The mechanisms behind developing and updating strategic asset management plans can, at times, be complex and overwhelming. Here, Kerry Brown, Professor of Employment and Industry at Edith Cowan University, breaks down what it takes to build an effective plan to manage critical infrastructure.

Ahead of her presentation, Developing Strategic Asset Management Plans: Overcoming challenges and finding new opportunities, at the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure conference, running from 12-13 September in Sydney, Professor Brown discussed the defining characteristics and considerations of best-practice asset management plans.

Professor Brown emphasized the importance of building strategic asset management plans around the core objectives of one’s organisation, which requires thorough self-assessment. From there, it’s vital to use ISO 55000 Asset Management as “a guideline to understand what is required in developing and implementing a Strategic Asset Management Plan.” Managers can then start to develop policies and processes that optimise asset performance.

While the exact procedure for implementing a strategic asset management plan will differ based on their specific structure and needs, all organisations can expect to face similar challenges. These can include the difficult task of changing ingrained notions about asset management and starting at the strategic levels within an organisation rather than operational areas.

“Non-financial elements such as well-being, social amenity, and community cohesion are all part of the new approach to asset management. For those used to the idea that asset management is about the high cost of infrastructure and shrinking budgets, it can be demanding to embrace a progressive, forward-thinking approach,” Professor Brown said.

However, severe consequences can await those who don’t develop a strategic response.

“Organisations who fail to embrace innovative practices risk high financial costs, operational turmoil, and damage to reputation,” Professor Brown said.

But what characterises innovative asset management? According to Professor Brown, staying on top of important industry trends is part of the equation. Currently these include factoring in the “escalation of new assets costs” and the “maintenance required for aging assets.”

Organisations require an outlook that extends far into the future, as many assets are acquired without regard for their long-term lifecycle, or how they might be used to deliver services more effectively.

“Build a strategic asset management plan that focuses on time horizons of five, ten and 20 years. Organisations must ensure a deep understanding of their objectives and the services and products delivered by the firm, and then work out how assets support that service delivery across the lifecycle of the asset,” said Professor Brown.

“The benefits to organisations can be immense — cost reduction, especially in maintenance and new build costs, together with more effective use of assets helps to deliver real gains to organisations.”

How effective is your organisation’s current asset management plan?

Hear more from Kerry Brown about developing strategic asset management plans at Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure, running from 12-13 September at Swissôtel in Sydney.

To register, visit assetmanagementevent.com.au.

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