AM – The Third Wave

Homo Sapiens is a pattern seeking species

it is how we advance. We seek patterns to find meaning. Me, I look for patterns in AM development. I seek the characteristics of the different stages (that I now think of as waves rather than as revolutions, as explained in the last post) and how each builds on the one before and takes us further. This helps me to see not only where we have been but also where we can go. Each wave has its own focus, viewpoint, key players and sources of support as well as constraints. Below is a table illustrating some of the characteristics of the first three waves that I see. What do you think?

Where we have been and where we are

Waves 1 and 2 you will readily recognise, for they reflect where we have been and where we are.  Wave 3 is where we need to go next.  This is the visioning stage where asset management teams, use their appreciation of ‘line of sight’ or the necessity for asset actions to support organisational objectives to guide decisions on both new and existing infrastructure. This is where AM teams need to anticipate, communicate, and prepare for the inevitable shifts in attitudes, governance and demand, that are now occurring and will continue to occur as demographics, climate and technology change. Turning around large infrastructure portfolios is not an overnight task. It takes intelligent planning and communication. This is Wave 3.

Where we are going

Communication, anticipation, action. In Wave 3 AM teams help their corporate managements to explicitly recognise that the asset portfolios and management practices they have now are a reflection of the past, and that the future will be very different from the past and will involve new thinking.  This may seem obvious, but it is not necessarily happening at the moment. Sometimes it seems that it is easier to assume that nothing will change very quickly so we can continue doing what we have always done. And sometimes the lure of the new and shiny leads to adoption of the new without sufficient examination.

The Wave 3 challenge is not to jump straight into the new and exciting, but rather to determine how best to reduce the twin dangers of changing too early, and of moving too late.

The biggest change will require us to ask what changing circumstances and future communities will DEMAND of us, what the new needs will be, and not to look at new technology as merely an opportunity to change the way we SUPPLY the current needs of our customers and community.

From Supply to Demand. In the past most of the information we have needed for our decision making in asset management has been internally generated and recorded in our Asset Information Systems. This has been solely supply side information. We still need our supply side information. But this will not suffice. Knowing what we CAN do is not enough. We need also to look at what we MUST do. For this, we will increasingly require the ability to understand and anticipate future demand change. This is why our our asset management teams will need to expand to include the talents of many other professionals, as I have suggested in the table above.

Is your Asset Management Team prepared?

Is your Asset Management team prepared to tackle the third wave?  If you are not sure, then a good place to start would be with “Building an Asset Management Team” by Ruth Wallsgrove and Lou Cripps.  This will help you recognise not only requirements but also the many new possibilities. Here is a short excerpt “What kind of people does an AM team require?”

Note:  When you buy “Building an Asset Management Team” you not only get the very latest thinking in AM teamwork, but you  pave the way for future developments, for Ruth and Lou are donating all their proceeds (ALL, not just profits) to Talking Infrastructure. 

So go ahead, click this link to get your copy.  You can get a Kindle version for less than $10. In this case value greatly exceeds cost. It’s priced low to maximise the number of teams that can gain access. Spread the word!


3 Thoughts on “AM – The Third Wave

  1. Doug Bartlett on July 11, 2020 at 11:01 pm said:

    Hi Penny, as always you are thinking in a space and time beyond us mere mortals! Some thoughts on this article – (1) We (individuals / organisations) are not all on the same wave. We are still struggling to grab hold of those under-resourced and time-poor surfers who are paddling frantically against the rip to maintain their current level of AM. (2) If we are on the second wave, we need to do more than pull those behind and balance our ‘boards’ (Councils!): we need to be already expanding our ideas and seeking opportunities to tap into the third wave, because it will be bigger (impactful) and more exciting. (3) There is a lot of hype about IOT and Big Data, but we need people who can connect us from where we struggle in the sand of the real world to get onto that next wave without getting cast on the rocks of misdirection and wasted resources. (I have to say, it’s a bit of fun using the analogy! ). Thanks again.

  2. Ruth Wallsgrove on July 14, 2020 at 7:24 pm said:

    Love t”he rocks of misdirection and waster resources”! I am sorry to say I cannot get at all excited about IOT and Big Data, when it feels like the real issues are people taking responsibility for what infrastructure we need . It’s like we keep wanting the answer to be more data and more IT, not thinking. Thank you!

  3. Pingback: Asset Management, the beginning, pt 2. | Talking Infrastructure

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