Next Extraordinary Reliability Engineers Course Starts April 9

Hey there future Extraordinary Reliability Engineer!

It’s time to get serious.

Industry is currently undergoing huge changes, with new technology and processes being introduced daily. What can you do as a reliability engineer to avoid wasting your time on low-value tasks?

To become a Extraordinary Reliability Engineer you need focus in on doing the right things at the right time.


If you understand “WHY” or at least have the desire to understand exactly “HOW” to become an Extraordinary Reliability Engineer, this training is for you.

I’ll show you how to apply the habits that I have learned from over 15 years of experience as a reliability engineer. This means that if you follow the course you will learn 14 years and 7 months worth of wisdom in only two weeks!

During this first free 60-minute online event, I’ll be sharing with you:

  • The 5 Don’ts – what I should have done and the mistakes I’ve made
  • The 5 Habits – what I did to correct situations
  • How the habits were determined
  • Course program for the next 10 weeks


The webinar will take place online using Zoom video conferencing, which means you can watch from the comfort of your home or work place.


Tuesday 9th of April 2019 1.00pm AEST (Sydney/Melbourne time)

To register for this free web event:

Simply register for your free ticket, add your details, and you will receive an email confirmation with the webinar link and additional emails over the coming days.

Limited time offer:

This webinar will not be recorded, you will need to be present on the web event to get the details of the offer.

I look forward to sharing an insightful hour with you on April 9th.

Peter Horsburgh

Changing the Work Environment for Data Collection

People have a nasty habit of not asking for help when they need it, as we often tell ourselves “I’m sure I can figure it out” or “This other person knows how to do it so I’ll wait for them to do it.” Unfortunately, this can make implementing change in the work environment a challenge.

“Then use data!” a diligent reader of my content cries. Well, yes, most changes need to be backed up by data, but sometimes the data can only be collected through change. It’s one of those nasty loops the world keeps throwing at you. You need the experience to get the job, but you need the job to get experience. You need the data to make the change, but you need the change to collect data.

In my experience as a Reliability Engineer, I remember implementing a rule that went like this: “No work order, no purchase order.” This meant teams could not purchase anything without first booking it to a work order. It was so we could collect data to see where the money in our plant was going. Everyone who was affected by this rule had agreed to follow it, thus I was under the impression that they knew how, and felt comfortable enforcing it strictly.

It backfired.

Gill was a guy. A productive guy. He submitted a purchase order. But no work order. So he wasn’t approved. His order was for some contract workers to come in and complete some tasks before he could continue on with his job, so he was pretty upset when he followed up with me. I explained to him the purchase order wasn’t approved because there was no work order attached, and after some heated back-and-forth he finally confessed, “I don’t know how to do it.”

I was shocked. Later on, I asked everyone else if they knew how to attach work orders to their purchase orders. No one did. In all honestly, if everyone saw it as that much of a struggle, I could’ve removed the rule and let everyone only submit purchase orders because that would’ve been familiar and easy, but I knew collecting this data was important, and I was going to fight for it.

First, I helped Gill out with his work order, and the contractors were able to come in on time. Then I taught everyone else how to do it. I used team meetings to regularly show people the value of the data we were collecting when they followed the rule, and they found imputing data into the system rewarding.

There are two lessons here:

  1. Fight for your data – I had to stand my ground, insist on the new rule, and troubleshoot when it was ignored.
  2. Collect data about collecting data – Do your co-workers fully understand what you’re asking of them? Instead of asking, “Can you do it?” start asking, “Can you tell me how it’s done?”

Are you struggling to make progress as a reliability engineer at your workplace? Our Extraordinary Reliability Engineer course will equip you with all the knowledge and wisdom that Peter Horsburgh, your dedicated teacher, wishes he had long ago. Navigate to our Eventbrite page here to register.

Who Cares?

No one… yet.

I’ve discussed assessing the alternatives before and I’ve stressed the importance of getting other people to care about the helpful and/or necessary changes you want to implement. Now I will teach you how to do that.

Not everyone will be as passionate about their work as you. Many maintenance folks expect to go in, complete the same processes, and get paid. They take comfort in their risk-free routines, so asking them to change it disrupts that sense of comfort, and they resist you. So how do you change their mind? You need a secret weapon. You need…

People skills.

Many of you may have felt the urge to jump into the nearest bush, or in your natural habitat, hide under your desk, or more realistically, stop reading. But you’re still here, so I commend you! As a reward, I will tell you the key to getting people on board with your ideas.

