Originally published in “The Asset Journal – June 2016” via the Asset Management Council of Australia.

Article link here

I recently attended the AMPEAK 2016 conference in Glenelg, South Australia. Apart from the usual high standard of papers and presentations I had some great engagements with a wide range of people. From Technicians to Engineering to Management to Consultants there continues to be a recurring theme. “Our wider stakeholders do not fully understand Asset Management!” So much so that it ranked top position in the Asset Management Council’s Myths of Asset Management with most people identifying it a technical discipline.

When the opportunity arises to explain Asset Management it is often at very short notice. There is also the reality that we do not know who the stakeholder is at that moment. This can leave us second guessing how to frame the context of the response. It is also easy for us to start with our own role in Asset Management and this is where we sometimes lose a valuable opportunity as our audience has difficulty connecting with what we are talking about.

I would like to share with you 3 questions that I find very helpful in explaining Asset Management. These rhetorical questions provide an association with Strategic Asset Management, Asset Management and Maintenance. I use these same questions for any stakeholder with respect to Asset Management.

You will notice the deliberate use of the “we” word in the following questions. Doing so reminds us that “we” are all part of a support network that has influence over the outcome of an Asset’s performance…So whether you are sharing the questions with a senior manager or to a front line worker the use of “we” invokes engagement at any level.

  1. If we continue the same maintenance practice on this system how long will the system live for?
  2. If we ceased maintenance at this moment how long will the system continue to operate before there is a failure?
  3. If we had an additional $100K to spend on the system at this moment where would it be best spent?

Question 1 is a Strategicwhy” question. It tests an Organisations Strategy. Has the Organisation translated business objectives into clear Asset objectives? If the answer to this question is a set of clear measurable objectives, then there is a foundation for success. The vehicle for this translation is a SAMP (Strategic Asset Management Plan)

Question 2 is a Tactical question and challenges “what” we do. Derived in part from the SAMP, this question is associated with the scope and timing of what we intend to do to an asset in order for it to meet its objectives. The vehicle for is the AMP (Asset Management Plan)

Question 3 is an Operational oriented question and opens our minds to “how” we do things at the coal face. Is there adequate tooling? Is the overtime mix correct? At this level we have vehicles such as Technical Maintenance Plans (TMP), Procedures and transactional systems to record what is done, by whom and when.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 8.36.40 PM.png

The above questions allow us as Asset Management practitioners to engage a wider range of stakeholders in their Asset Management journey through question led conversations. Because the questions are outcome oriented (Value) which when considered holistically (Alignment) promotes empowerment (Leadership).  In three easy questions you are able to highlight 3 principles of ISO55000 as well as cover Operations, Tactical and Strategic themes. Give it a go next time you are wanting to explain Asset Management; you may be pleasantly surprised at the engagement you receive!

Martin Kerr CFAM, CPPD

Change Leader (Principal) at Structured Change Pty Ltd

Asset Management Council – AMBok Team Member