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Asset Management System (AMS)

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To enable the agencies to meet their obligations and business objectives; they must ensure that it manages their asset portfolio effectively, efficiently and in a coordinated approach. It is the agencies' policies, objectives, and processes for achieving these objectives that form the Asset Management System (AMS).

A functioning AMS binds together the subjects outlined below and in the SAMF; and is critical to the success of the agencies' Asset Management performance.

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Asset Management Strategy

An agency's organisational strategic plan and its service delivery strategy (resource planning) set out objectives and targets for delivering services to the community.  External factors such as customer needs, legislative requirements, and whole of government policies and processes all feed into the strategic plan (as shown in Section 3.2 of the Strategic Asset Management Framework).  Asset Management is borne out of the need to support an agency's strategic plan. It is therefore important that Asset Management is considered within the context of the corporate planning environment.

The Asset Management Policy and Strategic Asset Management Plan are two of the documented outputs from this phase of the asset management process (detailed below).  They reflect the organisation's vision and approach to managing its assets.  Section 3.3 of the SAMF provides further guidance for this stage of the process.

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Asset Management Policy

The Asset Management Policy establishes the commitment to asset management practices throughout the agency.   AS ISO 55000 places the responsibility for developing the asset management policy with 'top management' to demonstrate this commitment, namely the person or group who directs and controls an organisation at the highest level and has the power to delegate authority and provide resources.

Typical contents of an Asset Management Policy:

An Asset Management Policy provides a concise outline of the vision or organisational objectives and how assets will be managed to achieve them.  The policy includes:

  • Principles that guide the organisation's asset management activities;
  • Regulatory context:  legislation, regulations, rules, and other policies that the organisation should or must comply with;
  • Structure of the organisation (governance, delegation, authority and reporting) and the resources available;
  • Approach to decision making;
  • Alignment/interaction of the policy with other organisational strategic and operational plans;
  • Reporting regime (on assets, asset management performance and service outcomes);
  • Long-term objectives, sustainable outcomes and stakeholder requirements; and
  • The approach to continual improvement of the asset management system.

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Strategic Asset Management Plan

AS ISO 55000 defines a Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) as ‘documented information that specifies how the organisational objectives are to be converted into asset management objectives, the approach for developing asset management plans and the role of the asset management system in supporting achievement of the asset management objectives'.  Asset management objectives are the strategic, tactical or operational results required from the asset to deliver strategic objectives.  They may include safety, financial or environmental goals, legislative compliance or stakeholder satisfaction targets.

The strategy outlines how asset management practices will support service delivery outcomes.  It also determines the scope of the asset management system and the integration of asset management with other business functions (finance, risk, procurement, HR, etc.).

The strategy should align with the current and future needs of an organisation. This assessment should draw on the organisation’s context (corporate planning environment) and service planning. It should also be reviewed and updated at regular intervals (e.g. as part of the annual review of the asset management system or 3-5 yearly) and when major policy and/or directional changes occur to keep integrity with the long-term direction of the portfolio.

When current and future needs change, their impact on the assets management system and documents (policy, strategy and asset management plans) must be considered and if needed, updates should be made.

To determine current and future asset needs, organisations should undertake an analysis of the current and future service needs, how assets contribute to meeting these needs, and if non-asset options are available.  From this, they should determine any gaps between present assets (in type, quantity, location, performance etc.) and future needs.  To do this successfully, organisations should:

  • have current and relevant information on their existing assets;
  • know the current service demands and trends in service demands; and
  • know the strategic direction and objectives of their organisation and any organisations that could significantly impact on demands for their services.

This knowledge can then be used to help plan, manage, monitor and update the Strategic Asset Management Plan and the Asset Management Plan(s).

Typical contents of the Strategic Asset Management Plan include:

  • Introduction (context, purpose, scope);
  • Plan development (related to the Asset Management Policy);
  • Stakeholder management approach;
  • Asset management objectives;
  • Alignment to service delivery and functional objectives;
  • Organisational overview (organisation purpose, stakeholders, internal and external factors/considerations);
  • Monitoring and reporting of objectives;
  • Data and information requirements;
  • Resourcing, data and information requirements;
  • Asset management integration (e.g. objectives and integration with other functional areas, relationships/reporting with functional areas);
  • Decision making (approach, criteria, asset management risk approach, integration with organisational risk approach);
  • Leadership (role of leadership in asset management, policy alignment to organisational objectives and asset management objectives);
  • Organisational roles (roles, responsibilities, authorities and accountabilities, approval and delegation flows, roles through the asset lifecycle including review roles);
  • Asset management processes (implementation process, application process, monitoring process, review process, data and information requirements);
  • Performance evaluation (monitoring of system, data and information requirements, audit and sign off requirements); and
  • Appendices (may include a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of internal and external issues, a prioritisation/risk ranking of service objectives, risk evaluation and mitigation of policies, resources, integration and/or leadership).

