A model to identify relevant data
for problem tracing and
A case study
Basim Al-Najjar and Mirka Kans
Department of Terotechnology, School of Technology and Design,
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to help build up a relevant database for mapping technical
and ﬁnancial effectiveness of production in order to make cost-effective maintenance decisions.
Design/methodology/approach – A theoretical model is developed based on past research and
experience adopting a holistic systems approach on the production. A case study, which includes
databases of two maintenance-used software programs, veriﬁes the potential of applying the model.
Findings – The main result achieved is a model for identifying relevant data required for accurate
problem tracing and localisation within maintenance and production processes using a top down
approach. The main conclusions are integration of IT and data resources within the enterprise is
needed for developing a holistic view of the production process and a well-formulated and documented
procedure of data identiﬁcation will ensure that the data can be traced back to root sources and in this
way we can support the work of continuous cost-effective improvement by eliminating root causes of
problems at an early stage.
Research limitations/implications – Further model veriﬁcation by industrial case studies would
be of interest.
Practical implications – The holistic approach and the model presented are applicable especially in
capital intensive industries, where maintenance budget is not negligible and the amount of data to
process is large. By structuring the data need and data identiﬁcation process relevant performance
measures will be monitored and advanced maintenance concepts can be applied.
Originality/value – By applying the proposed model in industry, the data identiﬁcation process
itself and not the data contents is necessary to be standardised and structured. It shifts the focus of the
quality aspect from just data level to both data and data collection level. The performance measures
will therefore not be chosen depending on what the IT applications can provide in ﬁrst hand, but upon
what is needed for cost-effective mapping, analysis, following up and assessment of maintenance
Keywords Problem solving, Maintenance costs, Cost effectiveness, Integration
Paper type Research paper
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
The authors would like to acknowledge the Centre of Industrial Competitiveness (CIC) which is
the ﬁnancier of this project. The CIC is an interdisciplinary research platform on Va
University with the basis in both economics and technology.
Received March 2005
Revised March 2006
Accepted March 2006
International Journal of Productivity
and Performance Management
Vol. 55 No. 8, 2006
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited