TAM Plans, SoGR, NTD Reporting, ISO-55000, Asset Classes, TAM Plans, IoT, Condition Monitoring, Best Maintenance Practices… I could go on and on. Are these terms familiar ? Are they keeping you up at night ? When looking for standards and models around which to design your transit asset management program it can be tough to navigate the forest. Seeing the forest for the trees involves understanding all of these standards in the context and then figuring our their relevance to your current situation. A daunting task to say the least.

Let’s review how industry has reacted to these challenge by comparing things like FTA regulations to similar compliance situations elsewhere, relating State of Good Repair to ISO-55000 for example. Perhaps we can find some guiding principles that can help us navigate both good asset management and compliance practices.

The Asset Management Office and/or Asset Manager Role

In response to the FTA’s focus over the last 6-10 years on asset management, the industry has responded with the creation of the Asset Manager role or, for larger organizations, the Asset Management office. This role typically plays a policing role acting as process owner for key asset processes like asset onboarding and disposal, condition assessment and tracking, SoGR, NTD Reporting and Capital Planning. This has developed a focused view of asset data and compliance reporting for these enterprises.

One drawback of this approach, however, is that it has inadvertently created a duality of competing view of asset management within transit agencies. Concepts like reliability practices, ISO-55000, and day-to-day continual improvement have remained embedded deep in maintenance organizations. It’s easy to see how the perception that asset management is a high-level, compliance reporting and data quality role, while good maintenance and reliability practices are something else altogether.

Let’s examine these dual views to see if they really do represent reality. In 2010, Aaron James, Sr. Director, of the Office of Engineering, Federal Transit Administration, defined State of Good Repair as a transit system who:

  • Possesses and maintains a comprehensive list of its capital assets and rolling stock
  • Possesses an asset management plan which is integrated into the management processes and practices of the agency
  • Its assets are within their articulated useful life and remaining assets are performing at their designed for function.

James went on to state that a transit system is considered to be in state of good repair if it exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Safety: Transit infrastructure and vehicles are well maintained and replaced before their condition deteriorates to the point of presenting as safety risk.
  • Quality Transit: Infrastructure and vehicles meet customer expectations for comport and reliability.

Aren’t those the goals of any good asset management reliability program ? Aren’t we all setting out to have safe reliable and optimized assets ? A close examination of asset management and federal compliance easily dispels the myth that federal compliance is at odd with asset management or that is is an additional burden to asset management practices. Other federally regulated industries, such as pharmaceutical manufacturing (FDA CFR 21 Parts 200 and 210) and aviation (FAA SMS and Part 139 Airfield Safety Inspections) have gone through this journey in a big way. In fact, in the early 2000s, FDA regulated enterprises were fearful to make adjustments to their preventive maintenance frequencies due to what they perceived at overly rigorous change control challenges. As result, many were performing unnecessary PM work, bringing with it the risk of human error and equipment failure that comes with invasive maintenance work. Over time, they realize that the best change it to eliminate non-value added procedures, minimizing the need to touch and/or open manufacturing equipment.

Still don’t believe that federal asset management standards and good maintenance and reliability practices are the same thing ? Let’s look at at diagram of PAS-55 from The Institute of Asset Management:

Source: Institute for Asset Management, PAS 55 Part 1: Specification for the optimized management of physical assets; 2008

PAS-55 provides the basic structure for what ultimately become the ISO-55000 series of standards for asset management. Examining this closely, alongside the previous description of SoGR reveals and interesting alignment:

Source: Institute for Asset Management, PAS 55 Part 1: Specification for the optimized management of physical assets; 2008

In reality, asset management, reliability and compliance are different lenses on the same objective. This is why, whether we’re trying to achieve ISO-55000 certification, or simply trying to establish good asset management practices while maintaining a strong compliance position, we follow the frameworks provided by the Institute of Asset Management, along with other generally accepted good reliability processes. Through a well structured approach we can accomplish our goals, following structure and guiding principles:

  • Compliance results from good practices vs. “another layer with which we have to deal
  • Define clear data models and governance to support enterprise objectives
  • Build Self-Sustaining processes
  • Become a data driven enterprise
  • Emphasize Culture/Organizational Change.

Wait, where did that last bullet come from ? Where was culture change in the PAS-55 Pyramid ? Let’s look at another graphic from the Institute of Asset Management:

Source: Institute for Asset Management, PAS 55 Part 1: Specification for the optimized management of physical assets; 2008

In this bullseye diagram, IAM is showing all of the types of assets that each play a critical role in the management of physical assets. It’s not arbitrary that human assets are at the top. According to the IAM, “human factors are critical to the successful achievement of optimized and sustainable asset management”.

21Tech incorporates key components of organizational change into its approach to implementing enterprise asset management processes and systems. Follow our blog for future posts on how ADKAR(™) OCM can ensure change success along with expansion on other topics from this post including:

  • Developing self-sustaining processes
  • Maintaining a complete and current asset inventory
  • Executing data driven condition assessments
  • Ensuring your daily work order process support performance reporting, condition monitoring, asset inventory auditing, reliability and failure analysis, etc.
  • and more..