When developing a strategy, the following should be considered:

  • The policy, legal and accountability environment of the agency;
  • The service delivery goals and objectives;
  • Current and forecast demands for service delivery;
  • The organisation’s corporate management and planning framework;
  • The asset management systems and processes;
  • Performance monitoring, risk management processes and skills needed by staff;
  • External or market factors (commercial, technological, environmental, or industry implications) and risks to those factors;
  • The asset lifecycle and how assets will be managed throughout the cycle, including the ability to scale up, delay acquisition or dispose assets;
  • Lifecycle costs of the assets;
  • Resource availability;
  • Private sector delivery options;
  • Stakeholder needs;
  • Non-asset alternatives to service delivery;
  • The need to rationalise operations to improve service delivery or enhance cost effectiveness; and
  • Continuous improvement of asset management and adaptive learning within the organisation.

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Asset Management Planning

Section 3.4 of the SAMF outlines Asset Management Planning stage of Asset Management.  The aim of this stage is to develop an approach to deliver the asset management objectives and achieve the targets from the Asset Management Policy and Strategic Asset Management Plan for a particular asset or class of assets.

The main output from this stage is the Asset Management Plan.  Depending on the number and complexity of the assets being managed, an Asset Management Plan may be developed for an individual asset or a class of assets.  Asset management plans should capture the resources, roles and responsibilities, time frames, risks and activities required to deliver the asset management objectives.

The asset management plan will generally detail the level of service required from the asset to deliver value to the organisation.  It should also outline the anticipated resources required to maintain that service or the additional resources required to bring an asset up to the required standard.  The plan should also identify any risks or opportunities relating to the asset (or assets) and any statutory, regulatory or legislative factors to be considered.

Establishing the appropriate level of service required from an asset is an important part of the asset management planning stage.  The level of service identifies the standard required from that asset to deliver value to the end user (the customer).  It also reflects the quality, quantity, legal, environmental and financial performance required from each asset.  The agreed service levels then inform the preparation of the maintenance and operational plans for each of the assets.

Demand analysis is also taken into account during the asset management planning phase where analysis of the likely future demands and the subsequent effects on the asset portfolio are considered.  While planning for changes in service demand may be undertaken outside of the asset management system, it is important to consider how the changes will affect the assets.  Doing so may identify the need for additional assets, the relocation or alteration to existing assets or even the disposal of surplus assets.  Premier & Cabinet Circular 114 sets out the whole of government approach for reviewing Government-owned building assets.

Demand analysis should identify any potential changes in the demand for services that may result in a need to increase or decrease the number or amount of building assets, or to undertake significant modification to existing buildings.  The following should be considered:

  • Historic demand;
  • Demand drivers (demographic, strategic, legislative, customers);
  • Likely future demands;
  • Changes in levels of service;
  • Current utilisation and performance of assets;
  • Future utilisation and capability of assets; and
  • Impact on future performance, condition and capability.

Where future demand is expected to exceed supply, consideration on how to manage the demand is required.  This may involve identifying ‘non-asset solutions’ as part of the demand management strategy.

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Asset Management Plan (AMP)

AS ISO 55000 defines an AMP as 'documented information that specifies the activities, resources and timescales required for an individual asset, or a grouping of assets, to achieve the organisation’s asset management objectives'.

Asset Management Plans should link physical resources to service delivery programs and strategic objectives.  The AMPs must be consistent with the overall Strategic Asset Management Plan and the Asset Policy for the agency.

The AMP outlines how the asset management objectives shall be delivered.

There are a number of standard questions that can help to start the process of asset planning for any agency.

Reviewing information on the current state of the inventory including condition, financial and operational performance; together with identifying how the asset assists in the delivery of the agency’s strategic goals, will provide the foundation for developing effective asset management plans.

