Successful asset management of infrastructure is highly dependent on data, be it technical or financial data. Most organisations struggle to gather that data and adequately translate the data into useful information on which to make informed decisions. Similarly, most organisations struggle when it comes to articulating the condition of their assets and the levels of service they seek to provide for their community. They generally have little evidence as to what the users of the services really want and are prepared to pay for.
Asset management practices have been evolving over recent years with a lot more focus now on how we can better address these problems. The publication of ISO Asset Management System Standards and the resultant updating of various Manuals and tools, such as the International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM), are all aiming to provide practitioners with better resources to achieve appropriate service planning.
ISO 55000 Asset Management Standards
It is of interest to note that the ISO 55000 Asset Management Standards are very much about the value (Financial and other) that the assets can provide in terms of services required by the various stakeholders. Asset management is about achieving the right balance between expenditure, risk and performance of assets in the provision of products or services required by the end users.
The ISO Standards also encourage a management systems approach across the whole organisation and seek to break down silos by fostering collaboration and alignment between the various functional areas for sharing information – thus enhancing decision making. A good example is the work being done on the next iteration of the ISO AM Standards to seek better alignment between asset management, financial management and accounting functions within organisations for better decision making and performance reporting.
Implementing the ISO AM requirements
The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) has been involved as part of the Technical Committee (TC 251) writing the ISO 55000 AM Standards. They have translated the principles involved into their various tools and resources, aimed at assisting practitioners to understand “How to do” the various ISO AM requirements – the “What to do”. In terms of evolving data into service planning, they also provide tools such as various practice notes on how to assess the condition of different asset classes and translate that data into action plans with associated long term financial planning. The service level dilemma has also been addressed with a specific practice note on how to develop both customer and technical levels of service and importantly, how to engage the community in setting those service levels.
Peter Way will share his experiences in developing the Standards and associated resources to help improve our service planning through better use of the available data at the Data for Local Government Asset Management conference. Book your place by October 21st to save $200 on ticket prices.