The British Standards Institute has published BSI PAS 55:2008 the international benchmark for optimal management of assets.
PAS55 defines Asset Management as:
Systematic & coordinated activities and practices through which an organization optimally manages its physical assets and their associated performance, risks and expenditures over their lifecycles for the purpose of achieving its organizational strategic plan.
This sets the goal, but how does a company get there? How do we know, and demonstrate, what is optimal? How do we coordinate component activities to this goal? How can such a joined-up, whole-life performance responsibility be established? How do we develop the skills, tools and processes to establish and sustain such an environment in the first place?
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