Archive | ISO55000


1:46 pm
August 14, 2017
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Integrated Asset Management Training

The ISO 55000:2014 Asset Management Standard could play a major role in industry in the coming years. Keep up to date with our ongoing coverage of this Standard at

The ISO 55000:2014 Asset Management Standard could play a major role in industry in the coming years. Keep up to date with our ongoing coverage of this Standard at

Asset management is part of a much larger organization-wide system of systems. For example, ISO 55000:2014 (2.6) describes an “Integrated management systems approach…” that builds “on elements of other management systems, such as environmental, health and safety, and risk management.” The Standard also points out that such an approach can “improve integration across different disciplines and improve cross-functional coordination.” The clincher is that, because asset management touches so many parts of the organization, it is a natural candidate for an integrated-systems approach.

My August “Uptime” column lists recommendations associated with six basic, interdependent elements of a Competency Development System. Here, we discuss what’s required.

Competence building

Asset-management systems, as specified by ISO 55001:2014, require definitions of applied skills and knowledge for a variety of personnel with asset-management-related roles and responsibilities in an organization. ISO 55001:2014 (7.2) defines requirements for such competence accordingly:

• Determine the necessary competence of persons doing work…that affects its asset performance, asset-management performance, and asset-management system performance.

• Ensure these persons are competent on the basis of appropriate education, training, or experience.

• Take actions to acquire the necessary competence and evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken.

• Retain appropriate documented information as evidence of competence.

• Periodically review current and future competency needs and requirements.

ISO 55002:2014 offers guidance for implementing an asset-management system that is consistent with ISO 55001, the Asset Management Standard.

Competence is discussed in the context of Section 5.3—Organizational Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities this way: “It should be clear which role is responsible for which activity. This can be achieved through the development of job descriptions or through including asset-management responsibilities in existing job descriptions. When assigning internal roles, consideration should be given to:

• individual experience and competence (see 7.2)
• support through training and mentoring.

Let’s continue to the section regarding Competence (7.2). “Competency in asset management should be addressed at all levels of the organization in a way that ensures alignment between roles and levels and not just for those considered asset managers. For example, a competent trades person should be able to demonstrate clear competency in specific asset-management-related tasks…” (7.2.1).

Section 7.2.2 continues with some guidance for determining competence. “The organization should determine the competence required for all asset-management roles and responsibilities, and the awareness, knowledge, understanding, skills, and experience needed to fulfill them. The organization should map its current competencies to its required competencies to determine any gaps.”

Finally, following its discussion of gap analysis and improving competencies and training, Section 7.2.2 suggests “All persons assigned roles and accountabilities within the organization that can have an impact on the asset-management system should have those roles and responsibilities communicated to them, be provided the training, education, development, and other support needed to perform their role, and to be able to demonstrate the competencies required.”

A formal competency development system must exist as an interdependent process within the asset-management system to conform with ISO 55001 requirements and successfully manage asset performance and reliability in an era of painful skills shortages. MT

Bob Williamson, CMRP, CPMM, focuses on the people-side of world-class maintenance and reliability in plants and facilities across North America. Contact him at


5:24 pm
June 16, 2017
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Asset Management ‘Leaders’ and ‘Leadership’

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 12.22.22 PMBy Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

In previous installments of this column, I’ve written that leadership and culture are determinants of an asset-management system. That comes right out of ISO 55000 documents. This Standard also states, “Leadership and commitment from all managerial levels is essential for successfully establishing, operating, and improving asset management within the organization” (ISO 55000, 2.4.2). A note of caution: Don’t confuse asset-management “leadership” with asset-management “leaders” or “managers.” Let me explain.

A leader (or manager) is someone with the responsibility to take action. Leadership, on the other hand, refers to a behavior, one that inspires and motivates. A designated leader (or manager), though, doesn’t always exhibit leadership behaviors.

