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  • Kleber Siqueira

A personal tribute to John Moubray (1949-2004)

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

John Moubray


My very first encounter with John Moubray was in June 1996 during the ABRAMAN - Brazilian Maintenance Association Conference, which that year was held in Belo Horizonte, in the beautiful State of Minas Gerais. He was with Steven Martina, from SQL Systems, a consulting company based in the Netherland Antilles that joint-ventured with SPES Engenharia de Sistemas, a global pioneer in CMMS development and later the origin for SQL Systems Brasil, a pioneer in RCM consulting in Brazil.

So, it was all about not only to live the birth of modern physical asset risk management, but make it to happen, to explore new technical frontiers and make it available through computerized systems combined with new conceptual frameworks to properly address the complexity of the 3rd. generation of physical assets.

Let's look back to contemplate this fascinating journey.

The general atmosphere in the conference audience was saying to all present that his lecture was about something completely brand new for the vast majority of the attendance, including myself.

That lecture unveiled the new concepts by highlighting the extreme shift required to the current beliefs and best practices in place up to that point in time in the world of physical asset reliability that was on its infancy and embedded in the maintenance management.

John challenged the audience in a very light fashion, while addressing the essentials changes of paradigm proposed by the RCM2, the new methodology, a second version of the RCM developed by the U.S. civil aviation, carefully adjusted to fit the needs of other industries. As you may remember or know, by that time, 25 years ago, even a cellular phone or a PC LAN were on their infancy.

The audience was surprised with the new concepts and features proposed by the methodology framework. As the lecture turned to the Q&A phase, it was possible to identify that the audience was swinging back and forth from skeptical to enthusiastic, with these new concept challenges, but ultimately realizing that RCM2 was a turning point. It was clear that John was announcing a new era for the failure management strategies: something far beyond a mere new feature to be added to maintenance management.

In fact, those pioneering times can be considered the threshold of a new discipline that would require to the corporate physical assets custodians to pass through an expensive and sometimes painful maturing process over the next coming 25 years to achieve a more in-depth understanding of its powerful principles and starting to realize meaningful opportunities to improve their custodianship. This journey is still beginning for many corporations.

By that time, abroad in the U.K., Europe and the U.S., the same type of scenario could be observed. There were new paradigms being deeply studied, reviewed and presented to highly qualified and experienced audiences in major maintenance conferences.

From that very beginning point, I have positioned myself among those who were envisioning a new era for this new discipline: the physical asset performance management.

By mid-1998, RCM projects in Brazil had grown up to the point where training resources such as the RCM2 book, a world-wide best seller, and the full set of technical and collateral materials pressed us to translate them into Portuguese. It was an unforgettable journey.

John himself was very enthusiastic with the potential of the Brazilian marketplace for the coming years. He accepted several of our invitations to join us in Brazil to lead open and private lectures, supervise the performance and technical compliance of our projects, as well participate in meetings with our major clients and prospects.

In recounting John's technical legacy, I can say that it is huge, immense, and fundamental for many other developments that are ongoing.

I am honored to be part of a very select team of friends, business partners, and practitioners, deeply and continuously coached and mentored by John Moubray himself. We are part of his continued legacy, formed by himself with dedication, competency and passion. To be part of this legacy that lives on makes a huge difference to my professional life. It is my goal to keep honoring his legacy.

It is also important to mention and highlight that John’s technical legacy include the RCM SAE standards, SAE JA 1011 and SAE JA 1012 Recommended Practice.

I would say, without any doubt, John has been the most exceptional, brilliant physical asset management thinker that I have had the opportunity to work with.

With my due respect, thankfulness, and sincere wish to continue driving myself through these same technical paths and routes that surely lead to the excellence in this new discipline - the physical asset risk management, I humbly say:

Thank you, Sir!


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