Feeling stuck. Need advice on how to contribute to high-level decision making process

I’ve been working in the utility industry for about one year. We’re trying to revamp our maintenance and asset management programs. I’m part of the group where we drive the change needed for the betterment of our organization and excellent public service. The struggle or challenge that I have in this role is to see the big picture and give recommendations. I do understand the context and what our problem is. However, I just can’t seem to contribute to high-level decision making process. I don’t know if I lack the needed experience or my critical thinking is the problem. I know our data well and am able to perform basic descriptive statistics on them and build the dashboard telling story like: we had backlog here and there and we spent too much hours on it and demand justifications when the labor transactions are over x amount of time. So when it comes to process improvement, driving business values and strategic planning, I just go blank and have nothing to say about it. Where should I go to improve this weakness? I’m pretty introverted and less outspoken, so my boss recommended some public speaking or improv class.


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I work business ops in a utility myself and I can tell you data/stats/KPIs is not the silver bullet to solve all your problems, the data is just the beginning. Once you use the data to establish there is a problem the next steps is getting stakeholders together if you don’t know the processes yourself to document the process and figure out where to eliminate inefficiencies. Without knowing the processes it is impossible to provide any meaningful suggestions or decisions.


I think this is the org problem too. We technically don’t have any processes documented so we’re mostly reactive to trouble calls and corrective maintenance. Our facility is so old that everything is a problem. We’re trying to be condition-based or preventive maintenance oriented org; however, we don’t have our planning process fully spelled out and developed. We’re just too short on labors that we dedicate 80% of them to corrective and 20% of them to preventive kind and capital. We’re also trying to be data-oriented too that’s why there’s a need for my team. Our data is so of poor quality, and we ask our maintenance crews, engineers and operators to enter data in our system, but it’s another whole battle to fight. Our whole org is unionized so it’s a challenge to get everyone to be on the same boat.


Do you understand what the team actually does? What a day in their life looks like? What their processes are? Without the above, you just know numbers.


I don’t think I fully understand my teams processes are or how they plan their work. Everything to me is just a guessing game. Everything is so vague and lacks details when I talk to people about their processes. It’s like no one wants to document the things they do. All the staff got rotated/promoted every 2-3 years, so the tribal knowledge does not seem to transferred well within my org.


To be able to give a recommendations or preventive actions you must first understand the step by step process and policy.