The Role of Leadership in Asset Management System (ISO 55001:2014)
ISO 55001 looks at the management of Assets within an organization in order to ensure they are aligned with the strategic objectives of an organization. Therefore the single most important factor in the successful implementation of an Asset Management System is the buy in from Top Management and the Leadership team.
An assets lifecycle delivery spans four key areas; acquisition, operation, maintenance and disposal. It is important that the leadership team within an organisation have a full understanding and clear vision of how to optimise the use of its assets and gain maximum benefits across the organization. It is their role to clearly articulate this vision and to communicate it in a persuasive and practical way while giving directions. This ensures organizational commitment to the longevity and evaluation of assets during the Asset’s lifecycle.
The leadership team are also tasked with making decisions with relation to the core assets of an organization. Quite often, where problems are ill defined and non routine, these decisions can be tough as they may well impact individuals utilising the assets as well as the performance of the organization. They therefore have to be decisive in the face of ambiguity.
The role of the leadership team is to also give confidence to stakeholders on the direction and benefits of particular assets (especially new technology that will transform a process or efficiency of the organization). An important group of stakeholders linked to this are employees, and therefore leaders have to inspire staff to achieve the organization’s goals. This is integral to the asset management system as a core requirement is that it feeds into the strategic objectives of the organization.
The ability to motivate staff, act as role models, provide support, treat people as individuals and provide incentives are all examples of psychological and tangible methods of motivation, however they must go beyond this in order to be trusted by the staff to consistently and regularly make the right decisions for the assets and the business.
So how do they do this?
There are many ways the leadership team can demonstrate their commitment to the management system:
Provide clarity around the organizational objectives
Communicate the future direction of the business including the likely objectives and changes in risk appetite
Ensure employee engagement in developing most likely scenarios for future planning
Demonstrate willingness to listen to reasoned arguments about interaction between objectives and constraints
Decide what are the various stakeholder's requirements and how these communicated and reported
Be clear about the businesses requirements in relation to the asset management system
Ensure that the Asset Management team provide realistic options looking at cost, risk and performance.
To summarise, a leader’s ability to understand current and future demands of the business and its assets is critical to the success of not only the asset management system, but also the achievement of the relevant strategic objectives.
Author: Laura Fletcher - NQA Commercial Director
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