Asset management is one of the disciplines that has developed and spread very rapidly in recent years. One of the most important reasons for this is the dramatically increasing complexity of the decision-making environment the infrastructure manager is confronted with. For many managers of road infrastructure worldwide, the practical implementation of asset management attests competence and credibility, so important in the struggle for investment and maintenance funds, as it provides them with a recognized and transparent basis for argumentation.
Many experts around the world explain the reasons for such dynamic development of asset management with the now widely spread awareness that there are clear limits to the extensive expansion and maintenance of infrastructure. This requires completely new incentives and approaches in infrastructure management. Modern asset management offers the necessary tools for this. In order to be able to use it, the basics of asset management must be known to all persons involved in relevant management processes, whereby modern asset management is not only a matter for the higher administrative level, but also applies to most operational tasks.
The term asset management has been used as a synonym for maintenance planning since the 1970s. At the same time, a new discipline began to establish itself in the mid-1990s and the first applications of this new discipline were focused on the infrastructure of the oil industry. The convincing success that the oil industry has had with these new approaches has led more and more institutions and organizations in various industries to participate in the further development of these innovative concepts. The Institute of Asset Management “bundled” the procedures and methods developed in this way and, together with the British Standards Institution (BSI), published the first standard PAS 55 in 2004 under the title: “Optimized management of physical infrastructure assets”. The use of the term “infrastructure” in the title of the standard indicates that infrastructure assets were the focus of the new management discipline.
The publication of the first series of international standards ISO 55000 Asset Management by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2014 was the logical consequence of this development and at the same time the ultimate evidence of the maturity of the new discipline.
Already the definitions of the fundamental terms, namely asset and asset management, in the ISO 55000 standard indicate unmistakably the focus on the organization:
- An asset is an “item, thing or entity that has potential or actual value to an organization”
- Asset management is “the coordinated activity of an organization to realize value from assets”
From today’s perspective, we already know that the establishment of the discipline of asset management was a revolutionary step on the way to rational management of infrastructure. It supports managers at all levels of decision-making, from political and strategic to operational, both in the creation and optimization of management structures and in the implementation of planning procedures that are consistent with the specific context of each organization.
In this portal, you will find some information about asset management and the disciplines closely related to asset management, such as: