Unlike Lean and Six Sigma, the Plant Wellness Way difference is it prevents operating risks from starting with a system that is business-wide and goes end-to-end of the whole asset life cycle

Lean and Six Sigma are point-in-time problem focused methodologies, where as PWW EAM System-of-Reliability uses the whole life cycle to build business and operational systems with processes that continually optimize productivity, minimize risk, and generate maximum operating profits.


The realization that series arrangements were everywhere in our lives and businesses changed my life and career. That was the day the Plant Wellness Way EAM methodology was conceived. The Plant Wellness Way difference is its life cycle perspective. It gets you to take into account the years, and even decades, that your organization will use its physical assets. PWW EAM designs and builds a business-wide, life-cycle-long system for the proactive failure prevention of operating assets — it creates a system-of-reliability to ensure operating assets are exceptionally reliable for their whole lifetime.

A series arrangement is a sequence. Systems are series arrangements of processes. Processes are series arrangement of tasks. Systems can be thousands of activities long. It would take many thousands of activities in series to build a space ship. Thousands of series activities are done in most organizations. Unless you are a robot, it is impossible to not have hundreds and even thousands of errors made in long series processes. What I came to understand was every item or activity in a series arrangement had to be right if the ultimate outcome was to be right. To do that requires a way to prevent errors and mistakes from being made in every activity.

There is nothing that humanity does which does not involve series arrangements. We make our machines that way, we do our work that way and we build our businesses that way. No wonder we have problems—it is a nearly impossible to have long series arrangements that cannot fail in some way. That is why I like Lean so much—it has answers to reduce the chance of having problems in series arrangement (Error Proofing, Hoshin Planning, Value Stream Mapping i.e. process waste removal, TPM, and others).

Because Toyota created the Lean methodology it tells me that they had the same worries with series arrangements in the 1960/70’s and have been working on preventing them ever since. But it requires a mindset change in people and the development of new methods and skills (Hence why most companies find it difficult to adopt and sustain Lean. Once you have habits, even if they are bad, they are hard to break. It is far better to get good habits at the start than try and change bad habits into good habits later).

If you do not ‘see’ that series arrangements are everywhere (and you have to minimize the chance of things going wrong anywhere in the series) then life and work is full of problems that keep coming back again and again. (Unfortunately I now look at a thing and immediately start working out how to improve the odds of it going right. It is not good for a Consultant to tell their Customer that they – the Client – is causing their own problems because they have weakly designed systems and processes.)

The series arrangement problem is also why I began looking for new answers and came up with PWW for business system reliability growth and ACE to create work task quality assurance. Neither the PWW Operational Excellence methodology or ACE work quality assurance methodology contains new concepts. Their power is that when you commit to using them they force you to rapidly adopt and apply better practices in your business. By using better practices you then get better results. PWW and ACE instill the correct necessary discipline and behaviors into companies that create reliability, safety and minimize operating costs and losses.

PWW EAM is a methodology that views the asset life cycle as holistic. It means each constituent of Wellness is everywhere and always active. Just like personal wellness needs all the elements (Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual) working together all the time to build the mental health and physical fitness that puts you in a position to have a healthy, happy and fruitful life.

To say that equipment reliability is only due to failure elimination that requires Capital to address (both financial and human capital), and not include such work practices as TPM and system improvements through the use of ACE, does not provide the full scope of what is really necessary to get high equipment reliability.

This methodology will maximize the reliability of your enterprise using principles of system reliability, lean optimization, ACE 3T Quality Management System and precision maintenance. These principles are viewed as interrelated as opposed to separable. The objective of PWW EAM is not to maintain the functionality of the overall system while allowing certain components to fail, nor to repair/replace components whose failure is predicted. Instead, the intent is to design, construct, operate and maintain an asset so that failure does not occur. World class organizations do not accept things going wrong. They proactively focus on preventing problems.

You use PWW EAM to get down to the least scope of work that is necessary to surely create world class operational excellence. Organizations use PWW EAM to refine what is done in their operations down to the essence of what causes high reliability and uptime.

Using Lean Six Sigma does not make its users into a new Toyota equivalent. To think that by simply adopting what Toyota does will make you equal to Toyota is a falsehood. There is already plenty of evidence of that in those companies that are supposedly Lean but cannot reach and sustain the implied performance. Adopting Lean Six Sigma alone cannot make you world class. The late quality guru, W. Edwards Deming, never liked Six Sigma because he saw that it was point-focused and not system-focused. You need to build an error proof system business-wide and life-cycle-long, not reduce errors from selected processes.

PWW EAM is a methodology which combines best operations, maintenance and reliability practices into a holistic system of working. When properly and correctly followed will make industrial operations and their machines hugely reliable.

A PWW EAM System-of-Reliability provides a standardized, regimented approach that puts the best practices into a company for the proper care of plant, equipment and machines. It is a discipline that people will come to use masterly and follow strictly. The Plant Wellness Way difference makes it is a sure way to get operational excellence performance.

My best regards to you,

Mike Sondalini