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What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

  • 1.  What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 17 January 2018 20:15
    I've been working on our asset management strategy recently, and in circulating it for comment, I've got some really good feedback.

    One of the bits of useful feedback I've received is that the objective/purpose of the strategy is unclear, and there needs to be a clear articulation of the problem at hand and how this can be addressed.

    I've been giving this some thought.

    I think perhaps the problem that the strategy is or should be trying to address is that our council like other councils needs to provide and maintain a very large portfolio of assets with; a limited budget, numerous legislative constraints and obligations and an implicit expectation from the community that service levels should not fall over time.

    As to the purpose of the strategy, I personally think that in a nut shell an asset management strategy should be a strategy for identifying and implementing more cost effective ways of providing and maintaining assets and making a municipality a better place to live.

    I'm often a bit out of sync with what everyone else is thinking, so I'd love to hear what other people think the purpose of an asset management strategy is and what problem or problems it should endeavour to address.

    Regards,

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    Wayne Eddy
    Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
    City of Whittlesea
    BUNDOORA MDC VIC
    Wayne.Eddy@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
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  • 2.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 18 January 2018 20:53
    I have always worked with ISO 55000 Clause 2.4.2(b) and ISO 55001 Clauses 4.4 & 6.2 in particular, as the yardstick/s.
    The NAMS IIMM notes "AM is a generic discipline...." and works on the basis of alignment with these ISO Standards.
    IIMM Table 2.1.1sets it all out nicely.
    It's difficult to imagine why uniformity of approach would be undesirable.

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    Graeme Pointon
    Strategic Property Advisor
    Rangitikei District Council, N.Z.
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  • 3.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 18 January 2018 22:20
    ​Thanks, Graeme.

    I just had a look at table 2.1.1. and while it says what should be included in an Asset Management Strategy, it doesn't seem to speak to "what problem the strategy is trying to address".  Perhaps the authors of both the IIMM and ISO55000 believe (and perhaps quite reasonably) that an asset management strategy isn't designed to solve a particular problem.  That's OK, but Councils are typically 'drowning' in a whole plethora of strategies (or what ever the correct collective nouns for strategies is), and their contents and structure can be quite different to what a standard asset management strategy might look like.

    That's a problem, because if a Council or a leadership team or whoever the approving authority is, is used to seeing a certain type of strategy with a certain type of structure (including perhaps a explanation of the problem it is trying to solve), they are potentially less likely to approve a strategy with a totally difference structure, even if it is exactly what a particular manual or standard or guide suggests the structure should be.

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    Wayne Eddy
    Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
    City of Whittlesea
    BUNDOORA MDC VIC
    Wayne.Eddy@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
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  • 4.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 18 January 2018 20:57
    ​Hi Wayne

    I've recently transferred over from Strategy to Assets here at City of Marion to build our Asset Management Framework and have been grappling with the same issue as I rewrite our Asset Management Policy and create our Asset Management Strategy.

    Our overarching Asset Management objective is:

    To maintain City of Marion's assets to agreed levels of service at the lowest cost possible for each year of useful life.

    which definitely aligns to your thoughts on the strategy's purpose.

    After reading a bunch of best practice guidance, and to maintain simple and consistent language, messaging and branding, plus to keep myself focussed, I've just crafted these Asset Management Framework element descriptions and will be seeking feedback from my new colleagues before I turn them into an infographic.

     

    Element

    City of Marion Description

    Contents

    Asset Management Policy

    Provides a clear direction and defines the key principles that underpin Asset Management for the City of Marion

     

    Principles, requirements and responsibilities for Asset Management linked to organisational strategic priorities

    Asset Management Strategy

    Aligns our asset portfolio to better meet the service delivery needs of our community – now and into the future

    High level long-term action plan coordinating activities to deliver the Asset Management Policy.

