One key question for me this year as an Asset Management practitioner is time itself, and how we act with the future in mind.
The innovation of Asset Management is very largely about time. Penny Burns created AM to look forward in time and consciously choose whether we needed to renew like-for-like, or should manage our assets differently in future.
Forty years ago, we were not thinking about climate catastrophe, and we were only just at the start of the IT revolution. (I had only just seen my first PC, and the world wide web, smart phones and terabytes of data storage for $50 were barely pipedreams.)
But the question of longer-term thinking has in some ways gone backwards in our societies since then, not forwards.
The vast majority of infrastructure organisations still only have very short term asset plans, and almost no asset strategy. More have, must have, 3- or 5-year plans now, thanks to AM as much as anything. But the 15 to 20 years plus strategic view that Penny proposed is still a challenge.
And shockingly few agencies even use life cycle modelling to project the very basic realities about the timings for replacements, let alone a mindset of always asking ‘And then what?’ of our day to day and year to year asset decisions.
I fear as a community we are still underskilled, underprepared for the future: for embracing uncertainty and identifying with the future.
And so, as we celebrate, look back and learn from the last 40 years, Talking Infrastructure plans to act like the future matters.
Starting with a time series of blogs to ring in the New Year. Your contributions most welcome!