At first MTBF seems like a commonly used and useful measure of reliability. Trained as a statistician and understanding the use of the expected value that MTBF represented, I thought, ‘cool, this is useful’.
Then the discussions with engineers, technical sales folks and other professionals about reliability using MTBF started. And the awareness that not everyone, and at times it seems very few, truly understood MTBF and how to properly use the measure.
I found myself mentioning the full meaning and how I understood MTBF to others. This often turned into a short class or lecture. Maybe a quick turn to a technical reference or two to back up my claims. Then an assessment of the now common understanding of the measure and the topic which prompted the discussion.
Over time I’ve collected quite a few stories and events around the use and misuse of MTBF. I did a short presentation to a small audience of reliability professionals and received a lot of support and encouragement.
During one of these events the idea of creating a campaign button emerged. With the help of friends, a design and creation of the buttons happened. Over the past couple of years I’ve handed out nearly 1,000 buttons around the world. Of course you can have one, too
During another event I mentioned the eradication of MTBF was become a New Year’s Resolution, a Cause, or a Personal Mission. This was said in jest, yet there is some truth to the notion. Someone suggested that I set up a website around the topic and a quick search found the domain nomtbf.com was available. And, here it is.
As stated in many presentations, let me know your stories and ‘issues’ surrounding the use and misuse of MTBF. Lets learn from each other and continue the industries wide correction of the misunderstandings that remain.
Over next few months I plan to post articles, papers, presentations and hints & tips concerning the re-education of those that need it most – our peers, colleagues and coworkers.