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July 12th, 2017

Critical Success Factors for Successful Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) Implementation

Dr Murugadoss Karthikesu Panneerselvam (Doss) – July 2017

What is TPM ?

In these times of irrepressible competition and uncertain global economic stability, academics and practitioners continuously search for strategies and means to offer organisations performance improvements in terms of productivity, quality, cost and delivery.

One such strategy is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). TPM is a production-driven improvement methodology that optimises equipment reliability and ensures effective management of plant and assets using employee involvement and empowerment, by linking manufacturing, maintenance and engineering functions.

TPM shifts an organisation’s conventional maintenance system from being reactive to being more proactive by maintaining the equipment in optimum condition at all times. TPM methodology embraces an array of techniques and assures that each piece of equipment in a production process is always able to perform its required task.

Common Hurdles in Implementing TPM

The main reasons for unsuccessful TPM implementation can usually be attributed to an organisation’s lack of:

  • Management commitment and understanding,
  • Adequate training
  • Time for its evolution
  • Support system to facilitate learning and transformation

Some of the hurdles in TPM implementation include inordinate expectations lack of a systematic approach, cultural resistance to change, lack of organisational communication, and implementation done to conform to societal norms rather than for optimisation.

Critical Success Factors for Successful TPM Implementation

In recent times, the contribution of effective maintenance towards efficient manufacturing has received greater attention. It is crucial that organisations foster proactive strategies for the implementation of TPM in line with their cultural framework. Establishing critical success factors crucial for businesses to enable successful implementation of TPM.

The critical success factors for a successful TPM implementation can be classified into two broad categories:

Human-oriented factors:


  • Top management commitment
  • Total employee involvement
  • Cultural transformation

Process-oriented factors:


  • Conventional and proactive maintenance strategies
  • Training and education
  • Failure prevention and focused production system enhancement

Human-oriented factors play a vital role in forming a solid foundation prior to implementation, whereas process-oriented factors are imperative for the subsequent phase of achieving a successful implementation within an organisation.

A systematic approach with effective tools and techniques, and a philosophy that empowers and motivates the workforce are the top-level factors enabling successful TPM implementation in industries.

A basic TPM implementation framework embodies:

  • Employee involvement
  • A systematic plan for implementation acknowledging the fact that TPM implementation and its diffusion across the organisation is a prolonged process
  • Alignment of goals and objectives of TPM vs Business,
  • Establishing a network of TPM coordinators
  • Management commitment and support,
  • Performance measurement and its review.


TPM is not a quick solution. It necessitates a change in both the company’s and employee’s attitude, and their values. It entails long-term planning. A full-scale TPM implementation across the organisation will be short-lived if it is not done considering a culture change. Implementation of a successful TPM program is a vast challenge, but the huge potential pay-off justifies the effort.


Doss is a result-orientated consultant with over 10 years of experience in business process optimisation, Lean manufacturing/management, TPM, project management (Waterfall & Agile/ Scrum) and cross-functional senior leadership, making strong positive contribution to the bottom-line. He has a proven track record in implementing performance improvement and change programmes to a diverse range of functions and organisations by applying in-depth experience and capability in Operational Excellence, Lean, Agile, Leadership transformation and Organisation Development and Change doctrines.

Doss is a highly capable change-agent who consistently refines and revitalises strategies and processes, introduces innovation and facilitates solution-driven team collaboration. As a focused problem-solver, he has an ability to rapidly assess diverse situational challenges, develop action plans and lead client teams to achieve targeted goals.

If you’d like to talk to Doss about this article or hear more about how TPM can help your organisation then call us on 01926 633333.

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