ISO 55000: For a winning asset management strategy

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15 Jul, 2020

Asset management can be a balancing act, requiring a trade-off between regulatory, financial, technical, or environmental constraints. In order to support asset managers, ISO 55000 standards aim to set up a comprehensive management system to structure asset management within an organization. And you don’t need to have a large real estate or infrastructure portfolio to be interested in it.

ISO 55000: An answer to changing practices

Minimizing risks and costs, maximizing the value produced by an asset, or meeting contractual and regulatory constraints are all part of an often complex equation. This is all the more essential in the context of increasing scarcity of economic and natural resources. Guiding asset managers towards these objectives is essential in order to move away from “managing the asset” – i.e. administering mainly to promote the interests of the asset owner – to the more subtle “asset management” – which combines planning, organization, management, evaluation and communication with a set of key players who sometimes have divergent objectives, but who ultimately identify common objectives.

It is in this spirit that the BSI (1) published in 2004 the standard “PAS-55: Specifications for the optimized management of physical assets (2)”, revised in 2008. This certification has been acclaimed by many private and public organizations for introducing something new to replace old asset management methods. It is on this basis that the ISO 55000 series of standards for asset management was developed between 2010 and 2014. Divided into 3 parts, it aims to define asset management and implement the associated management system.

(1) BSI Group : The British Standards Institution is the UK’s standardization body.

(2) PAS 55 : Publicly Available Specification of the BSI Group on asset management. .

Towards more cross-functional management of assets

ISO 55000 provides a widely accepted definition of asset management as “the coordinated activities of an organization for the purpose of generating value from assets”. The key point is that it is not an extension of maintenance. Indeed, asset management is a cross-cutting discipline that involves the activities of designing, building, operating, maintaining, renewing, and disposing of assets. In short, the activities of players at all levels of an organization, who interact throughout the life cycle whether for commercial, technical, financial, etc. functions, are all part of the asset management process. Thus, an asset management system ensures the coordination of all activities, resources, and data related in any way to the assets.

It puts in place processes to ensure that all players play their part in a common vision for managing assets throughout their lifecycle, regardless of the size and scale of the organization.

The objective of ISO 55000 is simple: to achieve and ensure the highest level of asset performance by balancing the organization’s costs, risks, and opportunities.

A management system based on four fundamentals

Figure 1 – The four pillars, as defined by ISO 55000

The asset management system laid down by ISO 55000 is based on four pillars that help structure it and ensure its consistency.

Value. Since the goal is to maximize the value generated by an asset, it is essential for the organization to define what constitutes it, for itself and its stakeholders. It will then guide all the policies put in place.

Alignment. There must be consistency between the organization’s strategic policy and the asset management activities carried out by the teams. As a common thread, alignment must translate the organization’s objectives into asset management policy and more detailed business plans. It ensures that all stakeholders are moving in the same direction.

Leadership. For the asset management policy to be shared and understood by all, it is essential that the highest rungs of the organization are involved in its development and sharing. Their commitment and effective communication to all stakeholders is an essential condition for successful asset management.

Insurance and warranty. They ensure that everything will be put in place to make sure that the assets and the asset management system meet the objectives set and the desired levels of service and quality. They also enable control procedures to be put in place to ensure this and to correct malfunctions, if any.

Regardless of the size of your organization, the extent of your asset base, and the scale at which you consider your assets, you are concerned about asset management standards. Implementing an asset management system or ISO 55000-compliant processes will help you optimize the dialogue between technical, financial, etc., teams. This is a major advantage in demonstrating the soundness of your investments and your asset management policy.

Are ISO 55000 standards appropriate for your organization? Our assistance to organizations of various sizes and levels of maturity shows, mission after mission, that well beyond a possible ISO 55000 certification, the development and monitoring of an asset management system generates unsuspected benefits.


Keywords : Standard, asset, asset management, risk, value, warranty, size, scale

Article date : 15/07/2020

Editors : Clément Puygrenier, Jean-Pascal Foucault

References :

  • « ISO 55000 : Gestion d’actifs – Aperçu général, principes et terminologie », 2014
  • « ISO 55001 : Gestion d’actifs – Systèmes de management – Exigences », 2014
  • « ISO 55002 : Gestion d’actifs – Systèmes de management – Lignes directrices relatives à l’application de l’ISO 55001 », 2018

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