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ISO 55001

Why you should know about ISO 55001 before you consider making any changes to your Asset Management System

How inclusive or exclusive should organisations be when developing their asset management strategies? In a world of limited resources, organisations surely invest in asset management. After all, as Wilson Mizner said, “If you count all your assets you always show a profit”. In the real world, counting and managing assets is a complex situation. At the same time, limited budgets force organisations to be much more selective, which explains the growing interest in high potential asset management strategies. Interlinked with contemporary asset performance strategies is ISO 55001, a highly focused standard aimed at standardising effective asset management. ISO does not develop standards in an ad-hoc fashion, they only develop a standard if the industry asks them to release a standard. 

So, What is ISO 55001?

ISO 55001 is a quality framework that specifies requirements for any asset management system. The framework is designed to standardise effective asset management practices. It applies a Plan>Do>Check>Act cycle to provide an impetus for continuous improvement in a systematic manner. It details quality standards for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving asset management across enterprises. 

Benefits that you should be aiming for with ISO 55001

#1.Standardised Asset Management Strategies and Results: Asset management strategies and results fluctuate across departments and locations. ISO 55001 helps in adopting a standardised framework which in turn ensures consistent enterprise-wide asset strategies and results.

#2.Develop Resilient Risk Management Conditions: As we all know, risk conditions are dynamic. Adopting ISO 55001 enables your organisation to develop resilience to dynamic risk conditions arising from assets. Typically, risks are surrounding safety and operating compliance. 

#3.Drive Reputation by showcasing asset management compliance: ISO 55001 certification validates your organisation’s conformity to legal, operating, statutory and regulatory requirements. The validation can be used to drive your reputation which influences sales growth. 

#4.Compounded financial returns driven by asset lifecycle management: ISO 55001 will drive standardisation of your asset lifecycle management which in turn will positively impact the average life of your assets, naturally influencing financial performance positively.
 

ISO 55001 takes a holistic approach to Asset Management

ISO 55001 and Asset Management System

ISO 55001 takes seven different perspectives to develop the standardised approach to asset management systems. Taking multiple perspectives is one of the core advantages of adopting ISO 55001 as it offers a holistic asset management approach. The seven clauses are outlined below:

 
#1. Context of the Organization: This is Clause No 4 of ISO 55001. It requires alignment between your asset management strategy and your organisational policies. It suggests developing (and documenting) your Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) – which must outline what your Asset Management System covers and importantly what is excluded. Identifying and understanding the expectations of all the stakeholders is a key part of this clause. 

#2 Leadership: Clause No 5 requires ownership and commitment of your leadership on your Strategic Asset Management Plan. The Resources, Plan and Execution required to succeed with your Asset Management Plan requires total and on-going commitment from your leadership. Research conducted by Parsons Brinckerhoff in October 2016 suggests that it is best to avoid the assumption that there is a board-level or top-management-level awareness about asset management.  

#3 Planning: This requires you to define how you are going to deliver your Strategic Asset Management Plan. The planning requires you to be aligned with your organisational objectives as well as managing your stakeholder’s expectations. It is vital to understand the cause, effect and likelihood of unplanned events; more importantly, to manage such events without compromising the overall SAMP. Quite often it is ideal to apply risk assessment and management to each asset, its management and your asset management system. 

#4 Support: This clause requires you to define and identify the resources required to support your SAMP. Quite often the starting point is Resource-Gap Analysis. It should be a well-rounded exercise involving capital, human and equipment resources. Internal and External resources need to defined and documented. After the Resource-Gap analysis, quite often organisations take-up training to address competency gaps. 

#5 Operation: Clause No 8 of ISO 55001 focuses on the delivery milestones of your Strategic Asset Management Plan. Mapping your operations (process maps) is one of the key tasks undertaken at this stage.  Communicating the plan to your internal and external resources is a vital part of this stage. 

#6 Performance Evaluation: Recording ‘Planned Vs Actual’ of your Strategic Asset Management Plan is the essence of Clause No 9. It is evaluating each asset, its management and your asset management system. This stage involves identifying the appropriate performance indicators, measuring the actual performance and communicating the performance. 

#7 Improvement: Clause No 9 of ISO 55001 prescribes measures to identify non-conformities and ensure corrective action measures are in place. There should be a development of preventive action procedures to proactively identify performance gaps. The fundamental concept is to develop a clear methodology that delivers the continuous improvement of your Asset Management System. 

Due to the holistic approach, there are some well-known adopters of ISO 55001.

1.    Dong Energy, the project holder and operator of the world’s largest offshore wind, acquired its ISO 55001 certification for its offshore wind assets in 2015. The company has a positive outlook for this move, projecting that standardising its asset management workflows and processes will ensure them “optimal long-term asset utilization and enable risk-based decision-making”.  

2.   London Underground (LU) became Europe’s first rail authority to achieve the certification in line with its ‘commitment to provide the best value for Tube customers”. For London Underground, asset management combined with the ISO 55001 approach will ensure continuous improvement despite the increasing customer demand. 

3.   Scottish Water also embraced the standard specifically aiming for efficient physical asset management (maintenance and upgrade). The company emphasised the importance of the standard’s framework in driving best practices. On top of the overall advantage brought by ISO 55001, the company also observed a more engaged workforce, “encouraging people to work together and provide an opportunity to deliver a more consistent service to customers”.


References

1. ISO 55001 Online Browsing Platform

2. Hastings N. Physical Asset Management. 2nd ed. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing Switzerland

3. Asset Management Standards | What is ISO 55000?. ISO 55000 Standards for Asset Management.

4. Dong Energy – DONG Energy becomes the world’s first offshore wind power operator to obtain ISO 55001 certification.2015

5. Railway-technology.com. UK’s LU becomes first metro in Europe to achieve certification against ISO 55001. 2015

6. CEDR, Technical Report 2017/06 – Asset Management.