Organizations commit a lot of time, effort, and money into computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) implementation and expect to see positive returns on their investments. One of the key roles in maximizing CMMS ROI is the power user. This article aims to help you understand the value power users bring to the CMMS implementation process.
What is a CMMS Power User?
Each organization defines power user differently. Regardless, it is generally accepted that CMMS power users, also called CMMS master users or super users, are advanced users who have in-depth product expertise. This knowledge allows these individuals to better utilize the software through the competent use of advanced software features.
CMMS power users are involved early on in the implementation process. They often drive or assist with the CMMS evaluation, selection, and purchase processes. During implementation, a power user serves as an internal “go to” resource that tests the software, advises others on system use, and trains basic users.
Who Should Become a CMMS Power User?
Your power users should include anyone from your CMMS implementation and administration team who understands your company’s processes, system usage, and implementation goals. This typically includes users in a supervisory or management role, such as an operations manager, maintenance supervisor, or maintenance manager.
Other power user candidates not in management roles include “veteran” technicians who have been with the company or maintenance team for a long time. These users are team leaders who mentor other employees, and can train them to use the software effectively. Additional power users may be selected by management.
Identifying Good Power User Candidates
Because of their influence within the maintenance department, non-management power users should be chosen judiciously. At the very least, good candidates are knowledgeable about their job, the CMMS, and the organization. Other characteristics of good power user candidates are listed below. Power users should have:
- An understanding maintenance workflows
- An enthusiastic attitude
- Strong communication skills
- A belief that the system provides value to the organization
- Superior problem-solving capabilities
- A friendly demeanor and a willingness to help others
- A motivation to expand their knowledge of the system
- A commitment to implement the CMMS according to best practices
- An understanding of how system settings affect workflows and system usage
CMMS Power User Responsibilities
Power users have different responsibilities in each stage of CMMS implementation. The following sections outline the general responsibilities of power users. Unless your organization is currently searching for a CMMS system or your maintenance team has low turnover, your power users’ responsibilities are likely focused on training and providing on-going support. Keep in mind that the set of responsibilities for CMM power users is unique to each organization.
Understand Current Maintenance Processes
CMMS powers users must have a deep understanding of your current maintenance processes and workflows. When automating work with a CMMS, you must know how current processes are performed and how the software will change them. Veteran technicians, for example, can then help map maintenance processes to the software, including special use cases that may not be immediately apparent to other power users.
Develop or Uphold CMMS Standards
Power users can assist in documenting CMMS standards and policies that guide system use. For example, it is important to document the exact steps a user must take in the software to complete a task according to your organization’s requirements and needs. Employees must know what is expected of them so that they can communicate effectively about system use. Power users are valuable resources for documenting:
- Asset naming conventions
- Data entry requirements
- Field standardization requirements and required fields
- System use policies
- User roles and responsibilities
- User group rights and permissions
Data entry is a major responsibility primarily during the initial CMMS implementation period. Power users should understand where maintenance data is currently stored, what tools are available to import it into the new system, and in what order data should be entered. It is also beneficial to have power users help clean data prior to import.
Evaluate and Monitor Data Quality
Data entry is a continuous activity. After the CMMS is launched, power users evaluate and monitor data entered by other users. Maintenance data can be easily compromised by improper use of the CMMS or human error. Inaccurate data leads to inaccuracies elsewhere, such as in maintenance reports or cost tracking. Power users ensure data is entered correctly and should reinforce data entry policies if errors occur.
Master CMMS Functions
As their role implies, CMMS power users are responsible for mastering both basic and advanced CMMS functions. Basic functions are used every day by regular users to document work and complete work orders. Advanced functions include the following:
- Managing attachments
- Using auditing tools to maintain system and data integrity
- Setting up dashboards
- Editing drop-down list contents
- Configuring automatic downtime and labor tracking
- Approving and closing work orders
- Viewing, understanding, and drawing conclusions from maintenance, equipment, and cost history
- Configuring a schedule for days when the plant is not in operation (off days)
CMMS power users play a large role in testing the software before it is released to the rest of the department. After the system is set up and configured, power users can test the software against different maintenance processes and use cases to ensure that it performs as expected. Testing also takes place when a new version of the software is available.
In addition to being trained on how to use the software themselves, vendor-provided training teaches power users how to teach others to use the CMMS as well. Power users are an indispensible training resource during implementation and beyond. Once the system is live, power users serve as an internal “go to” support resource for inexperienced users who may struggle with the system.
It’s also important to remember that when power users retire or otherwise leave the organization, they take their knowledge and experience with them. If able to, identify new power user candidates for the outgoing power user to train. If not, maintenance managers should interview soon-to-be retirees briefly about their knowledge of the software that should be passed on to new users.
Achieve Your Maintenance Management Goals with FTMaintenance
Power users play a large role in the success of your CMMS implementation. They empower you to get your daily users up-to-speed on the software quickly so that you can start reaping the benefits of automated maintenance management tasks sooner rather than later. FasTrak offers instructor-led CMMS training courses for both basic and power users that help your team effectively utilize FTMaintenance. Contact us today to find out how FTMaintenance training brings value to your organization.