     

    Asset Management objectives, practices, improvement plans, audit and review processes

    ·         Current situation

    ·         Where we want to be

    ·         How we'll get there

    ·         Ensure continuous improvement

     

    Asset Management Plans

    Provides scenarios that can deliver affordable levels of service targets within LTFP whilst managing risks

     

    Long-term plans which outline asset activities for each service and provide the business case for long-term expenditure forecasts

     

    Asset / service description, levels of service, demand forecasts, lifecycle activities, cashflow forecasts

     

    Operational Plans & Programs

    Provides a defined level of service in the most cost effective way

     

    Guides the day to day activities of subject matter expert staff and contractors


    Cheers
    Catrin

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    Catrin Johnson
    Senior Asset Strategic and Project Coordinator
    City of Marion
    catrin.johnson@marion.sa.gov.au
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  • 5.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 18 January 2018 22:21
    ​Thanks for the response, Catrin.  Glad to hear that someone else is thinking along the same lines with respect to purpose.  Also think it is great that you are clearly defining terms.  It is amazing how often people can use the same term all the time, but still have a quite different take on its actual meaning.

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    Wayne Eddy
    Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
    City of Whittlesea
    BUNDOORA MDC VIC
    Wayne.Eddy@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
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  • 6.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 18 January 2018 22:20
    This is my first attempt to reply to a discussion and I've just realised that I replied direct to Wayne rather than the thread!  Second time lucky...

    I've just transferred from Strategy to Assets here at City of Marion to build and roll out a new Asset Management Framework, starting with redrafting our AM Policy and creating an AM Strategy.  It's been a struggle to determine a consensus on the role and contents of each element of the puzzle - with lots of differing views of their purpose and usefulness.

    After ploughing through a bunch of best practice guidance, I've just crafted these descriptions for the elements for our new AM Framework, which will underpin our overarching AM objective of:


    To maintain City of Marion's assets to agreed levels of service at the lowest cost possible for each year of useful life
    .

    Element

    CoM Description

    Contents

    Asset Management Policy

    Provides a clear direction and defines the key principles that underpin Asset Management for the City of Marion

     

    Principles, requirements and responsibilities for Asset Management linked to organisational strategic priorities

    Asset Management Strategy

    Aligns our asset portfolio to better meet the service delivery needs of our community – now and into the future

    High level long-term action plan coordinating activities to deliver the Asset Management Policy.

     

    Asset Management objectives, practices, improvement plans, audit and review processes

    ·         Current situation

    ·         Where we want to be

    ·         How we'll get there

    ·         Ensure continuous improvement

     

    Asset Management Plans

    Provides scenarios that can deliver affordable levels of service targets within LTFP whilst managing risks

     

    Long-term plans which outline asset activities for each service and provide the business case for long-term expenditure forecasts

     

    Asset / service description, levels of service, demand forecasts, lifecycle activities, cashflow forecasts

     

    Operational Plans & Programs

    Provides a defined level of service in the most cost effective way

     

    Guides the day to day activities of subject matter expert staff and contractors


    I'll be seeking feedback from my new colleagues before turning them into an infographic to support behaviourial change as we roll this out.  Any views from here would also be incredibly useful!

    Cheers
    Catrin






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    catrin johnson
    City of Marion
    catrin.johnson@marion.sa.gov.au
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  • 7.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 21 January 2018 18:48
    ​Great document Catrin,
    What about the Financial Strategy and/or Financial Plan to support ASM strategy & AM Plans?
    Elena
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  • 8.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 21 January 2018 19:06
      |   view attached
    ​Great point regarding the financial strategy/plan which underpins the Asset Management Strategy Elena.  I didn't define our long term financial plan as it already exists within our strategic management framework - but I'll be creating an infographic similar to this attached one:

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    catrinjohnson
    City of Marioncatrin.johnson@marion.sa.gov.au
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  • 9.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 21 January 2018 18:48
    Hi Wayne

    Good to see you are still up there thinking about asset management.  I was going to respond more extensively to your question but the comments you received from Catrin Johnson at the City of Marion (my old stamping ground) cover my thoughts.  About the only thing I can add, and I am not sure it adds much, is that the focus needs to be forward looking - always think that there is a better way to deliver services and that emerging technologies may give the right answer or even compel  change!
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  • 10.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 22 January 2018 16:45
    Hi Wayne
    ​I Agree with the reply from David Thomas Hope, yet what I miss is that a strategy should make explicit how the term "better place to live" in your nut-shell definition is to be interpreted. (Quote: "an asset management strategy should be a strategy for identifying and implementing more cost effective ways of providing and maintaining assets and making a municipality a better place to live.").
    For that cause a risk matrix as a basis for decision making, which defines what is acceptable and what not, is always a critical issue.
    Besides that, other aspects such as "user friendliness" and the use of decision support systems such as TCO and LCC can play a role, when being implemented as part of the strategy. All this should be clear for those interested in "what is being done for the provided investements" (so "the stakeholders").
    I hope this helps.
    Best regards,
    Geert Henk

