Modern technology kind of operates like a worldwide preventive maintenance strategy. The Apples and Teslas of the world identify problems you didn’t even know you had, and fix them before they really become an issue.
But while modern technology provides a better way to do things, all this forward momentum is at odds with our basic psychology—humans as a species are hardwired to avoid change. This is called status quo bias, and it means that when given a choice, our brains really like the option that involves either doing nothing, or upholding a previous decision.
This is because the part of our brain that controls repetitive everyday tasks uses way less energy than the part that responds to change (which, it turns out, is also linked to the part of the brain that houses our fear response).
So how does status quo bias apply to someone working in maintenance? Well, one of the biggest excuses we hear from folks unwilling to adopt a CMMS is that their current system—be it pen and paper, or Excel—works just fine.
And that’s true, those systems do work fine. But just because something works doesn’t mean it’s ideal, efficient, or even close to the best way of doing it.
An Excel spreadsheet lets you input info about your facility, and manually track maintenance, and that’s about the end of it. A CMMS, on the other hand, gives you a full overview of your facility and lets you automate these processes so there’s way less time spent manually recording info. It lets you create and assign work orders, run reports, and develop a preventive maintenance strategy. This means you can spend less time reacting to things going wrong and more time planning.
So if you’re considering buying a CMMS or are already in the process of transitioning to one, here are a few tips to stop status quo bias from getting in the way of a good implementation.
3 ways to deal with status quo bias at work
Recognize that there will be resistance and deal with it proactively
People get used to working a certain way. Introducing new software temporarily derails the daily routine, so it’s understandable to come up against resistance during CMMS implementation.
Keep your people in the loop throughout the implementation, and stress that it’s still mostly business as usual. Being clear about what parts of the routine will change and what will stay the same will help people adjust to the transition.
Clearly identify the benefits
Be specific about the kinds of benefits you expect your team to get from your new software. Check out these resources for lists upon lists of reasons why a CMMS is a good addition to your facility:
Or, browse through our e-books and whitepapers for more info.
Of course people will be nervous around a system they know nothing about. It’s up to you as a maintenance manager to make sure all your guys have the right training. Hands-on experience with the system demystifies the whole process and makes new technology a lot more accessible.