Some of the key questions include:

  • What assets do we have and where are they located?
  • How are our assets related to each other?
  • What condition are the assets in?  Are there any defects?
  • When were they acquired or built?  What are their expected useful lives?
  • Why do we hold these assets and will we need these assets in the short/medium/long term?
  • Who occupies, operates and maintains the assets?
  • Do the assets meet the required level of service?  What are the gaps?
  • What is the likely expenditure to maintain the assets in their current state?
  • What is the likely expenditure to meet the required level of service
  • If there are funding gaps, how will projects or investment be prioritised?

Typical contents of the Asset Management Plan include:

  • Activities required to achieve asset management objectives;
  • Short and long term investment programs for the renewal, replacement and enhancement of existing assets in order to meet asset management objectives;
  • Identification of new assets required to meet asset management objectives;
  • Identification of surplus assets for disposal;
  • Maintenance schedules (including technical, legislative and other statutory standards);
  • Identification of critical assets;
  • Resources required (financial and human) and the strategy for prioritisation should there be a funding gap;
  • Risk management plan; and
  • The process for approving, monitoring, reviewing and updating the AMP.

The AMP may be for an individual asset, a class of assets or an entire portfolio depending on what best suits each agency.  Where AMPs are for a class of building assets or an entire portfolio, additional subordinate plans may be required.

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Decision Making

The decision making process is an important element in developing an effective asset management system.  Section 3.5 of the SAMF sets out the five main topics that relate to establishing an effective asset management decision making process over the life of an asset.  These topics include processes to support capital investment and the operational and maintenance activities to assist in the realisation of value across the lifecycle of the assets.  This section also recommends the development of a resourcing strategy to support the procurement of appropriate resources (including people) to deliver the asset management objectives and plans.  The final topic in this section recommends the development of a Shutdown and Outage Strategy (in consultation with the Facilities Management provider) to encourage the scheduling of planned outages to be done with the aim of minimising the disruption of services.

Planning and establishing the decision making processes (and criteria) can support the agency in making decisions that balance cost, risk and performance.  Determining and documenting the method and criteria for decision making and the prioritisation of activities and resources is a requirement of ISO 55001.

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Lifecycle Delivery

Section 3.6 of the SAMF provides an overview of the processes required to effectively plan and manage an asset throughout its lifecycle.

Developing of a strategy for the on-going management of existing building assets is a component of asset strategy development.  It occurs within the context of a corporate planning environment that aims to translate government objectives into agency service delivery strategies.

As a result of the asset strategy development phase, an agency will have articulated its preferred strategy for managing its assets and undertaken specific detailed investigation and planning for each of the three life cycle functions:

Acquire

The need for new assets or for material improvement of existing assets is generally identified following completion of the asset management planning process.  New assets or improvements may be required to meet a change in demand for services, legislative requirements or to meet the organisation's objectives.

Treasurer's Instruction 17 provides a process to guide agencies when evaluating and approving capital investment proposals.

Operate

An asset operational plan is often used to document the activities required to ensure that the legislative and performance requirements are being met for a particular asset.  The operational plan provides guidance and information for the Facility Manager to develop an appropriate maintenance plan for the asset.

The AGFMA section develops Technical Data Sheets, which document the technical standards and legislative requirements for building plant, fabric and equipment maintenance as a guide for agencies and Facility Management service providers.

Across government policies may result in changes to the operational plans developed by an agency.  The Government Buildings Energy Strategy 2013-2020, Treasurer's Instruction 2 and the Financial Management Toolkit provide an overview of each agency's responsibilities for ensuring appropriate policies and processes are established to manage and maintain their assets.

Maintain

The 'Maintain' phase of Lifecycle Delivery comprises all of the actions required to keep an asset as close as possible to its original condition or level of service.  Preventative maintenance schedules should record the maintenance service standards required and are prepared by drawing from sources such as operation and maintenance manuals, Australian Standards, statutory or mandatory requirements and codes of practice.  The preventative maintenance schedules must reflect the maintenance quality objectives for the asset identified in the asset management plan.

The Across Government Facility Management Arrangements (AGFMA) delivers the facility management services to participating agencies.  Details on the current contractual arrangements can be found here.

Dispose

The disposal of an asset may include the disposal of an entire building (eg. by demolition or transfer of ownership) or even a major component (such as a lift) depending on how each agency recognises its 'assets'.

