Michael Killeen

Michael Killeen

While an outcome focused view of asset management is the desired approach for the rail industry, there is little practical guidance provided on what this really means and how it can be done. Here, Michael Killeen, Asset Manager for NSW TrainLink, explores what companies need to be doing to balance cost, risk and performance and deliver an asset management program that is truly outcome-driven

Ahead of his presentation, Establishing the desired balance of cost, risk and performance, at the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference, 16-17 August in Sydney, Mr Killeen says that a considerable challenge for asset managers in the rail industry is highlighting the importance of an outcome-focused program to stakeholders.

“There is a real tendency to measure processes and inputs in the rail industry. An outcome focus identifies and gets the organisation aligned to objectives (including their associated KPIs) that make a real difference to customers.

“The biggest challenge for the rail industry is establishing the balance between cost, risk and performance in establishing an outcome focus.”

Mr Killeen suggests there are two things that asset owners can do to best communicate the outcome focus and balance between cost, risk and performance to stakeholders.

“The first step here is to engage with stakeholders and understand from them what is important – what makes a measureable difference to how they perceive value. The second part of this discussion is identifying and objectively assessing things that will make a real difference to those measures.”

When it comes to what the rail industry should be doing to improve asset management plans (AMPs), Mr Killeen says companies need to better recognise that AMPs are more than just a document to tick a box and obtain funding.  

“Asset management plans need to be more explicit and open about the gaps between how stakeholders perceive value, and the actions that are being undertaken to address those gaps.

“There is no shame is saying that there is a problem and this is what we are doing about it.  Putting money into activities that don’t create a difference to stakeholders though, is a problem.”

Does your company have an outcome driven approach to learning?

Hear more from Michael Killeen about achieving desired balance of cost, risk and performance at the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference, running from 16-17 August at the Swissôtel in Sydney.

Early bird tickets are now available, offering savings of up to $700. Select utility companies and asset owners may also be eligible for $500 tickets. For more information or to register visit

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