Learning from Mistakes

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Michael Trucano makes the case that instead of studying the “best practices” of others, sometimes you should take a look at the worst practices.  I believe that many of the lessons learned as they relate to implementing technology can be used in our own businesses. The list below is edited for applicability, but you can read the original list here.


(1)    Dump in hardware, hope for magic
“If we supply it, they will learn” can be an expensive lesson.  The Doble Power Factor test set is a great piece of equipment, but you are going to have to train the tech on how to use it and how to interpret the readings.

(2)    Think about training only after you obtain the hardware
It’s often easy to get management hyped up to purchase one of those new models of power quality analyzers.  It’s harder to convince managers to set aside a budget to send a tech to the vendor’s training seminar.

(3)    Don’t monitor, don’t evaluate
It is fairly easy to measure the number of times that the Hioki Power meter has gone out in to the field, but have you taken a good look at how much faster the job went, or what follow-on work was uncovered?

(4)    Don’t think about total cost of ownership or operational issues
The initial cost of buying a VLF hipot is one thing, but remember that there can be costs down the road as well.  This is one of those areas that equipment rental needs to be considered as an option to outright ownership.

(5)    Don’t train your supervisors and managers

Supervisors and managers need to understand the resources available to them as well. Otherwise, the equipment will sit in the corner, because they “just don’t trust the readings” like they do the old equipment.