Leaders (or managers) involved in the highest levels of decision-making in a business can require and resource an organization’s conformance, compliance, or certification to the ISO 55000: 2014 Asset Management Standard. These people are referred to as “top management” (as defined in the Standard). But asset-management leadership doesn’t have to mean a designated person in the executive suite.

Leadership behaviors can be exhibited anywhere in an organization, from top management to people at all levels of an organization, i.e., a leadership team. That’s what we want and need for establishment of fully functional asset-management systems.

The ISO 55000:2014 Asset Management Standard could play a major role in industry in the coming years. Keep up to date with our ongoing coverage of this Standard at

The ISO 55000:2014 Asset Management Standard could play a major role in industry in the coming years. Keep up to date with our ongoing coverage of this Standard.

Asset-management structures

When we envision an leader as “someone” who is responsible for establishing an organization’s asset-management system, we’re probably asking way too much of a single person. An asset-management leader should be a person who is actively involved in setting expectations, providing resources, holding people and teams accountable, and generally setting the direction and maintaining progress toward a goal. Organizations should have many asset-management leaders.

To clarify: Each phase of the asset-management life cycle is likely embodied in different sub-divisions of the greater organization, each with their own hierarchy or management structures. There should be an asset-management leader—one who is responsible for providing leadership—within each of these organizational sub-divisions. This divisional leader is also part of the bigger, overall asset-management leadership team governed by top-level management.

Asset-management culture

Top management, as discussed in the ISO 55000 documents, refers to the top-level business decision makers. In this role, it’s unlikely that these managers would be asset-management leaders. But they’re definitely in an asset-management leadership role through their responsibilities to stakeholders.

All too often, the terms “leader,” “leadership,” and “management” are used interchangeably. In the ISO 55000 area, there is a key difference. Those in top management define (by design or default) an organization’s asset-management culture. They set the overarching tone and tenor of the organization’s behaviors in the quest for establishing an asset management system (whether related to ISO 55000 or something else). They inspire and motivate (and/or require) an organization to take action through the hierarchy of asset-management leaders.

An asset-management culture depends on leaders and leadership at all levels and sub-divisions of an organization as they align for establishing a life-cycle asset-management system. I believe this is what is meant by “Leadership and commitment from all managerial levels is essential for successfully establishing, operating and improving asset management within the organization.” MT

Bob Williamson, CMRP, CPMM, and a member of the Institute of Asset Management, is in his fourth decade of focusing on the people-side of world-class maintenance and reliability in plants and facilities across North America. Contact him at


6:46 pm
April 13, 2017
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Guide Helps Measure Asset-Management Maturity

The ISO 55000:2014 Asset Management Standard could play a major role in industry in the coming years. Keep up to date with our ongoing coverage of this Standard at

The ISO 55000:2014 Asset Management Standard could play a major role in industry in the coming years. Keep up to date with our ongoing coverage of this Standard at

By Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

The asset-management journey is rich with ideas, opinions, and recommendations. As organizations focus on life-cycle asset management, many performance breakthroughs have been achieved. It’s wise to continue to learn from these asset-management examples and tools as they become available.

A quick read of the ISO 55001-2014 Asset Management Standard offers detailed descriptions of minimum requirements for an effective asset-management system, rather than a comprehensive checklist. Plant leaders, though, could benefit from a more practical guide to asset-management excellence.

The Institute of Asset Management (IAM, London, has compiled an insightful document that helps readers understand the subjects relating to an asset-management system, as codified in ISO 55001, and to the overall asset-management discipline. Titled Asset Management Maturity Scale and Guidance, it can serve as a progress guidance tool in an organization’s asset-management journey.

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 1.41.00 PM

At the heart of the IAM publication is the “Asset Management Landscape” (2nd Edition). Assembled by the Global Forum on Maintenance and Asset Management (GFMAM, Zurich,, it provides a broad overview of the asset-management discipline and a structured body of knowledge spread across 39 different, yet related, subjects, organized into six groups:

• Strategy & Planning
Asset Management Decision Making
Lifecycle Delivery
Asset information
Organization & People
Risk & Review

The Asset Management Maturity publication aligns the 39 asset-management subjects with a six-level maturity scale. An invaluable tool for assessing an organization’s asset-management progress, the document also offers specific recommendations for improvement. The accompanying table summarizes this maturity scale. It can be used as a template with each of the 39 subjects.

Each subject spans two pages in the Asset-Management Maturity publication. The first page is organized with the six maturity levels (0 to 5), shown in the summary table here, with additional maturity definitions.

The second page offers important insights into achieving excellence in the asset-management journey. Each subject is put into context with criticality, scale, and complexity to help define Level 5 maturity. Related subjects from the list are also referenced. Notes and illustrations from the developers also are included to help you on the journey to asset-management excellence. MT


ISO 55001-2014 Asset Management Standard, (1st Edition), Jan. 2014. The International Organization for Standardization (

Asset Management Maturity Scale and Guidance, (Version 1.1), June 2016. Institute for Asset Management (

“Asset Management Landscape,” (2nd Edition), Mar. 2014. Global Forum on Maintenance and Asset Management (


8:11 pm
February 10, 2017
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Uptime: Problem Solving — A New Competitive Challenge

bobmugnewBy Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

What do robots, integrated automation systems, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), ISO 55000 Asset Management Standard, TPM, RCM, Lean Manufacturing, and re-shoring of jobs have in common? Yes, they’re here, now, and defy many traditional ways of managing a business. But there’s more. The rapid implementation of these performance-improvement technologies and solutions has also accelerated the demand for systematic problem solving.

In my opinion, problem solving is the new competitive challenge thrust upon us by global competition, shortened product cycles, and the explosive adoption rate of integrated and interdependent technologies. The big question, with regard to remaining competitive, is how do we develop a problem-solving workplace?

Let’s start with the definition of a “problem.” According to, the word means “a perceived gap between the existing state and a desired state, or a deviation from a norm, standard, or status quo.” Based on that definition, for a problem to be a “problem,” there must be a standard from which we can determine if there is a problem, i.e. something defining the normal condition. This is where standard work (a defined way for performing a task) comes in. The same goes for reliability standards (equipment doing what it’s supposed to do), quality standards (defect-free products), and safety standards (injury-free workplaces). Given the fact that problems are deviations from expectations, identifying and solving them without standards can fuel guessing games of chasing false problems.

Determining, then implementing, the correct solution and proving its success, is the end goal.

Determining, then implementing, the correct solution and proving its success, is the end goal.

Before we can even begin thinking about problem-solving tools, however, we must consider the human side of the issue: Does a person have a problem-solving aptitude and, if so, what type? Here are several styles you might have encountered:

“Ostrich” approach. Some view problems as negatives, as opposed to opportunities for improvement. They tend to avoid considering solutions: “We can live with this problem, if we just . . . ”

“Denial” approach. Some people routinely fail to recognize or admit that the problem exists: “That’s not a problem. It happens all the time.”

“Always did it that way” approach. For some people, problem solving is more intuitive than systematic and structured. Past practices tend to frame their solutions to a problem: “Let’s try what we did the last time something like this happened.”

“Remove and replace” approach. Some specialize in the trial-and-error method (some solutions work, others don’t): “I’ve replaced most of the parts in the unit and it finally started working.”

“Yes, but” approach.  Someone will miss the problem entirely, yet already be working on a solution: “I hear what you’re saying, but here’s what we need to do.”

“Work around” approach. Some people will look for ways to work around the problem rather than look for the cause: “I know it quit working, so we just put in a by-pass circuit to keep it running.”

“What do we know” approach. The most successful problem solvers take time to better understand the problem before beginning a systematic process of identifying options to pursue: “What happened? Was anything changed here before the problem occurred? Who was there at the time?”

Problem solving is more than RCA

Analyzing problems to determine their causes is a scientific discipline, of which there are a variety of proven processes. One key point here is “discipline.”

Root-cause analysis (RCA) not only requires a proven step-by-step process, it also depends on the human-performance discipline to adhere to that type of process—a standardized problem-solving approach embraced by the organization.

Another phase of problem solving is arriving at and establishing solutions that prevent a problem or its effects from recurring (or continuing). Arriving at a solution can also be an iterative process of trying potential solutions and analyzing the outcomes until a sustainable and affordable solution is determined.

RCA is more than problem solving

Whenever I think about problem solving, I’m reminded of my conversation with auto-racing’s Ray Evernham nearly 20 years ago. At the time, he was still serving as crew chief for Jeff Gordon, who, late in the 1992 Winston Cup season, had begun driving for Hendrick Motorsports, a top-level NASCAR race team.

As a consultant to the organization, I was focusing on Hendrick’s use of root-cause failure analysis in its problem-solving process (a very robust and rapid one). How delighted I was when Evernham explained that the team also performed root-cause “success” analyses, i.e., analyzing what went unexpectedly right, whether it was a win, an ultra-fast pit stop, or a zero-failure race. Wow.

A root-cause success analysis can turn the tables—from eliminating problems to repeating successes. Seeking answers to “what can we do consistently better,” which is a critical success factor in motorsports, can be just as valuable in plant and facility operations.

Troubleshooting is not necessarily solving problems

In the world of industrial and facilities maintenance, troubleshooting varies widely. At times the troubleshooting process involves removing and replacing parts one at a time until the defective one is located. (Not too scientific, but a common practice.)

Scientific troubleshooting requires a troubleshooter to truly understand the inner working of a device that is harboring the fault. That includes understanding components, systems, circuits, hardware, software, and firmware.

Again, the more the technician understands the device the more efficient and effective the troubleshooting process becomes.

But troubleshooting is only half the battle. Determining, then implementing, the correct solution and proving its success, is the end goal.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: For some troubleshooting tips, see this month’s feature “Boost Troubleshooting Skills at Your Site.”)

Problem-solving mindsets

The ability to troubleshoot, perform root-cause analyses, and solve problems (or improve performance) requires disciplined human performance, i.e., adherence to proven processes.

Furthermore, those doing the problem solving must have the aptitude and ability to think through the variables in the problem-solving process and the associated equipment conditions. They must be able to understand what a pre-fault (or normal) conditions are and must be able to recognize fault conditions.

In my generation, we grew up taking things apart. Fixing things. Building things. We had access to tools and looked for things to do with them.

Shop classes and working on cars and other things around the house or farm helped build our confidence and respect for how “stuff” worked. Sometimes we got hurt (nothing serious); sometimes we damaged things. But that’s how we learned many of our skills.

Over time, many of us developed mechanical aptitudes along with a variety of abilities to put them to work. A solid mechanical aptitude and an understanding of basic cause-and-effect relationships are central to problem solving.

Sadly today, we’re witnessing the impact of exposing two generations to few, if any, shop classes. Individuals entering the workplace without problem-solving aptitudes and abilities are at a severe disadvantage. So are our industries. Growing effective problem solvers is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s plants and facilities.

Building a problem-solving mindset (or paradigm) in your organization takes people with the right skills and lots of practice. It also calls for a consistent and systematic approach to solving problems.

And, one more thing: A problem-solving mindset must be set from top management as a way of doing business. In the meantime, try testing your own skills with Mind Tools’ “How Good is Your Problem Solving?” online assessment. MT

Bob Williamson, CMRP, CPMM and member of the Institute of Asset Management, is in his fourth decade of focusing on the “people side” of world-class maintenance and reliability in plants and facilities across North America. Contact him at


9:01 pm
February 9, 2017
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On The Floor: Real-World Views on ISO 55001

By Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

Has your organization adopted the ISO 55001 Asset Management Standard, and why or why not?

Has your organization adopted the ISO 55001 Asset Management Standard, and why or why not?

Inquiring minds want to know: This month we wanted to gauge the impact that the ISO 55000 Asset Management Standard (specifically ISO 55001) is having on MT Reader Panelist’s operations (or the operations of their clients/customers). Despite the buzz about this Standard (including regular information in our pages), our Panelists’ responses reflect a mixed bag of awareness and adoption. We asked them to reply in detail to these questions:

• Were they and their organizations (or their clients/customers) aware of ISO 55001 and did they expect the organizations to adopt this Standard?

• Pursuant to ISO 55001, did everyone (all departments) in their organizations (or those of their clients/customers) understand the role of Maintenance and vice versa, as well as understand how they should all work with each other?

Here, edited for brevity and clarity, are several responses we received.

College Electrical Lab, Manager/Instructor, West…

We have reviewed ISO 55000 (55001, 55002) for possible adoption. The system we use for asset management is part of our CMMS program. We might not adopt ISO 55000 until we complete a full ROI evaluation. Weighting the costs against the benefits is a big issue with us. Will this ISO Standard add to our bottom line, customer service, product quality, and employee benefits? An evaluation team is working on it now.

Our maintenance departments are considered a profit center for the overall organization. A maintenance representative attends all meetings (executive, customer, engineering, sales, planning, etc.). Any maintenance person can add input to support our growth and quality of operations.  The ISO 55000 Standards are said to improve planning, support risk management, align the processes, and improve cross-disciplinary teamwork.  If they are highly usable, we will adopt.

Industry Consultant, West…

None of my current clients have any interest in ISO 55001. Some know a bit about it, but they aren’t interested in moving forward. When ISO 55000 was first introduced, one client thought it [the company] would want to be on the leading edge of the movement [to adopt the Standard], but was never able to obtain the funding or boardroom support to take it on.

Engineer, Process Industries, Southeast…

There is very little or no awareness of ISO 55001 [at our site], and there’s been no discussion about it. We are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, and these Standards seem to draw all of our attention and resources.

Our departments, for the most part, work well with each other and understand their own roles and those of others. But there’s still a tendency to ask Maintenance to do everything that Production or other departments cannot or will not do.

Industry Consultant, International…

The ISO 55000, 1 and 2 series of Standards are relatively new, say compared to the ISO 9000 or ISO 14000. As a consultant, I know my clients are aware of the ISO 55000 series, but they’re still trying to implement maintenance and reliability best practices on lubrication, planning, work control, OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), etc.

While ISO 55000 is built around Asset Management principles, in answer to the first question, my clients aren’t ready to adopt something that doesn’t show a solid ROI on the initial costs. The process is quite rigorous.

As for the second question, I’ve noticed that Maintenance often isn’t fully aware of production requirements and, with regard to other departments, tends to work in a “silo.” Goals are frequently short-term and counter-productive in nature.

I’ve also noted that equipment “ownership” by Production operators supports Maintenance in routine work such as basic lube, minor adjustments, and inspections. I’ve even seen Operator nameplates on equipment showing the pride that the “owners” of units take in their machines or processes. Some operators will also include a mechanic or electrician as “Co-Owner.” These owners are very proud of their equipment’s performance, uptime, and machine condition. (One of my clients took this concept to very high level and generated excellent results in productivity, safety, and cost control.)

In my opinion, since Asset Management is a key to economics and bottom-line improvements. ISO 55000, 1 and 2, will eventually be adopted by more organizations. However, as with ISO 9000, Quality Measurement, it will require a bit more time and training [for ISO 55000] to take hold.

Plant Engineer, Institutional Facilities, Midwest…

Personally, I’m not particularly familiar with ISO 55001 and not sure if any of our senior managers know about it.

