Book and Course projects


Over the past two weeks this site has received over 150 visitors each weekday. From what I can see in the analytics and from a few conversations with folks, the site provides insights and information around the use of MTBF, plus basic information concerning reliability engineering.

Google tends to like the site as they agree that visitors like the site, too.

Book project in search of feedback

Given the interest and plenty of encouragement (and helpful suggestions) I’m putting together a book based on the NoMTBF material. Not just bashing MTBF, although there is plenty of that, but also the steps to use reliability or other measure that provide better information.

I have the basic outline and draft completed and am now ready for some feedback. If you’d like to review the work, conditional on you providing you feedback, suggestions, ideas and comments, let me know and I’ll send you a draft copy.

The draft needs work on formatting, layout, adding clean graphics, etc. Yet the outline and basic text is there.

Can you follow the argument, is the writing clear, is there anything missing, how about the order or emphasis?

It’s not a long work, right now about 22,000 words or depending on book page size, fonts size, margins, etc. about 100 to 120 pages. In word it has 73 pages right now without any attention to formatting.

If you have the time and interest let me know and I’ll send you copy, but you have to comment, critic, and make suggestions. I really would like this work to be useful for you and for use to encourage others to avoid using MTBF.

Course project in search of ideas and direction

This period of reflection concerning the NoMTBF project has reinforced the idea that we need to provide something concrete and positive to do instead of just not doing MTBF. Part of the issue is our education system, standards, and textbooks as they often include MTBF in examples and at length in the discussion.

So, the idea is to create a course for experienced reliability professionals and interested engineers and managers with an interest in reliability, that focuses on reliability metrics from goal setting to tracking performance.

I’ve the technology to put together an online course that could be self paced or provided on a fixed schedule (say weekly). It could include short lectures, discussions, reading material and quizzes or examples to work.

Here’s a draft outline – what do you think?

  1. Reliability definition and how it is used in engineering decision making

  2. Common reliability measures: pros and cons

  3. Reliability and Availability Goal setting – connecting the goal to your business objectives

  4. Estimating reliability for comparison to the goals

  5. Tracking reliability and reporting performance

  6. Reliability testing with results that compare to goals

  7. Reliability modeling that leads to meaningful discussions and decisions

  8. Common mistakes and remedies concerning reliability measures

  9. How to get useful reliability information from vendors

(plenty of opportunity for bashing MTBF, yet if done in contrast to much better methods and measures, may provide really practical and useful information.)

So, thoughts? What would you want added, emphasized, and what would you want to be main take aways for each topics? What would you like to see in the course for yourself or for those you’d recommend take the course?

If you’d like to participate in the course project, I’m very open to your ideas and suggestions. Maybe help create and present a topic, provide examples, or sample problems or discussion questions.

Anyway, looking for feedback and ideas to make the NoMTBF site much more positive and useful for the reliability engineering community and for anyone interested in reliability.

About Fred Schenkelberg

I am an experienced reliability engineering and management consultant with my firm FMS Reliability. My passion is working with teams to create cost-effective reliability programs that solve problems, create durable and reliable products, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce warranty costs.

9 thoughts on “Book and Course projects

  1. Hi Fred,

    I’d be happy to review and critique the book if you’d like.

    You’ve put a couple of whitepapers I’ve written on the NoMTBF website. Those papers have some examples that you’re welcome to use so long as the proper attribution is given. I’d also be willing to help you “flesh out” the training material if need be. Let me know what you might need help with.


  2. Fred:

    I am currently helping my wife, a university professor, self-edit an academic book that she intends to publish later this year. I am willing to read your book carefully and I’m qualified to provide feedback. I probably don’t have time to contribute any new material, but I like to review books and I admire your work.

    Tony Cruz
    cell: 408.309.6057

  3. I think reliability should be taught as part of a design engineering process where product development is in a giant feedback process. Field data and production yields feed reliability models that get linked into product development to improve the current and future products. In too many US companies there is too large a gap between product development & reliability. A good engineering solution requires both. I think this philosophy should be taught as part of engineering & reliability. That’s my 2 cents :)

    I’d be glad to review your book.

    1. HI Brian,

      I would agree that reliability engineering, at least the basics, should be taught in any engineering discipline.

      I’m already gathering feedback on the book and incorporating a lot of great suggestions. If you could provide input fairly quickly that would be great. I’ll send a copy to your email address shortly.



  4. hello brian,

    Most of the information i’ve read around life data analysis, MTBF, etc. Always seems to be geared towards the design industry, or per say “design for reliability.” I’d be interested to see a segment that deals more with maintenance strategies based on real failure data in plant operations. (ie:petrochemical, food industry, pharmaceutical, etc.) How to evaluate failures in equipment to statistically assess maintenance/replacement/or design improvements.


    Nicolas Saavedra

    1. Hi Nicolas,

      Thanks for the suggestion. The bulk of work has been on product design (DFR) with some experience in factories and plants. I agree a section addressing reliability calculations and analysis without using MTBF would be useful. It’s even the subject of a paper I’m presenting in April at Reliability 2.0.

      I’ve been address comments and finishing edits on the book, yet, it’s not too late to add a chapter.



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