Improving outage process maturity level using a process maturity model
The research study establishes the maturity level of the outage process of the Outage Management Department at Eskom. The outage process started in 2012 to contribute to the effective planning and execution of outages. The successful completion of outages depends on effective planning and execution of an outage. At the time of the research study, poor outage performance at Eskom’s power stations contributed to load shedding of electricity in South Africa. The research problem statement reads as follows: The absence of an outage process maturity indicator diminishes the ability of the Outage Management Department (OMD) to comprehend the current process maturity level. The research question: Will the Outage Management Department be able to identify improvement opportunities if the maturity level of the outage process is established? iv The key research objectives are: • To consider how process maturity enables improvement. • To identify critical elements in an outage process. • To determine what is included in outage planning, control and improvement. • To identify a suitable process maturity model. • To identify a measurement instrument to determine the maturity level of Eskom’s outage process The research study uses a descriptive research design and applies the survey research method. Greener and Martelli’s (2015: Online) Business Research Process (Sources: Greener & Martelli, 2015: Online) is used together with Farooq’s Research Steps for Survey Research (2015, Online). The survey questionnaire adopted from Smith’s Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Maturity Matrix (2013: Online) was used to develop the survey questionnaire. The author developed the Outage Management Maturity Framework by combining Business Process Management Maturity model and a Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Maturity Matrix. The research finding is that a process maturity model can determine the maturity level of the outage process and is useful as a process improvement tool. The research findings rank the maturity level of the outage process at Level 2, Experimenting.