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    Geert Henk Wijnants
    Principal consultant
    STORK Asset Management Technology
    +31613357246
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  • 11.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 24 January 2018 14:58
    I agree with Earl's comment that an asset management strategy should cover the improvement in maturity of how Council undertakes Asset Management.
    Additionally, it should be made clear that strategy applies to Infrastructure Assets.
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  • 12.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 21 January 2018 18:48
    'An asset management strategy should be a strategy for identifying and implementing more cost effective ways of providing and maintaining assets and making a municipality a better place to live.'

    Agreed; at a high level, cost effective while supporting health and wellness ('a better place to live') is a stellar strategy.

    From LGAM, it states 'An Asset Management Strategy is a high level but very important document that guides the overall asset management activities within an organisation. Being a strategy, it is meant to explore long term issues and ensure that the overall plan is linked to key "strategic" issues of the organisation.'



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  • 13.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 22 January 2018 16:45
    ​Hi Wayne and all,

    My take is that the Strategic Asset Management Plan should be tailored to the maturity of the organizations Asset Management System. The overall goal will likely be to improve upon AM maturity.  If your organization is in the infancy of AM system development then simply developing the AM system according to a desired framework (i.e., ISO 55000) would likely be the best focus of any strategy. My organization spent the last year developing the first iteration of a five year SAMP and building the foundation for a robust AM system. The strategic focus outlined by our SAMP is simply developing the program, processes, and supporting IT systems.

    The "problem" is, without getting too specific, inefficient traditional reactive approaches to AM. Most every organization will face this problem to some varying degree. I find the AM policy to be the best place to address this problem in a generalized manner.  An AM policy that outlines your organizations drivers will become the cornerstone for the SAMP.

    An example of our drivers:
    • Improve safety
    • Reduce environmental impacts
    • Improve value for money
    • Improve ability to meet levels of service
    • Strategic approach top asset planning

    Happy to share more detailed examples such as policy, SAMP, maturity survey administration, AM gap analysis, or a range of educational PowerPoint presos.  If you are interested please email me.  Best of luck!

    Regards,


    Earl DuPriest

    Asset Management Program Manager
    Charleston Water System
    103 St. Philip Street | Charleston, SC 29403
    Tel: 843-727-7202
    Mob: 843-214-4310
    E: dupriester@charlestoncpw.com


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  • 14.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 23 January 2018 16:35
    Hi

    I agree with Earl that it depends on the asset management maturity of the organisation.

    The first AM Strategy I wrote in a previous LG was all about a strategy to embed and resource asset management as a core discipline into the organisation.   It was a map for where we were and where we wanted to be and what we needed to make the journey.

    In a larger more AM mature LG with good asset planning, good asset management structure in place, the strategic focus is more that we are substantially where we want to be in the maturity journey but are more about doing it continuously tweaking for more efficiency and potential use of new technologies.  Data confidence, community friendly engagement (both ways), appropriate development, optimising practices and streamlining processes come to mind.

    Personally, I have struggled in the past to get people to read AM policy, strategy, AMPs and operational service plans and if no one reads them then they serve NO purpose!  So we decided to streamline and wrote very reader friendly Strategic Asset Management Plans with hopefully just the right balance of information and visual appeal.  The overview becomes a trimmed down Strategy.  Obviously in doing this we have had to take a lot of the detail out of the SAMP's.  This technical detail rolls down into associated documents such as hierarchies,  technical los, maintenance plans, priority matrices and information that is already intrinsic in our inventories and doesn't need to be written on paper etc.  These associated technical documents can be read by those who need to know or when questions are asked.

    I was interested to read your comment on a financial strategy Elena, this is an area sadly lacking even with myriad financial reporting requirements we don't do this well.  I think the Long Term Financial Plan could achieve this with some overarching financial strategies covering debt, rates and revenue.  NZ do it well see Page 12 at this link;  http://www.mpdc.govt.nz/pdf/CouncilDocuments/Plans/LongTermPlan/LTCCPS/15-25/Final/LTP-Part1.pdf


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  • 15.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 24 January 2018 14:59
    ​I think Brianna, raises a very important point when she talks about the difficulty of getting people to actually read the policy, strategy & plans.  Making them interesting and still tick all the boxes they have to tick is no easy task.

    I've tried to put myself in the readers shoe's, and I think the average person's relationship with asset management is a bit like my relationship with occupational health and safety.  I know theoretically it's really important, but I can't make myself find it particularly interesting.  If I have to go to an OH&S related meeting I will, but I probably won't think about it much before or after the meeting.

    I think often organisations employ someone to "do asset management" so that everyone else can concentrate on what they feel is important. The trouble is, in the end only the person who has drafted the plan/strategy/policy ends up having any investment in it, and it gathers dust on the shelf.

    I think Brianna is on the right track trimming everything down and prettying it up to try to get people interested.  The problem is that 12 months down the track an internal audit will identify that the strategy/plan/policy doesn't conform with the latest edition of the IIMM or the new state government guidelines and someone else will add more detail to them and they won't be read.

    Is that too bleak an observation for a Wednesday afternoon?

    Is there a way to avoid this vicious cycle of rehashing documents without ever getting any real buy in?

    Love to hear from anyone who has honestly solved the problem.

    Regards,

    Wayne.


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    Wayne Eddy
    Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
    City of Whittlesea
    BUNDOORA MDC VIC
    Wayne.Eddy@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
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  • 16.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 28 January 2018 19:56
    Hi everyone.  I am just completing a draft asset management strategy myself.  It swings off the asset management policy, as ISO 55000 is very clear, the purpose of the strategy is to set out the approach to implementing the principles set out in the asset management policy. Everyone's strategy will be different, but the purpose of having one will be the same

    The principles in the asset management policy, are how the organisation intends to apply asset management to achieve its organisational objectives.  The asset management policy must sit in the organisational context, and for a less asset management mature organisation, the context is likely to be different to one which is more mature.

    One other thing, I note that many people mix up, and asset management strategy with an asset strategy.  The asset strategy is about managing the assets, the asset management strategy is about advancing the asset management objectives (the business process).



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  • 17.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 28 January 2018 19:56
    ​Hi again everyone,

    Thank you for your kind words Brianna.  To Wayne and Brianna's point; It is very difficult getting people on board and participating, particularly if they are entrenched in a traditional reactive approach at the starting point for AM system development.  Big documents and overly technical approaches are a great way to keep people switched off.  It is even difficult to keep them switched on with simple and concise documents in many cases. Trust me when I say that I feel like a sales person most days.

    This was a real concern at the outset of AM system development here at Charleston Water System (CWS). To over come this challenge we implemented a robust communication and education plan that was tied directly to the development of the SAMP.  The plan focused on four areas each considered an ideal opportunity to engage, educate, and promote organization wide ownership of AM.

    The first area was leadership, which was engaged through a series of stakeholder expectation meetings. Basically I sat down with every senior leader and subject matter expert in the organization and asked them what they expected of AM. A total of 110 expectation statements were gathered, classified, and analyzed. This provided some great data for the SAMP and bolstered confidence and understanding of AM at the highest level.

    The second area was end users and subject matter experts, which were engaged through IAM SAM maturity assessment workshops. The workshops were not just about ticking a box.  They were interactive question and answer sessions that were as much about educating as they were about determining our maturity. This created a buy in opportunity for mid level associates and helped them clearly understand the concepts that would help CWS demonstrate higher levels of maturity in the future. The survey was administered in seven workshops to a total of 52 associates (roughly 10% of our workforce). Once again great data was provided for the SAMP and associates felt a sense of ownership of the developing AM system.

