Hydro Tasmania is Australia’s leading producer of renewable energy, with over 100 years of experience producing hydroelectric power. Its integrated network of 30 power stations and 55 major dams, plus other supporting infrastructure, has a capacity of over 2600 MW and is a key part of Tasmania’s energy strategy. It also makes Hydro Tasmania the largest water manager in Australia. Owned by the Tasmanian Government, Hydro Tasmania has assets worth around $5 billion and employs over 1100 people. Unfortunately, this asset base is ageing, creating challenges for the organisation from reducing performance, increasing maintenance burdens, increasing risk and the resulting repair/replace decision making.
In order to manage the challenges of its asset base, Hydro Tasmania had been pursuing improvements to its asset management practices. The organisation had self-assessed its practices, however Hydro Tasmania was seeking an independent perspective on its asset management maturity and assistance to establish a roadmap for further improvement. ISO 55001:2014, the first global standard for asset management systems, was selected as the benchmark for this work. Hydro Tasmania’s aim was to assess its current level of compliance with the standard, however, it is not at present required to achieve certification but wants to be ready should it be required in the future.
Initially Hydro Tasmania had envisaged that the gap assessment would be restricted to stakeholders with Assets and Infrastructure, however, we realised that the assessment would need to engage key stakeholders from the commercial, procurement, human resource, information technology and wholesale energy services areas who all have a part to play in asset management. For example, Corporate and People Services utilise a leased storage facility to house major capital equipment project assets as well as critical spares, while Wholesale Energy Services have an important role to play in determining the production and shutdown cycles for energy generation assets. Consequently the gap assessment provided awareness to stakeholders outside of Assets and Infrastructure that asset management is not just ‘a maintenance thing’. The gap assessment was performed in two stages. The first stage involved reviewing presented Hydro Tasmania documentation for process compliance against the ISO requirements. The second stage involved conducting interviews identified Hydro Tasmania personnel from across the different service areas and geographically dispersed regional sites, attending meetings and being on the lookout for any observations that together support behavioural compliance to stated processes and the ISO requirements. This two part approach allowed us to review key documents and interview key personnel in order to assess maturity against each element of the ISO 55001 requirements as follows:
- Management System & Context – The assessment checked for an understanding of context and alignment with the business objectives; consistent decision making criteria; and a clear scope for the management system.
- Leadership – The assessment covered the level of leadership commitment towards asset management and the publication and implementation of an Asset Management Policy and Strategy. It also assessed the articulation of clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
- Planning – The assessment covered the existence of plans for Hydro Tasmania’s asset portfolio, how these aligned with the organisation’s goals and objectives, and how these plans were developed.
- Support Element – The assessment evaluated the capability and capacity of supporting elements including resources, competence, communication, information and documentation.
- Operational Control – The processes for managing and controlling operations and maintenance activities were evaluated, as well as the processes for managing technical change and for managing outsourced activities.
- Performance Evaluation – The systems for monitoring and evaluating performance and conformance with asset management system requirements were assessed.
- Improvement – The assessment reviewed Hydro Tasmania’s processes for dealing with non conformity, preventive actions and continual improvement of its performance and its asset management system.
Using the UK Institute of Asset Management (IAM) Self-Assessment Methodology (SAM) tool to assess the maturity of Hydro Tasmania across the 27 ISO 55001 categories, we identified the opportunities to close identified gaps that would allow Hydro Tasmania to achieve an assessment of Competent required for full compliance and future certification.
As a result of the gap assessment, Hydro Tasmania:
- Has a comprehensive audit report that identifies both strengths and weaknesses through an asset management maturity assessment.
- Knowing the gaps decided on where to focus its efforts towards achieving compliance with the standard.
- Developed an action plan with allocated responsibilities and timings to close the gaps.
- Ensured that asset management and ISO 55000 awareness training was provided to a spectrum of Hydro Tasmania stakeholders involved in asset management.
As a result of the gap assessment, Hydro Tasmania:
- Has created a greater awareness within other service areas outside of Asset and Infrastructure that asset management is not just ‘a maintenance thing’. This improved the overall organisational understanding of Asset Management, including both the benefits and how to go about achieving them.
- Can reduce organisational risk by identifying and tracking the completion of high priority improvements.
- Demonstrate sound governance over its assets to its owners.
- Established a sound basis for good practice management of its assets.
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