GFOABC Dollars & Sense - September 2020 - Issue 1112

Page 12

Practical & Tactical Asset Management: The Benefits of an Asset Management Strategy


ecent events have once again reminded us of the challenges faced by municipal practitioners as they juggle their numerous responsibilities. The introduction of asset management is intended to create efficiencies, yet it initially requires a lot of time and organization to develop a comprehensive asset management program. Far too often, one or two staff members from a single department are tasked with the development of an asset management program when it should be a corporate-wide effort. An asset management program can involve several different components – staff and resources, data collection and centralization, business processes and policies, to name just a few. However, a key document that is often neglected may be the solution to building a holistic asset management program with cross-department initiatives: The Asset Management Strategy. The Asset Management Strategy develops a clear direction for the corporation with coordination across the entire organization. It helps advance maturity through an analysis of the seven core asset management elements as seen in the figure below. With these core elements in mind, an organization can take three key steps to develop an Asset Management Strategy. The first step 12  | GFOABC.CA

Strategy & Planning

Financial Strategies

Organiza0on & People

Levels of Service

Asset Data & Informa0on

Risk Management

is to assess the current state of asset management within the organization. With all the key players from each department identified and brought together – perhaps in the form of an asset management committee – you can begin to identify the gaps within your asset management program. Reflecting on the seven core elements, gaps can be identified in missing strategic or planning documents, processes, protocols, policies, etc. The second step is to define a practical and achievable future state of maturity. Based on a review of best practices from other similar organizations, the team should be

AM Decision Making

able to identify meaningful changes that can be made to achieve feasible goals. The participation of members from across the organization will help create a consensus about what goals are realistic. The third and final step is to develop a strategy with specified initiatives, tasks, timelines, and ownership. Once the team has identified the feasible goals, they can begin to define the initiatives with specific tasks assigned to staff members with reasonable timelines. A comprehensive strategy can be developed with a thorough and continuous analysis of corporate maturity within each core asset management element.

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