The Premier Cabinet and Circular 114 sets out the process for agencies to follow when assessing property assets for potential disposal.

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Asset Information

Access to reliable and accurate asset information is important in both supporting effective decision-making processes and the overall integrity of the asset management process.  Data may need to be drawn from a number of sources to develop the plans and strategies for the different types of building assets.  Operational and maintenance data may be sourced from areas such Finance, Facilities Management, Property Management and Asset Management systems.

Section 3.7 of the SAMF provides guidance on developing an Asset Information Strategy and the Asset Information Standards applicable to each agency.  It also details the attributes required for a functional Asset Information System and the processes necessary to ensure data and information is appropriately managed.  The State Government has developed the SAMIS system to provide agencies with an Strategic Asset Management Information System to assist with planning, monitoring and reporting on the performance of its building assets.  Premier & Cabinet Circular 114 sets out the minimum dataset agencies are required to keep and maintain within SAMIS.

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Organisation & People

Section 3.8 of the SAMF explains the roles that leadership, culture and organisational structure play in supporting good asset management outcomes within an organisation.  Leadership and culture, together with ensuring that appropriately qualified and skilled asset management human resources are available; are identified as critical components in an effective asset management system.  Asset management activities are often multidisciplinary and cross functional in nature.  Identifying the skills and competencies required to fulfil the various roles and responsibilities within each agency is important in ensuring the appropriate resources are allocated.

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Risk & Review

Risk management is well established and integrated into the existing management systems of agencies.  Section 3.9 of the SAMF outlines the relationship between asset and risk management.

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Performance Monitoring & Review

Section 3.10 of the SAMF looks at the Performance Monitoring and Review involved in Asset Management.

To ensure they continue to meet the required level of service, assets need to be continually monitored and have potential improvements identified.  Changes in government policies or strategies also need to be taken into account when assessing an asset's performance.  An example of this is the State Government's commitment to improve energy efficiency in government buildings, details of which can be found here.

Asset Management System Improvement

Leadership and culture are crucial elements in any organisation that is looking to realise the benefits of implementing a functional asset management system.  These benefits include ensuring assets are used effectively and efficiently to support the delivery of key service and agency goals and objectives.

As agencies look to improve their asset management maturity, it is important to develop a shared understanding of what this looks like and means for the agency.

The Global Forum on Maintenance & Asset Management define Asset Management Maturity as 'the extent to which the capabilities, performance and ongoing assurance of an organisation are fit for purpose to meet the current and future needs of its stakeholders, including the ability of an organisation to foresee and respond to its operating context'.

This definition reflects the wide range of factors that influence the ‘maturity’ level of an organisation.  These factors include:

  • How well processes and procedures are defined and integrated into the wider management system;
  • The governance framework;
  • The capability and competency of resources undertaking the different roles within the asset management system; and
  • The culture of the organisation.

Asset management systems and practices should be continually evolving and changing in order to better align with its organisational objectives and environment.  It is therefore also important that reviews of the management processes are undertaken to ensure the effectiveness of asset management practices and where appropriate, identify opportunities for improvement of the processes in place.

AS ISO 55001 recognises that asset management systems and processes need to be established, implemented, maintained and continually improved upon to meet the requirements of the Standard.  This acknowledges that asset management must be responsive and agile to ensure that assets continue to deliver the services required to meet the agency’s strategic objectives and continue to deliver value.  These principles allow for appropriate resources to be applied where they can provide the most benefit to the end users (customers).

Simply having policy and planning documentation in place will not guarantee any benefit and is unlikely to be effective unless it is championed from the top and understood and supported across the entire organisation.

The maturity scale developed by the Institute of Asset Management has been referenced in Section 2.4 of the SAMF to provide agencies with a link to an industry-recognised scale of capabilities and maturity against which performance can be measured within and across their agency's asset management activities.

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Governance

Governance considerations are of particular importance in the public sector and influence the structure of many asset management activities.  For agencies, these may include policies, processes and decision making systems that apply across-government, or may be agency specific.

Across government policies currently apply to financial management, procurement, and building ownership and management.  These policies need to be included as part of the governance considerations for each agency's Strategic Asset Management Framework. The levels of governance associated with the Management of the State Government's portfolio of buildings are outlined in Section 3.11 of the SAMF.

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