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Q&A with Scott Morris on ISO55000 Standards

Scott Morris, Associate Director at Genzyme, A Sanofi Company

How did you get started in your career?

My career started in nuclear power. I was in the U.S. Navy for eight years and then transitioned to biotech/pharmaceutical for the last 20 plus years.

What are your current roles and responsibilities?

I work in the global engineering group of Genzyme, a Sanofi Company. My role is system administrator for our enterprise asset management system and I am the business process owner for processes used for asset management in the company.

You were part of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for ISO/PC251. How did that come about?

Our organization was looking at PAS55 as a way to manage assets more effectively. During our research, we found that the PC251 committee had formed to create an ISO standard for a management system for asset management. Being in a regulated industry, we realized that any time you can get in on the development of a process, the more understanding you will have. Being a part of the PC251 committee was a great opportunity.

ISO PC251 committee members with representatives from South Africa, United States, Australia, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden

What did you enjoy most about being part of the development of ISO55000?

I got the most enjoyment from the diverse views and culture of the committee membership. It allowed me to grow professionally and personally.

What was your favorite city visited during the meetings for the ISO process?

It wasn’t really the city, but the country – South Africa. The people were warm and very friendly. The hosts for the meeting arranged for early arrivals to go on a safari and we also visited the city of Cape Town, which was beautiful. Another good thing about the South African meeting was all committee members were basically on a level playing field. There was no home field advantage like there was when we were in Washington, D.C., or Australia.

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

In addition to the ISO55000 standard development, did you participate in the development of any additional requirements related to ISO55000?

Yes, the 17021-5 document, which specifies the knowledge requirements for third-party certification for ISO55001. I chaired the committee and worked with ISO to guide the document through the process. It took almost eight months to produce the 17021-5 document.

What advice would you give companies that are just starting to investigate the ISO55000 standard?

For companies just getting started, they should do a gap analysis between where they are currently and where they will need to be to comply with the standard. They will likely find that they only have to “tweak” many of their existing practices to be in compliance with ISO55000. However, one of the biggest obstacles for most companies is learning to overcome many of the silos they have in their existing organizations. The ISO55000 standard will help break down these silos and ensure all members of the organization work together to maximize the value derived from their assets.

What advice would you give maintenance reliability or asset management professionals who are just getting started in their career?

I think it would be to build a reference library and also network as much as they can. No one has all the answers, but in a good network, someone does.

There is an Institute of Asset Management (IAM) USA chapter being formed. Do you have any comments related to this organization?

Until I got involved in asset management and ISO55000, I never realized the level of interest that existed in the U.S. It was surprising to see how many people were looking for asset management knowledge. Based on this, a chapter of the IAM is being formed, IAM-USA, to address the needs of asset managers in the U.S. The IAM-USA organization is going to quickly build a network that will address the need for this knowledge. It would be beneficial for anyone working in the asset management field to investigate joining this network.

What do you see as the next step forward for the ISO55000 standard?

Eventually, like other ISO standards, ISO55000 will be revised. It would be good for other practitioners to get involved as part of the committee that undertakes that task. Having fresh sets of eyes to look at the standard, particularly if they are involved in asset management, will further advance the field. We built the foundation for the standard, others will need to be involved to make it blossom.

Scott Morris was a contributing author to The (New) Asset Management Handbook available at

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