Every Ship Needs a Captain

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, when men were men, and…

Every good story has a great opening line. In the past weeks I’ve recanted some of my stories. This week, however, will be different.

For those of you who are now crying in anguish because you will not have a charming vignette this week, let me assure you that there will be many more humorous and far reaching to come.
Let’s talk about the SS Neversail a mythical oil tanker a drift on the high seas.

Oil tankers are generally a large vessel that costs a great deal of money when empty. And even more money when full. An average oil tanker is crewed with approximately forty people. They have very limited tasks. Some people drive the ship. Some people make the ship go. Some people load and unload the ship. Some people feed the people on the ship. Some people clean the ship. Doesn’t sound too complicated, does it? With today’s satellite navigation and computers, it doesn’t seem like the jobs are too terrible or too hard.

40 people, all with defined duties, all that technology, why would you need a captain?
You ask “Who would be responsible” I answer “ the group would be responsible, it is only 40 people. Surely they can get together and govern themselves well without any supreme authority, after all they are all adults. They’ll all get along and have one focus that is shared between all of them. Certainly there is no need for a captain here….Right!!”

The mere suggestion of having a ship without a captain seems like lunacy. Who would think of such a thing? Why would you do this? Think of the lives at danger. Think of the recent environmental calamities. When considering this, I think we can all agree whole heartedly that this ship needs a captain.

So If we can agree that this ship needs a captain let me ask you about a different ship and lets see if that ship needs a captain….Hmmm let’s call this ship the SS Outage.

The SS Outage costs anywhere from $20,000 to $250,000 every day its late coming into port.

The SS Outage has about 100 different people who don’t live there running around its decks playing with its engines and controls.

The SS Outage has many rocky shoals to navigate around.

The SS Outage has at least 50 different disciplines that all have to work and play well with each other.

The SS Outage is constantly beset with mean, nasty and terrible pirates who board our precious ship and try to take our gold for their booty.

Assuredly if the SS Neversail needs a captain then the SS Outage needs one at least.

In a power plant, the biggest, most expensive “ship” is an outage. How often do your outages have a captain or captains, whom are there day and night? How many outages do you have that go over schedule and over budget? How many of those outages have a dedicated outage manager, days and nights, that is truly the captain of that ship?

Moral of the story:

Every endeavor that’s has a significant value needs a “Captain” after all what would the Enterprise be without Captain Kirk

Rule of thumb:

Is something critical to your plants success? Then put someone in charge of it. Also print the following and post it everywhere so you never forget.

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

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