What does perfect Asset Management look like? What’s at the top of the mountain we’re climbing?
And what’s a metaphor between friends?
But to some of us it’s more a windy, winding road, over yet more hills, where we sometimes see part of the road up ahead, but never glimpse the end.
Why does this matter? Having recently faced a virtual room full of people saying they would know what to do next, if only someone could describe the end state for them: as though Asset Management is an accomplishment, something you can complete. Done, checklist all checked, and move on?
In contrast, is there a destination for, say, engineering? Although many engineers may not examine what they believe, they surely think of engineering more as a state of mind, a way of thinking, rather than something that gets finished. (And who even has a vision of HR?)
We could describe the top of our mountain as the point where everyone takes it for granted that we think longer term, whole system and lifecycle, use information wisely, and truly embrace uncertainty.
But I don’t think that’s what the metaphor betrays. I think it’s more ‘when we have a complete asset inventory and a strategy for every class’ and can stop thinking about them and move onto something more fun. The way some, at least, appear to think a check the box approach to ISO 55000 is what we need, or even the point.
But, you know, it’s also whether fun to us means continual discovery, the thrill of not knowing and then learning – or getting back to my desk to fill something in.
Roll on, rolling road!
Back in the 90’s (dating myself here) there was a proliferation of motivational posters in the company I was working for. I never much liked them except one which I bought and kept on my desk. It said “success is a journey, not a destination”. I like your top of the mountain metaphor but to me the top is not asset management so much as perhaps the completion of the SAMP. I gave a talk many years ago where I used a similar metaphor and rephrasing it for asset management my explanation is that the reason we climb the mountain is not because that was the challenge but because we get a better view of where we need to go from the top of the mountain.
In my view, we tend to start their AM journey from the top of the mountain. We get the policy, set strategic objectives, develop our SAMP, AMP and hand them over to the crew ….. who simply don’t have a clue.
I believe a true asset management journey must start from the base of the mountain… the workmen who are the major interface with the assets and understand their need best .. as well as the top. If we are to embed AM as a culture (that’s what it is), we must learn from the most successful cultural shift (in my opinion) in the contemporary workplace.. the safety culture. We must listen to what the base has to say.
An organisation I consulted with recently, had these grandiose ideas about implementing technology to drive AM and they went about it with such gusto. The problem was almost all their supervisors and technician had been on the tools working with the company most of their life, had deep knowledge of the assets they managed, and had evolved simple processes to help them get their job done effectively. The end result of the drive was being hit with an abatement as work management suffered with a workforce that struggled to adopt and adapt to new technologies and processes. I advised the management to either let the old dogs continue with the tricks they know (which git the job done rather effectively… more management visibility and support being what they needed rather than new tech) or get new puppies to teach new tricks.
The top drawer, asset intelligence, and work experience of the shop floor is just as critical as the inputs of our freshly minted CAMA in developing and sustaing an asset management culture.
Like the safety culture. it as to be seen as ‘it is about us’ not ‘it’s what they want us to do’.