As RCM programs have evolved, key elements of success have revealed themselves. The applicability of these elements varies according to the need and culture of the particular organization. The following should be considered flexible, but significant.
The willingness of management to invest in and persevere with an RCM program is vital to its success. Commitment may be shown in a policy
statement and implementation plan
supporting the goals and strategies for the program. The policy should be combined with a management "champion" who shepherds the Resource Conservation Manager's efforts through administrative channels.
Resource Conservation Manager
A qualified Resource Conservation Manager is self-motivated and a good organizer and communicator. Knowledge of your organization and broad credibility increase the Resource Conservation manager's effectiveness. Successful Resource Conservation managers include engineers, teachers, administrators, maintenance staff, lead custodians or consultants. Above all, the Resource Conservation manager should be observant, thoughtful and have the ability to communicate effectively.
The Resource Conservation Manager needs adequate tools and a structure to work within. These may include:
An explicit schedule and authority for doing RCM tasks
A computer to write reports, build spreadsheets and operate resource accounting software
Communications tools including telephone and internet and/or e-mail access
Access to tools for measuring performance of facility systems
Freedom to move throughout all buildings
Access to billing records and building architectural plans
Clear task assignments and time allocations are no less important for a Resource Conservation Manager than for any other staff in your organization. The Resource Conservation Manager's responsibility, especially during the first year, is enormous and the need for the freedom and the tools to fulfill the goals are critical.
Custodian and Maintenance Staff Involvement
The RCM program cannot succeed without custodian and maintenance staff involvement. The value of their presence and experience cannot be overstated. Allocating a share of the savings to be used for deferred maintenance projects, tools and training is one good way to give them a stake in the program's success.
Recognition of Achievements
It's amazing to see what people will do for a $5 coffee mug that they won't do for a $5 bill. The difference is that it's not just a mug but an award for good work. The Resource Conservation manager should work with management to establish a recognition program to reward good savings and results. When presented with appropriate fanfare, such awards are powerful motivators. Another powerful incentive is to share a portion of the savings with those responsible for achieving them.
All good things come to those who wait. Sufficient preparation, organization and research are fundamental to a successful start. As preparation phases into action, savings become possible. Depending on the size of your facilities and your commitment to the RCM program, preparation could take anywhere from one to six months. After that, you can begin to reap the rewards.
|Common Characteristics of a Successful RCM Program
Strong policy outlining RCM goals and responsibilities and highlighting management commitment
Qualified person, properly equipped to act as the Resource Conservation Manager
An administrator or manager who helps navigate the RCM program through policy/management channels -- a "champion" for the program
Buy-in and support by facilities and maintenance staff and occupants.
A recognition program with awards for occupants and staff who contribute the most
Patience by all -- to allow the work to be done correctly and consistently.
Benefits of RCM program
Requirements for RCM program
Time and Costs for RCM
Sustaining RCM program
Sample RCM policy
Sample implementation plan
Sample classified ad for position
For more information, contact the Oregon Department of Energy at 503 378-4040.