: Not yet, if we want to find all problematic areas. But, if you want, we can stop at this stage.

Ken: No, no … let us look further. Actually, there is something I often notice, and maybe we should discuss it.

Haris: I am all ears!

Ken: The checkmark theory. Theory says: If there is a checkmark, everything is ok!  

Haris: Hahahahha, that one is a legend! Excellent theory, I also see it very often. So, tell me more about it

Ken: Well, it is interesting to follow one work order and see how it travels through the system and what it actually means in the end

Haris: Ok, lead us through that journey!

Ken: Lube manager, or anyone responsible for lubrication prepares certain strategy, make some decisions and as a result, makes a lubrication plan, usually time-based. Normally, he makes calculations or accepts recommendations from OEM. So, as a result, he prints out a PM, work order and so on…  

Haris: Ok, so that is a start

Ken: Yes, that is not really a beginning of the journey, but it is a start of the task. So, in the morning he prints out work order, gives it to Lube technician who goes out in the field and do the job. Then, in the afternoon or at the end of the shift, he comes back with same paper … but will all boxes checked! That is where the checkmark theory starts 😊 Now, that paper goes back to the Lube manager, he looks at it, see that all boxes are checked, put the paper in the archive … and that’s it!

Haris: Job done!

Ken: Says who?

Haris: Says checkmark!

Ken: That is the problem, that is the interesting part. What does that checkmark prove?
That Lube tech actually visited the bearing? Maybe, but not necessarily.
Does it prove that correct grease with correct grease gun was applied? No, it does not prove that
Does it prove that grease was needed? Absolutely not
Does it prove that exact quantity from the work order was applied? No, that is a matter of trust

Haris: Sounds like a lot of maybes

Ken: Not done yet! 😊 The big question comes, … does it prove that bearing is now better?
Absolutely not! And that is most important question

Haris: What DOES it prove?

Ken: If it is a green checkmark, it proves that team uses green pencils!
Seriously … it does not prove anything, that is the problem. It only serves a purpose to create an illusion that everything is fine. It also gives an illusion that one day when someone starts asking questions about failures, this checkmark will be a release from responsibility. But it will not. Checkmark and real health of the bearing have nothing to do with each other.

Haris: So entire checkmark theory is based on illusion?

Ken: Exactly! Imagine the responsibility that Lube manager has … and imagine that entire responsibility being covered with checkmark. That is scary!

Haris: I agree, now tell me … how do we deal with that?

Ken: Simple, bring the proof! Instead of checkmark … a measurement. That proves all that needs to be proven. Did bearing need grease? How much? Is it better now? Proof, not a hope

Haris: I rest my case! Another espresso?

Ken: Hahaha, Lubrication is dangerous for the blood pressure! I vote for macchiato.

Bearing Lubrication Monitoring