“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall”Stephen Covey
With the ink dry on the ISO 55000 series of standards, asset management is a term of growing importance in many industries. There are significant benefits on the table (see our How Does Asset Management Deliver Value article for more information), but implementation can be a challenge. This paper, written by Scott Yates and Sudarshan Mandloi, explores four key ideas that top management can use to drive the process forward:
- Be a leader
- Give direction
- Allocate resources
- Reward performance
Be a leader
If you’ve made the commitment to implement an asset management system, then your organisation is going to need a visionary who can, to paraphrase Stephen Covey, “select the right wall”. ISO 55000 recognises leadership, not management, as a key determinant, so be prepared to get out there and inspire, not just manage the project.
The Institute of Asset Management’s “Asset Management – An Anatomy” publication (available here) argues strongly for this. From a practical point of view, this might include:
- Spending some time and effort crafting an asset management policy that is clearly tailored to your organisation and getting it signed by the CEO or equivalent
- Working with your asset management professionals to define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely asset management objectives that are clearly aligned with your organisational goals
- Demanding progress reports against these objectives, including both preparation and implementation of subordinate asset management plans that will deliver the objectives.
Nobody said that implementing an asset management system was going to be easy. It will likely take dedicated resources – both people and money – over an extended period before you start to see a pay-off. If you can’t commit what is necessary, however, then whatever you do allocate may be wasted. Here are a few ideas of things you might need:
- A full-time asset management professional to act as an “internal consultant” and your day-to-day hands, eyes and ears
- Supplementary staff so that your line managers can delegate some of their duties to free up time to invest in understanding and implementing asset management
- Additional reporting and internal auditing resources
- Consultants – but mostly to provide specialist advice – you need to ensure your people can do what is necessary after the consultants are gone…
Money is universally recognised and promotion is popular, too, but you can reward good performers with just a few well-chosen words if need be. Every time you do this, you visibly reinforce the message that asset management is valued within the organisation. Over time, the whole workforce will get the message and have the confidence to live up to the vision that you have created.
As a guide, most organisations are looking at a journey of perhaps two years to go from an initial gap assessment to a certification audit. This may encompass most of a top manager’s tenure, so be prepared to stick in there for the long haul. In the end, we think you’ll be glad you did.
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