In my experience as a Maximo consultant I have found that start centers are very important for Maximo users and that a well design start center will have a great impact in their perception of Maximo as well as in their daily work. Power users as well as experienced supervisors often put a lot of effort into improving their own start center with relevant KPIs, result sets and charts. Getting feedback from these users was invaluable for the Maximo administrators because it allowed them to improve the start center templates even further with the goal of letting all users benefit from these improvements.
We found a couple challenges, though. Rolling out the new versions of the start centers was not a trivial task. We wanted uses to take advantage of the improved start centers but we had to rely on them manually updating the start center, which often required involving someone non-technical to come up with the right communications and approve sending them to all users or to some of them. In some cases they never updated and at some point they were using really outdated portlets, some with invalid information. Even if we forced the update of all start centers (there is a command line tool that comes with Maximo that allows this), we would still need to send a communication beforehand to ensure that all users would be happy with that -since updating an start center is going to wipe all customizations users might have made.
Additionally, we found the result sets quite limiting in regards to the data that may be shown, which also applies to the charts: although it’s possible to use relationships in a column by touching the database manually (with all the risks this involves), this is far from what the Maximo users would be able to do and forces Maximo technical experts to take the role of template managers, which they shouldn’t. For charts it’s even worse, since it’s not possible to use relationships in the group by field. Some older versions of Maximo supported this (through manual database changes), but only for simple, key-mapped relationships. For example,
assetnum = :assetnum, but not
assetnum in (...); and you would be able to use
:MY_RELATIONSHIP.ATTRIBUTE, but not
As a solution to all these problems we have developed a software solution that provides a friendly user interface integrated into Maximo and that brings support for complex relationships in result sets and graphs as well as automatic backup and restore of start center and automatic roll-out of start center template changes.