If you want people to risk stepping out of their comfort zone to implement your ideas, they need to trust you and be willing to listen, and this comes from a positive relationship. Make them like you, relate to you, respect you. How do you do that? And how much interaction would that take? It doesn’t actually take that much. Humans can make connections incredibly quickly. What you need to do is get them talking. Find out their interests. Find a point where you can relate, latch onto it, then segway to the thing you are trying to implement.

Here is an example from my career. There was this guy who always believed he had “been there, done that”, and didn’t think there were many options beyond his personal experience. I wanted to introduce him to a product  known as Torque Check to make sure our machines were held together as securely as possible with no loose bolts. This was a process meant to spot and solve a potential issue undetected by current methods, and it would change his routine. So I struck up a conversation with the guy, and found out he was fascinated by car mechanics. Similarly, I happened to love plane mechanics. So we bonded over our similar interests, and I eventually brought up Torque Check, a product applied by plane engineers before the plane is flown. I asked if he would be willing to try it on our machines. He resisted at first, but when I pointed out how reputable aircraft engineers are for their reliability, he decided to give it a go. He soon found how torque check made his job easier, and he introduced it to others, making their jobs easier as well. Thus a change was successfully implemented.

There you go. Maintaining a plant has always been and always will be a team effort. One individual cannot always solve a problem on their own, so if you have a solution that could benefit the team, you owe them that knowledge. Good teams communicate; good teams care enough to listen. Make sure all these interactions resemble teamwork discussion, and you’re golden.

If you would like to hear some more stories like this and learn some more implementing techniques come and join me on the next Extraordinary Reliability Engineer course. The first lesson is free and you can register on Eventbrite here.

Publish or Perish

What is the most important aspect of great teamwork? Cooperation? Coordination? No, those are just symptoms and synonyms. The most important aspect is communication. Everyone needs to know what is going on if they are to find and fulfill their role or come to agreements. In large companies, you can’t inform everyone of your plans and actions in person due to everyone’s busy schedules (including your own), but you can communicate with masses via writing. If you want to successfully implement an idea, you need to publish, or you’ll perish.

Allow me to define the word “publish” for the context of this article. I don’t mean professionally publishing a book or academic material for public consumption. I mean communicating with the people in your company via emails, noticeboards, and articles on the company intranet or newsletter.

“But if I’m constantly sending people emails, won’t they get mad at me?” Yes. At first. Until they see the value in it.

To offer an example, an engineer and myself were crafting a prototype for a tool to measure temperature. It had some neat features like magnets and Wi-Fi connectivity, but we failed to explain that the first few, well, several emails. My colleague and I just worked on it and I sent group emails asking for thoughts and feedback. People weren’t too happy receiving emails about some prototype they didn’t understand. Upon this realisation, I explained it, and continued updating everyone on our project. At first I had one intrigued respondent, then it slowly grew until I was going back and forth with several curious people at once. One struggling business unit asked for 25 of these gadgets to improve the collection of their data. I was thrilled to oblige, then emailed the entire unit to let them know the product was going to be implemented in their area.

So let’s consider the two paths my colleague and I faced.

Publish – Our product is recognised, appreciated, and implemented on a sizable scale in our work environment, assisting in the collection of valuable data to improve the plant.

Don’t Publish – Valuable time, energy, and resources is dedicated into a product that no one cares about, it isn’t implemented to its fullest potential, collecting data on temperature remains a harder task than it needs to be, and any issues related to its collection persist for longer or are never solved.

So what will it be:


Or Perish?


Do you want to learn more about what it takes to be an extraordinary reliability engineer? Try joining our Extraordinary Reliability Engineer program taught by yours truly, Peter Horsburgh, who will equip you with all the knowledge and wisdom you need to excel in your career. You can register here at Eventbrite.

Speaking Engagement: Maintenance Managers Toolbox

Recently I travelled to Melbourne to introduce the 5 Habits to a SIRF Roundtable meeting. The subject of the meeting was the “Maintenance Managers Toolbox”. I was asked talk about the 5 Habits in context that the maintenance managers team is responsible to deliver them.

What is the Roundtable? It’s an organisation in Australia/NZ that facilities discussion between companies that want to improve by sharing insights.

To find a wrap up of there meeting check out the blog post here:

Introducing Seven Solutions!

Introducing Seven Solutions! We have set up a “Sister Company” to Reliability Extranet to allow me to go and help people. Looking forward to getting out there and working with people who are keen to improve their Reliability.

Be quick, there are limited days that I am available all the other things I am involved with (Book, speaking etc.)! Its not limited to Australia, I have already been oversea’s helping some very keen managers and engineers.

Click here to navigate to the newly published consulting page on Reliability Extranet, where you can download my capability statement, 7.