An asset system may gather data that needs to be sorted and presented to end-users. Heather and Ross provided some ideas.
Heather said that one has to think about what is it you want to make decisions about. This will help set your outputs for your process, she said.
It should answer the question, “What kind of information do you need out of a process to make decisions?”
Then it would probably be very system specific to what you’re trying to get at.
Ross shared that 18 years ago, they had no idea what outputs we wanted. They put a whole lot of stuff into databases and when they were done, they asked, “Oh, what can we do with this?”
And even now, a couple of my staff still work with systems all the time to just getting people to get what they actually want out of what question they’re trying to answer. I think it really depends on:
- what’s in your system and what sort of state it’s in;
- what’s driving you to do asset management;
- what questions you’re trying to answer; and
- start simple
So if you’re concerned that you’ve got a lot of pipes that are pretty old and they start to break a lot, then the question you might want to answer are:
- How much do we need to spend each year to stay on top of this?
- When do we think the big lumps of expenditure are going to be?
- Have we got the money?
- Have we got the governance, the board on site to pay for that?”
And so that will set you about getting a certain amount of data. You’ve got to get an inventory of all your pipes, get the material and the age then, to the best of your knowledge, their condition.
In one authority I’ve worked with, they have over a hundred pumps, all at 25 years old. So also they’re getting towards the end of their life.
And they had one guy – let’s call him Bob. He’s the pump supervisor and he had a little black book where he kept everything.
This authority had spent a lot of effort on the pipes in their inventory and they hadn’t got to pumps.
I asked, “What if Bob doesn’t come to work tomorrow?”
They just said, “We’d be gone. You know, he’s the only guy that knows everything about these pumps and where they’re at.”
And so I said, “Well if it was me, I’d stop working on the pipes because pipes are actually quite new and they’re not in too much trouble.”
And I’ll start getting everybody to get to know a lot more about these pumps because Bob’s 55 and he was only going to be there for another ten years. (New Zealand retirement age is 65 at the moment.)
So creating asset management plan outputs really depends on what you’ve got going on, what your asset mix is, what the ages of the assets are, and just even what your local situation is.
And then that’ll start telling you what questions you need to answer, and then that’ll start telling you where you need to go from there.
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