Regarding the second question, our institution has always held meetings with all maintenance and management departments to keep everyone involved with any ongoing, new, or future projects. Each department has its own type of maintenance, and the type used depends greatly on cost, man/woman power, and order of importance.

Reliability Specialist, Power Sector, Midwest…

Yes, our organization is fully aware of ISO 55001. As with most organizations in the power industry, we are heavily regulated by the PSC, NREC, FERC, insurance carriers, and other entities. Until one of them mandates compliance to ISO 55001, most organizations won’t make the investment.

All departments in our organization understand their own roles and their responsibilities to each other. Each department has its own mission statement, and partnership agreements have been formed and documented with one another.

Maintenance & Reliability Specialist, Engineering Services Provider, South…

My company is very aware of ISO 55001 and in fact had a representative on the team that developed the Standard. Our [my particular] customer is only aware of it through discussions with us. As this client is a government agency that hasn’t been required to adopt ISO 55001, at this point, I don’t believe it will do so in the near future. Due to a tight budget, I don’t believe the client sees the value in adopting a new ISO standard, since it already is involved with ISO 9001.

Given the fact that we are a maintenance and operations service provider, I believe that all departments within our organization understand the role of Maintenance. We have made a concerted effort to have as many people as possible take the CMRP exam after completing our introductory asset-management course. This ensures that we can all talk the same language and equally understand our customers’ needs in the maintenance arena. MT

About The MT Reader Panel

The Maintenance Technology Reader Panel included approximately 100 reliability and maintenance professionals and suppliers to industry who have volunteered to answer monthly questions prepared by our editorial staff. Panelist identities are not revealed and their responses are not necessarily projectable. Our panel welcomes new members. To be considered, email your name and contact information to with “Reader Panel” in the subject line. All panelists are automatically included in an annual cash-prize drawing after one year of active participation.


8:43 pm
February 9, 2017
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Establish a Problem-Solving Organization

By Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

The ISO 55000:2014 Asset Management Standard could play a major role in industry in the coming years. Keep up to date with our ongoing coverage of this Standard at

The ISO 55000:2014 Asset Management Standard could play a major role in industry in the coming years. Keep up to date with our ongoing coverage of this Standard at

Asset management, as defined in the ISO 55000:2014 Standard, spans the entire lifecycle of an asset. While this standard applies to many asset forms, from our perspective as reliability and maintenance professionals, the main emphasis relates to the physical assets of a business.

In ISO 55000, an asset is defined as “. . . an item, thing, or entity that has potential or actual value to an organization.” I’ve made the case in past columns, however, that highly skilled employees (such as maintenance technicians) should also be considered assets because they represent potential and actual value through developed and deployed skill sets.

There’s also a lifecycle element in the development of a qualified maintenance technician, beginning with aptitude and core-job competence. At some point, due to aging out, retiring, or the inability to perform specified work, technicians’ value-adding qualities fade.

That holds true for any highly skilled decision maker, including engineers, buyers, chief executives, and project managers. They all reflect potential or actual value to the organization. Thus, their lifecycle skill sets must be honed to contribute to achieving asset-management goals and, by extension, organization goals. Problem solving is one of those skill sets. In fact, it’s a primary and pervasive requirement in an asset-management system.

According to ISO 55000, “The management system elements include the organization’s structure, roles and responsibilities, planning, operation, etc.”

One of the major characteristics of an asset-management system is that it must assure the ability of the organization’s key stakeholders at various levels to identify and solve problems when an asset deviates from the normal or expected performance. Problem solving must then be a key responsibility of specific roles. In turn, a problem-solving mindset is essential within an asset-management system to identify risks that could affect the organization’s goals.

An organization’s problem-solving mindset plays a key role throughout all phases of an asset’s lifecycle.

An organization’s problem-solving mindset plays a key role throughout all phases of an asset’s lifecycle.

