7 ways of clarifying the future when developing an asset management strategy
7 ways to reduce uncertainty and improve your strategic asset management plan
If you’ve ever been tasked with developing an asset management strategy or strategic asset management plan (SAMP), you’ll soon discover that most of what you really need to know to plan future requirements is unknown!
How many staff will we have? Where will they be located? What new technologies will be available? At best, you will have several different answers. At worst, a blank look. If you are dealing with critical assets, this lack of certainty could significantly impact your planning and represent a key operational risk.
Fortunately, there are tried and tested ways to address this uncertainty to reduce the risk and improve your ability to plan.
The Magnificent 7
Here are our best 7 ways to reduce uncertainty and improve your plan for future asset needs.
1. Map the uncertainty: This involves mapping key data (both current and future) and assessing the level of accuracy you believe it to have. By doing this you are highlighting the limitations to your planning ability, as well as, setting a benchmark for future data management endeavours.
2. Risk analysis: Conduct a thorough risk analysis to identify potential risks and quantify the likelihood and impact of each risk. This will help you prioritise your actions and allocate resources effectively. Using a risk-based approach is always a great way to help prioritise spend and investment decisions when managing critical assets.
3. Options analysis: Where there are clear options for a decision like “do we move or stay put”, an analysis of the impact of each option is a useful approach. Remember not every option requires detailed analysis. Sometimes highlighting the major issues for each option is sufficient for asset planning purposes.
4. Scenario planning: This involves considering multiple possible outcomes for the future and planning for each of them. By preparing for a range of different scenarios, you can be better equipped to adapt to changing circumstances. Using these options to drive a consensus on the ‘possible’ or even ‘likely’ scenarios will greatly reduce overall uncertainty.
5. Collaboration: Involve stakeholders from different departments or areas of expertise in the development of asset plans to bring diverse perspectives and reduce the risk of groupthink. This also serves to improve the overall level of understanding as to what decisions will be required and the impact to services /costs that these decisions will cause.
6. Flexibility: Build flexibility into your asset plans so that they can adapt to changing circumstances. This could involve having contingency plans, maintaining a buffer of spare resources, or designing systems that can be easily modified. Having DRP (disaster recovery plans) or BRP (business resumption plans) is also a way to build flexibility into asset plans.
7. Continuous monitoring: Continuously monitor the performance of your asset plans and adjust them as necessary. This will help you identify emerging risks and take action before they become significant problems.
By incorporating these strategies into your asset planning process, you can better manage uncertainty and improve the overall effectiveness of your plans. For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org