The Only Constant in Life is Change (Why me!)

Old Way New Way

(and how it applies to Asset Management in a COVID19 affected world)

You know, it has occurred to me that as economies and businesses start to recover and move more into the “New Normal”, they are going to have to reassess the purpose of their assets, both publicly and privately owned. This will apply at all levels of an economy from state owned assets, large and multinational manufacturers right through to the small business such as a café or office-based services. After all we all in business, rely on some form of physical assets, whether that be as simple as a laptop and mobile phone through to a large multi-million £/$/€ complex site.

In this time of already acute change, this may introduce more change in the way assets are managed operated and maintained going forward. The Ventilator Challenge here in the UK is a prime example of a rapid response in asset re purposing to an urgent need but what about the more chronic slow underlying influences this pandemic is having?

To adopt to these changes, I believe two things need to happen in parallel.

In my opinion, the first thing that needs to happen for Asset Owner & Operator organisations, is that Asset Management principles and the elements of the Institute of Asset Management Asset Management Conceptual Model will have to be re-considered and re-deployed to:

  1. Confirm the organisational goals going forward, both medium and long term, and then communicate these clearly and consistently across the organisation horizontally and down through the organisation vertically from top to bottom.
  2. Adjust the asset related strategic plans to ensure alignment with the revised strategic goals. Ensure input from all stakeholders as this forms the framework for further work.
  3. Assess business risk and how assets either contribute or mitigate those risks. There will now be new risks presented, legacy risks carried over and obsolete risks no longer present in the new world. As Asset Managers, Owners and Operators we need to be confident our risk management strategies and tactics are directed at current risks.
  4. Review Asset Investment Decision Making and Life Cycle Delivery activity.  As the purpose of our assets is adjusted so too will the importance of individual assets (and equipment items) go through a transition and adjustment. This then means that, in turn, our asset investment programs and our day to day Operations and Maintenance activities.
The Asset Management Balancing Act!

ISO55000: Asset Management:

“Effective control & governance of assets by organisations is essential to realise value through managing risk and opportunity to achieve the desired balance of cost, risk and performance.”

In other words: “Maintain the Balance while Moving the Mass.

To achieve all this the second element that needs to happen comes in to play. That element is that the Organisation and People need to be aligned This means that (people) Change Management has a key role to play for Asset Owners & Operators going forward. After all we can work to have the best most efficient, effective current aligned business and Asset Management processes and procedures but what converts these to practices?

Any Guesses???
People Do!

So, to implement the required business process changes we need to put as much effort in helping the people negotiate the changes, adopt, utilise and become proficient in these new processes, as we do in defining them.

There are several Change Management tools out there. We have (to name a few):

The Kotter 8 Step Process

The Le Marsh Model

The John Hayes Model   

The Prosci Model

There is some commonality with these models that Asset Owner and Operator organisations need to consider and take in to account.

  1. We need a guiding coalition of Senior Management sponsorship for the changes to be implemented.
  2. We need to make sure that the key messages communicated throughout the organisation are consistent at every level.
  3. We need to consider organisational relationships when we allocate message senders and the associated receivers.
  4. We need to raise awareness throughout the organisation of why things must change, what alternatives have been considered and why the options have been selected and how these decisions will affect each and every individual within the organisation.
  5. We need to create desire within our people to want to adopt the changes, utilise the new processes and procedures and become proficient in their use.
  6. We need to understand that knowledge is not ability and that people need the right environment and time to become proficient and comfortable with the changed ways of doing business.
  7. We need to expect reluctance resistance and refusal and plan for these.
  8. We need to communicate and celebrate successes as we go through the change process

I hope that you can now see that by combing both Asset Management and Change Management principles and practices coincidentally, this will go some way toward adjusting business worldwide to the rapidly changing global economic environment.

As always, I am keen to hear other thoughts and ideas, be challenged and to add to own my learning, knowledge and experience. If you want to discuss further, then get in touch!