Saying that raising children is easy is akin to saying the Earth is the center of the universe. Every parent will tell you that all their rules of life change the moment children are born. Carefree is replaced by responsibility, nurturing and caretake the form of proactive management. Money becomes an issue because there is never enough to give them everything you want to. However, what parents do not realize is that managing your child’s growth and development often mimics many of the same principles and tools that comprise an EAM system.

In case you are not sure what an EAM system does, EAM systems manage the lifecycle of assets in a business environment from conception to uselessness (and I chose my words very carefully). When we take a look at raising children in EAM terms we see 12 common categories reflecting this challenge. They are as follows:

EAM/Child raising categories

  1. Planning: Planning your children’s future is the all encompassing task of all parents. We all hope that if we do our job right that our children will have a better life than we have. With careful planning we can manage our children from conception (pun intended) through their leaving the nest (the equivalent of asset retirement). This is the goal of asset lifecycle management.
  2. Regular scheduled maintenance: This includes showers, bathing, brushing teeth, dressing, sleeping, eating and drinking. Your schedule may not be computerized but it is there.
  3. Inspections: From clothing checks to backpack inspections to making sure they have everything ready for school you instinctively know when to check.
  4. Preventive maintenance: Doctor and dentist visits, buying Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards, feeding them, or making sure they have the proper attire for the weather are all done to make sure they are healthy and operate at maximum efficiency. Unfortunately, no system can account for the stubbornness or defiance children have. However proactive maintenance reduces the risk.
  5. Unscheduled maintenance and repairs: This occurs when stubbornness or neglect wins in the form major medical or other health related issues or can develop as a result of everyday bumps in life such as cuts and bruises, a broken heart or milk spills.
  6. Scheduled repairs: Maintenance as a result of wear and tear or otherwise planned. Examples include new clothes, physical changes, birds and bees and drugs discussions. Includes anything that you can consciously say I need to talk to him/her about that or small planned purchases such as birthday gifts and entertainment.
  7. Work order management: Chores, chauffeur responsibilities, sports, grocery shopping, projects, honey-do-list. The list is almost endless, the more children the longer the list. Most work order management can and is planned but some will be spontaneous.
  8. Knowledge base: Your knowledge base is the collection of historical data that is used to make decisions, train or teach your children. For example, most people realize when their automobile is costing more to repair and operate than it is worth. The knowledge base is critical because it is a sum of all we know about certain subjects.
  9. Capital budgeting: Capital budgeting is the planning of major expenses such as purchasing a car, vacation plans, another child, new roof, moving etc. To do good capital planning one must have an understanding of what major expenses are likely to occur and why. Your knowledge base provides this information.
  10. Documents: Everyone has a file of some sort containing important documents such as medical records, pictures, medical, passports, warranties, deeds and so on.
  11. Hiring contractors: This is the outsourcing of work and their accounting. Includes items such as babysitting, private schools or outsourced parties (birthday). Information generally includes terms, scope of services, expectations and so on.
  12. Energy efficiency/asset optimization: Energy efficiency is not the intangible that some think. It includes closing windows when the heat or A/C is on or turning out the lights when they are not in use. It is the reason households purchase Energy Star products, longer lasting lightbulbs or turn the water off when not using. You teach your children these basic tenants every day.

No we are not suggesting you raise your children using an EAM system. However, doesn’t it make sense that if you do this for yourself already that your plant or facility management should be operating under the same principals? The difference is size and scope. The more to be handled the more help you need. An EAM system helps organize and automate many of these processes. Most importantly, EAM systems record the all important historical information critical to establishing a knowledge base that is used for training, repair and capital planning.

Share with us how you organize your life. Is there a system that you use? If you liked this post you may also enjoy reading: