Developing international asset management standards

By Martin Kerr, CFAM, AMBok Team Member Asset Management Council of Australia Representative to the Australian Delegation to ISO/TC251 Committee (continuation of ISO5500x committee)

The Asset Management Council of Australia attended the TC251 (ISO5500x - Asset Management Standard) meeting in Paris in February this year.

With representation from various sectors and industry the internationally represented volunteer working groups came together to discuss and develop emerging global asset management themes and challenges.

One such working group, the WG7, is leading the development of “ISO55011 - Guidance on the development of government asset management policy”, which takes the existing policy a step further to cater for government.

In addition to the many activities and deliverables undertaken by the working groups, one of the stand out topics that surfaced throughout the week was “Building an infrastructure investment business case geared to ‘overall’ stakeholder value”.

Traditionally a business case for infrastructure is determined against a predicted return on investment (ROI). For example ‘reduced passenger minutes’, ‘patient waiting time’, ‘tonnes per hour’. This approach to building a business case addresses the value within a single system (perspective) but what about going beyond these default metrics and considering overall value to multiple systems and multiple stakeholders?

The following example was shared at an international forum immediately following the ISO meeting.

“Traditionally we would consider placing a light rail system in a densely populated or perhaps affluent area. What if we go beyond basic ROI metrics and consider longer term sustainable value? What if we viewed the light rail system as not only moving people from point A to point B, but bringing people to other systems? For instance a low income demographic of a community is likely to have very low vehicle ownership. By providing a light rail system we are enabling a section of the community access to health and education which in time will lead to a change in that demographic…”

This example promoted a healthy discussion that demonstrated how far the international community has come in asset management as a discipline, and how embracing the fundamentals of asset management (alignment, assurance, leadership and value) needs to be the foundation for decisions.

The world is changing at a rapid rate! By considering these global and local challenges in the context of asset mtanagement sustained decisions will be made that address the now and consider the future.