Asset Management is Exciting
Photo by Matheus Bertelli
“How did you get involved in asset management?”
I asked this question some years ago and this answer blew me away! For sheer excitement and enthusiasm, it is a marketing masterpiece. I haven’t been able to improve on it – can you?
Michael Brendali wrote: “My involvement and keen interest in asset management began in the second-half of 2008. I was a mechanical design engineer finishing up a long and enjoyable stint on the Sydney Desalination Project when I was asked to contribute to a project we (Sinclair Knight Merz) were undertaking to evolve the asset management strategy for a major urban water utility’s critical infrastructure.
“The fun of complex decision-making from
physical to the business effectiveness”
I was initially meant to work for about one month on the project as my knowledge of their corporate databases would prove useful for one aspect of the project, but once I became involved I found the asset management field entirely engrossing. This was a world of complex decision-making, dealing with everything from the physical properties of pipes and soils, to the regulatory environment of the utility, to the effectiveness of internal business processes and knowledge management systems. A world that requires you to see the big picture while understanding the intricacies of the minutiae.
A world where on any given day I can be working with operators, maintenance crews, scientists, economists, planners, asset managers or general managers. I was hooked! I was able to expand my role on the project and so that original one month turned into a new career direction
“a collaborative environment”
I have worked in asset management ever since and am currently completing a Masters of Science degree in Water Services Management at UNESCO-IHE in Delft, the Netherlands. This degree focuses on the integration of legal, economic, institutional, organisational and technical considerations for the successful provision of infrastructure services. I am currently undertaking my MSc Thesis, which I am using to research the nature and effectiveness of the collaborative environment for sharing and progressing (strategic) asset management within the Australian urban water sector.
“taking ownership of challenges, even relishing them, and
sharing wisdom for the progression of the discipline”
The human factor of asset management strongly appeals to me. In the current era where we have available a multitude of software, tools, applications and models (which have their value), the indispensible nature of educated professionals with sharp minds cannot be forgotten. Indeed, I think that is one of the great strengths of the asset management community – it contains many talented individuals who take ownership of the challenges they face (perhaps even relish them) and willingly share their wisdom for the progression of the discipline. It is a community that makes me want to actively participate too.
“where you can enjoy debates at many levels”
I truly enjoy the many challenges present in asset management and the debates they spur at all different levels – qualitative versus quantitative analysis; prescriptive standards versus supportive guidelines; structural reform of utilities or the encouragement of voluntary alliances; maintenance or renewal; compliance versus innovation. I have come into the industry at a very interesting time and have been particularly fortunate to have had the guidance and encouragement of a very talented senior practitioner within my firm, as well as the support of my organisation. I can wholeheartedly endorse the value of mentorship on the development of a younger engineer.
“influencing decisions representing
hundreds of millions of dollars”
If I sound overly excited by asset management, it is because I find working in asset management deeply satisfying. I value the fact that the work I do contributes to the sustainable provision of essential services and that, thanks to strategic asset management, decisions influencing hundreds of millions of dollars of (often public) spending can be made prudently.
I look forward to the challenges ahead!”
Well, what do think? Is there anything that Michael has missed out? or new things that have come up since?
PS Michael, wherever you are now and whatever it is that you are doing I hope you still find work exciting. Do let me know what you are doing and I will update this post with your current details.