Mosaic had the privilege of participating, once again, in the Maximo Utility Working Group (MUWG) conference recently in Columbia, S.C. Flying home, I was thinking about the last seven years and how MUWG has grown into such an important conference for the utility industry.
MUWG is a non-profit, utility industry sponsored working group that provides a forum for IBM Maximo users to exchange information, methods and experiences, improve asset and work management practices and processes in the utility work place. The goal is to exchange information that will improve knowledge, use, practices and methods to optimize the use of Maximo’s capabilities.
Looking back, I found the roster from the 2009 spring MUWG that was held in New York, where about 90 utilities members attended. At the MUWG spring conference last week, hosted by SCANA, nearly 300 users came together for a week of learning and sharing.
Why do these utility professionals gather from all corners of North America twice a year and continue to bring more of their colleagues? I think MUWG has developed a culture where collaboration, relationship building and servant leadership is the secret sauce causing the growth.
Over the years I’ve attended many conference sessions and have watched time and again as MUWG members going out of their way to introduce a new attendee to a MUWG veteran in order to glean a nugget of knowledge. Putting together a well-run conference takes incredible effort and commitment. The volunteer steering committee is a great example of servant leadership. They volunteer countless hours setting up the program, vetting presentations, coordinating locations, and providing facilitation. Ron Wallace is the IBM appointed program manager who collaborates with the steering committee and members to make sure IBM understands their needs. During meals and breaks, old friendships are rekindled and new ones started. It almost feels like a family reunion.
At Mosaic, we approach every training and organizational readiness engagement with the premise that the project can only succeed if the people are ready, willing and able to embrace the new vision. The MUWG has created an environment where the member utilities come to every fall and spring meeting ready, willing and able to find ways to optimize Maximo to its fullest. But more importantly, they maximize their relationships with each other and consistently find ways to improve their utilities.
Mosaic is involved in many industry events each year within the oil & gas and utility industry. But I always look forward to attending MUWG because they have built an authentic user group, committed to the improvement of their members. Many other conferences have paid professional event planners, turning the software company tradeshow into a slick overly commercialized event. But MUWG is put on by volunteers for its members, so it stays close to the issues. The group stays true to its members and that is why it will continue to grow and add value to our industry.
By Don Wolfe, Mosaic Marketing & Communications Manager