In the earlier post “Infrastructure Asset Inventory – Lessons from New Zealand Experience“, Ross shared the two mistakes they have done in their asset inventory process. He recalled collecting far too much small detail.
Discussing further, Grant expressed that having too many details will cause you to be stuck in your inventory work.
You are going to be there for a long time. And perhaps those who are funding that work, they might run out of patience.
I remember back when I was working for a local authority. One of the more useful processes that I went through was I sat down with a water supply operator who had worked in this area for donkeys years.
And we sat down with the aerial photographs and drew all over it with a big black pen – because he knew that there was a pipe that was laid along the fence line or cut across to another property. And nobody else would have known that information.
So a day spent sitting in the office with a pile of aerial photographs probably captured more value, more information, in a value for money manner than a lot of technology would have.
Select a small pilot area
A couple of good pointers for inventory. One is pick a pretty small area as a pilot to start with.
Just try stuff out there, see if it works for you. Don’t try doing it on your entire network or system from word go.
Asset inventory is not all software
Some people would think that asset inventory is all about the systems really, isn’t it? About going out and buying a piece of software and be able to solve all your problems, isn’t it? That has been a bit of a problem.
It is. And it’s interesting because I do a lot of work in that asset management information systems review and implementation area still, and that’s still an attitude.
A software system facilitates your work, it definitely doesn’t solve your problem. And black boxes are hopeless because at the end of the day, asset management is a structured process of analysis and thinking.
It is a journey, and if you think you can just buy somebody else’s product and biff it at your organization and chuck it full of information, and then suddenly everything will be done for you, then you are going to be sadly mistaken by that.
Information system has two components
It is a good reminder that an information system has two components, it has information and it has a system.
It may will be that your system is an excel spreadsheet if you’re a small organization – or if you’re a large organization with quite complex needs, that’s where some of those propriety systems are excellent and will help you a lot. But it is two parts – the system is no good without the information.
PHOTO CREDIT: ClevrCat via Flickr Creative Commons License. The image has been cropped to fulfill website need.