Achieving effective asset management
At its recent Enterprise Asset Management event, Fujitsu focused on maximising asset returns. Brad Lawrence, Halcrow Pacific principal engineer, defined infrastructure asset management as “systematic and coordinated activities and practices through which an organisation optimally manages its assets and their associated performance, risks and expenditures over their life cycle for the purpose of achieving its organisational strategic plan”.
According to Lawrence, it is often impractical to do asset management process improvement in ‘one hit’ and it is best to have a long-term plan in place. He noted that process components that will achieve the highest business benefits should be prioritised and that the process must be driven by current business context and needs – not legacy or prospective systems.
Concerning PAS 55, the British Standards Institution’s Publicly Available Specification for the optimised management of physical assets that is becoming the de-facto international reference for infrastructure management, Lawrence pointed out that it is not a ‘recipe book’, but merely provides a ‘blueprint’ for infrastructure management implementation.
He states that a gap analysis of the specific organisation against the categories outlined is the most cost-effective approach to informing a long-term infrastructure management improvement strategy.
Common issues Lawrence mentioned were:
- operational approach not aligned with strategic or policy intent
- defined levels of service unable to be (sustainably) delivered with current or planned budgets
- capital, operations and maintenance planning and/or systems operating in distinct ‘silos’
- limited consideration of non-infrastructure solutions in the asset strategy, and
- a focus on asset condition, not service levels and risks.
He noted that the best ‘treatment’ to apply should be identified and then the best sequence of application should be identified. He concluded that the best strategy will be dependent on usage, budget availability, service level requirements and resources.