The lifecycle perspective

The intent of ISO 55001 is to set the requirements for a system to manage selected assets throughout their lifecycle. Asset lifecycles begin in the design stage, and progress through engineering and procurement, installation and startup, and operations and maintenance, to decommissioning and disposal.

Each phase of an asset’s lifecycle involves people in a variety of roles and responsibilities, and differing disciplines and priorities. While the phases are sequential, they must remain highly interrelated and interdependent when it comes to assuring reliable performance of the asset. Requirements of the ISO 55001 Asset Management System assure that the organization’s goals will be met. For a functioning asset-management system, there must be an organization-wide problem-solving mindset that translates to problem identification and mitigation responsibilities within each lifecycle phase of the assets.

In the earliest phases, this problem-solving mindset must deal with anticipated and potential problems and their mitigation. Later, in the installation phases, the problem-solving mindset must deal with physical-asset damage and installation errors. During the operation and maintenance phases, the problem-solving mindset must deal with proactive problem prevention. Finally, in the decommissioning phase, the problem-solving mindset must deal with asset removal and disposal hazards.

Organizing for asset management clearly requires a problem-solving mindset within the organization. Consider this mindset a fundamental skill set to be deployed in a consistent and systematic manner. MT

Contact Bob Williamson at


10:03 pm
December 20, 2016
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Leadership is Part of Asset Management

Managing is about doing things right; leading is about doing the right things.

Managing is about doing things right; leading is about doing the right things.

By Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

Leadership and commitment from all managerial levels is essential for successfully establishing, operating, and improving asset management within the organization.” (ISO 55000, 2.4.2). This statement sets the stage for leading, rather than managing, the asset-management journey. What does that mean?

Author Stephen Covey described the difference in these terms: “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”

My take is that managing is about doing things right; leading is about doing the right things. In this month’s “Uptime” column, I noted that leadership skills are required to set a new direction, inspire and motivate people to achieve new results toward a new vision, and engage them as they create new work processes. Where does leadership specifically fit in ISO 55001? Let me explain.

The Standard requires a comprehensive, organization-wide system that spans the life-cycle phases of an asset. Fundamentally, this means much more than an organization having a single departmental unit or function that focuses on the asset-management system. Every part of an organization that has anything to do with assets that produce value will play a role in the management of those assets. For most organizations, this is new strategic alignment. It also calls for leadership: “Top management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to the asset management system …” (ISO55001, 5.1 Leadership and commitment).

While top management typically focuses on “big picture” items, looking toward the future and inspiring and motivating people to achieve new results isn’t necessarily engrained in traditional management behavior. Thus, organizations face a paradigm shift as they conform to the standard. The definition of “management” is the catalyst.

Let’s recap what we know so far: Asset management is not maintenance management. True life-cycle asset management demands a major organizational culture change—something else that requires leadership.

Keep in mind that while top management may play a key role in leading people to achieve new goals, with regard to successful asset management, there’s a practical need for leaders at other critical organizational levels. Their new roles must be defined as part of an emerging asset-management system. Here are some tips for grooming leaders:

Top management must understand and demonstrate functional knowledge of asset management and the systems required to achieve the organization’s goals. Managers must also learn to lead their organization into the future of asset management.

Some managers within an organization may be ideal asset-management leaders; others struggle. As Jim Collins advised in his book Good to Great, “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”

Successful asset management depends on leaders who have personal values that align with the organization’s vision and policy regarding these efforts and a responsibility to achieve the organization’s goals.

Note that organizational alignment, or line of sight, toward common asset-management goals is essential. In the end, the journey toward life-cycle asset management, whether it conforms with ISO 55001 or not, demands leadership habits cascading from the top of an organization down through every unit that affects asset performance and reliability.  MT

Bob Williamson, CMRP, CPMM, and a member of the Institute of Asset Management, is in his fourth decade of focusing on the “people side” of world-class reliability and maintenance. Contact him at