The introduction of the suite of ISO standards on Asset Management (55000, 55001 and 55002) represents a ‘coming of age’ for the Asset Management industry internationally. From a fairly loosely defined beginning, Asset Management has grown out of the challenges faced in managing an increasingly complex and aging asset base within increasingly demanding public and commercial environments. It now enables many organisations to be pro-active in understanding customer requirements and translating current and future needs into tangible plans for action.
With the introduction of ISO 55000, Asset Management would appear to have solved its identity crisis. Like a disorientated teenager it has begun to emerge from the fog, and is now able to say ‘this is who I am (and please don’t confuse me with what those chaps do in the financial services industry…)’. But the reality, as always, is more nuanced. Many people and organisations around the world are waking up to what Asset Management is and, more importantly, what it can do for them or their organisations. ISO 55000 (and PAS 55 before it) is a way into understanding its potential and how to organise and achieve those possibilities. But that is just the start of the journey.
Because just like the newly enlightened teenager, life might have just become clearer but that does not mean it is over. Implementing an Asset Management System is just the start – it clarifies your organisation’s purpose and strengthens the link from what you are trying to achieve with your assets, to what your organisation’s customers and stakeholders actually need. It sets you up for life but is not an end in itself. As anyone who has lived life a little knows, it is only after you have got to know yourself, experimented a little and reaped the rewards (and suffered and learnt from the pitfalls) that you begin to really make a difference. And so it is with an Asset Management System. Organisational self-awareness and experience in the Asset Management System’s use, application and continual improvement to deliver corporate objectives is the only place where any ‘excellent’ Asset Manager can claim to be.