    The third area was the whole organization. This was a bit of luck (not everything is by design after all).  The organizations weekly newsletter was struggling to obtain content. We took advantage of this opportunity by starting an article submission program. Basically one of my team mates or I will write a weekly article for the newsletter, which is distributed to every associate and posted on message boards at all of our offices and depots. We do a monthly update article letting the organization know about our latest progress towards AM system development.  Educational articles focused on key concepts such as risk, LOS, asset criticality, etc., fill in the remaining weekly article submissions. This simple yet powerful communication tool has had a tremendous impact in terms of awareness and competence building.

    The fourth area (thank  goodness there is not a fifth because my carpal tunnel is acting up) is new associates.  We are currently in the process of developing an add on AM module to an orientation training program.  The intent here is to give each new incoming associate something of a crash course on AM.  The module is focused on concepts such as; where AM fits into the organization, what the new associates AM responsibilities are, the policy, and the SAMP.

    These communication strategies, although not perfect, have gone a long way towards overcoming the challenges both Brianna and Wayne mentioned.  I hope that this information is helpful for any of you who may be struggling to gain organizational buy in.

    Regards,

    Earl DuPriest



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  • 18.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 23 January 2018 19:20
    Hi All
    Great discussion on this topic of Asset Management Strategy.
    I just want to add  some comments regarding the ISO 55000 approach and give an update on what is happening on that front.
    As many have pointed out there is currently some good guidance in ISO 55000 Standards about the purpose of a SAMP and this is backed up by further "How To" advice in the 2015 IIMM. Just remember that one of the prime objectives of the SAMP in ISO is to translate the higher level organizational objectives into the various asset management objectives, ensuring there is alignment between these. It should then spell out how the asset management plans are to be developed and the role of the AM system.
    Having said that and as noted by others, you need flexibility to allow an organization to tailor the SAMP to its particular needs and level of maturity.
    Accordingly, ISO 55001 is very non- prescriptive when it comes to the content of a SAMP.
    This has created  some anxst for users with a call for greater clarity on suggested content.
    With that in mind, the current review work being done on the ISO 55002 document which is the part that provides further guidance and explanation of ISO 55001, has tackled the issue and proposes an  Informative Annex that provides much greater detail on the suggested content of a typical SAMP.  Again this is a suggested format and is not prescriptive but designed to help users advance towards a more mature SAMP as the organization continuously improves its AM practice.
    The next version of ISO 55002 has recently been approved by ballot to move to a Final Draft ISO Standard and will be discussed at the next ISO TC Meeting coming up in early February.
    We expect publication will likely be in the the third quarter of this calendar year..
    I hope this adds to the discussion on this question.
    Peter Way
    Director - NAMS.AU IPWEA.
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  • 19.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 28 January 2018 19:57
    ​This is such a great discussion!  I've come back into work after the long weekend all fired up to complete my first draft AM Strategy this morning - which I'll be happy to share  - email me if you're interested.  It's got a few gaps where our position need determining by our new Asset Governance Group kicking off next month.  Plus our behind the scenes work populating our role and responsibilities matrix has highlighted a few gaps or areas of confusion.

    Readability and simplicity have definitely not been key drivers of the previous versions I've located!  As Wayne mentioned, a key challenge is to keep it relevant and timely over it's 10-year lifecycle.  I'm planned on a minor review after 2 years, then a major review after 4 - as our maturity level should step up over that timeframe.

    There's lots to do but I'm looking forward to it all taking shape over the next few months.


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    catrinjohnsonCity of Marioncatrin.johnson@marion.sa.gov.au
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  • 20.  RE: What's the purpose of an Asset Management Strategy?

    Posted 28 January 2018 19:55
    An asset management strategy is quite simply a statement of intent by an organisation as to how one or more defined performance objectives will be delivered and at what cost over a time period of, say, 10 years or longer. A strategy should state the current position (level of service) and outline how the future level of service will be achieved over the time frame of the strategy.
    In order to a develop strategy, it means some level of strategic (long term) planning is required to determine what actions and, therefore, results can be achieved for the available funding or conversely what levels of funding will be required to achieve the desired outcome.

    Hope this bring another perspective  to the may great responses I have seen on the forum
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